The Honda Civic’s impressively comfortable and is one of the most practical family cars around, but alternatives have more rear headroom
The Honda Civic is a family car that’s easy to drive and has a very practical boot. It’s a little more expensive than the likes of the Vauxhall Astra but it feels sportier to drive and its aggressive styling will certainly turn more heads. If you want your Civic to feel like a fast, trackday-ready racing car then check out the Honda Civic Type R, which is reviewed separately.
Inside, plenty of soft, squidgy plastics help it feel more upmarket than a Ford Focus but not quite as plush as an Astra or VW Golf. All but basic S and SE models come with a glossy seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard.
It’s not quite as easy to use as the unit you get in a Golf but some handy shortcut buttons help make switching between key features on the move fairly easy. Its menus are a little confusing but it does come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring and satellite navigation as standard.
The Civic’s seats are soft, supportive and come with plenty of adjustment to help you get comfy if you’re tall, but you can’t get adjustable lumbar support to help stave off back ache on long journeys on entry-level S models.
The back seats are nicely padded but your taller passengers might be left wanting for headroom – there’s an annoying lump in the roof just in front of the rear windscreen that you don’t get in the Skoda Octavia. Thankfully, leg and knee room are excellent and there’s almost as much space for three adults to sit abreast as you get in the roomy Vauxhall Astra.
The Civic’s boot is pretty generous, too. With all five seats in place you can squeeze in 478 litres of luggage – 108 litres more than an Astra and easily enough for a bulky baby buggy and some large soft bags.
Flip the back seats down (which you can do in a 60:40 two-way split to carry up to two passengers and long luggage at once) and the Civic’s boot grows to 1,267 litres. That’s almost identical to the 1,270-litre Golf and easily large enough to carry a bike with one wheel removed.
Don’t let the latest Civic’s boy-racer looks fool you – this is a comfortable, practical family car that’ll be perfectly happy on the school run
You can get the Honda with two petrol engines and with either a manual or CVT automatic gearbox. The 1.0-litre petrol (that’ll return around 45mpg compared to Honda’s claimed 55.4mpg) is best suited to pottering around town while the quicker 1.5-litre model is a much better bet if you take in a mix of town and motorway driving. It will return near-identical real-world fuel economy.
All models are reasonably comfortable over bumps but EX models and above come with an adaptive suspension system as standard that really helps iron out potholes. It’s not quite as relaxing as a Golf but it strikes a good balance between being comfortable and feeling sporty to drive. The Civic scored an impressive four stars in the strict 2017 Euro NCAP crash tests thanks to its wide range of standard safety kit.
Even entry-level cars get adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and a system that’ll automatically stop the car if it senses an obstacle in the road ahead.The Honda Civic’s certainly worth considering if you’re looking for a practical family car that’s comfortable and sporty to drive but it is slightly more expensive than some other very capable alternatives. You can read more in-depth info on the Honda Civic in the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. And, if you want to see what sort of savings you can expect on a Civic, simply click through to our deals page.