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Guest post: Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC Review

Honda Civic

Since it was first released in 1973, the Honda Civic has been a popular hatchback. The first generation was unique in that it could run on both leaded and unleaded fuel, so during the US fuel crisis, it gave consumers more choice. Flash forward to today, and it was only when the Civic was in its sixth and seventh iteration that it won the hearts and minds of British motorists in the name of the Civic Type R, a rev-happy hot hatch that’d outpace many turbocharged cars on the road.

This latest generation of Civic isn’t available as a Type R yet. It will be in the near future, but for now, the Civic range is made up of economical choices which include what we’ve been testing here today, the Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC. The big selling point of this car is the potential economy figures you can achieve. It has an official 78.5mpg EU Combined average, but as I’m sure you’re aware, EU averages do not reflect real-world driving conditions. So does it get close to this?

Well, yes. Sort of. I managed to get an impressive 72.4 mpg out of this Civic on a 120 mile round trip which included driving the M62 and heading towards Derbyshire, which has lots of nice twisty B roads to sink your teeth into. I also drove the Civic through the busy city centre of Liverpool, and on a 50 mile trip, the read out said 63.3 mpg. Like many diesels however, I found the Civic suffered on shorter journeys – start it up in the morning and take the kids to school 4 miles away and you’ll get home to see an economy reading of 38.8 mpg. That’s less than impressive. Overall, though, the Civic impressed me with its economy. So what’s it like to drive?

It’s very good, actually. The ride is comfortable and much better damped than the previous model, and the driving position is also excellent. The 1.6-litre engine offers good pull above 30 mph in third gear and the power delivery is surprisingly linear. Elsewhere, the Civic has a huge boot, and there is lots of space in the rear for passengers. On the face of it, the Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC is a car ideal for modern motorists; it offers cheap tax, on average cheap insurance, a modest starting price (see below) and it’ll return good fuel economy.

With this engine the Honda Civic rolls in at a starting price of £19,575 in the lowest specification SE trim. The most expensive 1.6 i-DTEC is in EX trim which costs £23,585, which is actually more than a 2.2 i-DTEC ES-T. Dealerships such as Vertu Honda have many Honda cars for sale to choose from including both the 1.6 and 2.2-litre diesel versions.

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