The Honda Civic Tourer has been unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but Auto Express has already had a chance to poke around the new car – including its class-leading boot.
With a boot capacity of 624 litres, it’s 147 litres bigger than the Civic hatch’s and 218 litres bigger up on the Accord Tourer’s. Fold the rear seats, and the space swells to 1,668 litres – enough to rival some of the most practical cars on sale.
The Civic Tourer is the same height, width and has the same wheelbase as the five-door Civic hatch, and everything from the nose to the B-pillars is carried over. However, Honda’s designers have grafted an extra 235mm on to the rear.
The tailgate swings up really high, which may cause problems in low multi-storey car parks. And unlike some estates, it can’t be electrically powered – Honda says this is too expensive to engineer.
When the bootlid’s up, there’s a wide, square opening with a loading lip that’s 137mm lower than the hatch’s. Under the floor is a small, 12-litre stowage area, for storing the load cover when it’s not needed, plus there’s a 120-litre cubby that can swallow weekend bags. Other features include a power point, while an optional luggage net can be used with the seats up or down.
And although the rear seatbacks can’t be flipped down from the boot – the release is in the cabin – the Tourer does get Honda’s Magic Seats. These let owners flip up the rear seatbases to free space for a bike or wheelchair.
On the outside are flared rear wheelarches, a floating roof with aluminium rails and a light bar between the tail-lamps. Plus, as the hatch’s split rear screen isn’t carried over, visibility is better.
The Tourer was designed and developed between Honda’s UK and German-based R&D centres, and will be built in Swindon, Wiltshire.
There are two engine options. The 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel, which emits only 94g/km of CO2 in the hatch, will be available with a manual box, while the 1.8-litre petrol will come with a manual or automatic transmissions.
Options include a world-first adaptive damper system, called ADS. This works on the rear axle only and lets drivers tweak the handling, no matter what they’re carrying, between Comfort, Normal and Dynamic modes. But even if you don’t specify this, the regular suspension has been retuned, with new springs, dampers and front anti-roll bar settings sitting somewhere between Normal and Dynamic on ADS cars. All models get improved steering software.
Honda will open order books in December, with first deliveries in February. Trim levels are set to be shared with the hatch, and while prices and specs will be confirmed at Frankfurt, the brand did tell us to expect a similar price difference to rivals. A VW Golf Estate is £765 more than a Golf hatch, so the Civic Tourer petrol should start at around £19,000.