The Honda Civic’s cabin looks and feels reasonably upmarket for a car this size but the back seats aren’t quite as roomy as in alternative models
Climb into the Civic and you instantly feel cocooned by its low-slung seats, raised centre console and wraparound dashboard. It certainly feels sportier inside than a VW Golf or a Vauxhall Astra and comes with plenty of soft, yielding plastics in most of the areas you’ll touch regularly.
Entry-level S and basic SE models come with a rather dated stereo display but SR models and above feature a much nicer seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring as standard.
These mid-range SR models also get a leather-trimmed steering wheel and adjustable lumbar support to help reduce back ache on long journeys, but you’ll have to step up to a high-spec EX version if you want leather seats and a panoramic glass roof.
Sport and Sport Plus models come with the same upmarket interior and standard kit as EX versions but add a set of carbon-fibre-style dashboard inserts, red ambient lighting and some metal pedal trims. They’re perfect for playing out your Civic Type R fantasies without having to foot the bill for its pricy running costs.
All models come with a slick high-resolution digital driver’s display (just like Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system) that can show a range of information from your fuel economy to upcoming satellite navigation directions.
The old Civic’s infotainment system used to be an absolute nightmare to use. Thankfully, this new car’s system is much improved and its cabin is a bit more spacious, too
Entry-level S and SE versions have a fairly basic blue and white display for the stereo but only the latter gets DAB digital radio and Bluetooth connectivity as standard. Both feel very outdated compared to the modern touchscreen systems in a Vauxhall Astra and VW Golf.
The seven-inch colour touchscreen system in SR models and above looks much more modern and is a massive improvement over the old Civic’s infuriating unit. The screen’s mounted right up on the dashboard so it’s easy to glance at as you drive along and it comes with a set of dedicated shortcut buttons so you can easily switch between key features on the move.
It’s still not quite as intuitive to use as the Golf or Astra’s systems, however, and its shiny finish can make it slightly difficult to read in direct sunlight. Thankfully, most of its menus are logically laid out and it’s a breeze to pair your phone using the Bluetooth connection.
Tuning the DAB digital radio takes a frustratingly long time, however, and entering a postcode for the Garmin-based satellite navigation requires a few more prods of the screen than you might expect.
It’s much easier to use the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring features. These let you use a variety of your phone’s music streaming and navigation apps through the car’s built-in display.
The standard Civic’s eight-speaker stereo is pretty forgettable but the upgraded 11-speaker unit in EX and Sport Plus models sounds much better – it includes six rear speakers so your passengers don’t feel left out of the carpool karaoke.