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Honda Civic

Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Honda Civic



Final thoughts and pick of the range

The Honda Civic brings some welcome colour to a sensible part of the market. Not perfect, but very interesting.

After the soft and vague ninth-generation Civic, version ten comes out rejuvenated.

Its low silhouette speaks the truth about its sharp driving manners. Quick steering and a taut chassis put it at home on B-roads. But it’s well-judged enough not to mess up the main duties of a family hatch: it’s stable at a cruise, and the ride comfort in towns and suburbs is perfectly acceptable.

Performance is lively versus rivals, whichever of the new turbo engines you get. But the 1.0’s lag sometimes takes the shine off it. The 1.5 keeps a lid in that problem, and feels semi-sporty. It’s a good match for the athletic cornering. Then there’s the 316bhp Type R, probably the best hot hatch on sale today. One of the best ever, in fact.

Despite the low roof and seats, it’s still roomy, but only by virtue of being a fair bit longer than most rivals – check it fits your garage.

Perhaps because Honda hasn’t over-complicated the engines, there was money left over to serve up impressive equipment lists, especially the active safety setup.

Last time around, you barely felt any common ground between the pin-sharp Type R and the mushy rump of the Civic range. This generation, the mainstream versions feel like they have some R blood in their veins. There’s tangible overengineering, which is good news when Honda’s engineers are so talented.

Our choice from the range

This is the one we'd pick...


1.5 VTEC Turbo Sport 5dr

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