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In-depth reviews

Honda Civic review: a frugal, fun family hatch hybrid

The hybrid-powered Honda Civic is a frugal, well-equipped family hatchback that really impresses

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£34,980 to £50,235
  • Efficient hybrid powertrain
  • Good to drive
  • Improved interior quality
  • Firm low-speed ride
  • Road noise
  • Infotainment system a little dated
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What’s the best affordable hybrid? It’s the excellent Honda Civic, of course. Why? Well, it offers a highly efficient petrol and electric hybrid system that’ll appeal to those looking for lower running costs, and it’s still good to drive. Plus, it has an impressive amount of standard equipment along with lots of safety technology.

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The Civic’s sleek hatchback lines offer some respite from the slew of SUVs and crossover-styled family cars that populate the UK car market. Sure, its sloping roofline won’t quite match the versatility of some of the boxier, more upright SUVs out there, but it’s practical enough for most needs. All things considered, the 11th generation is a worthy contender in its class.

About the Honda Civic

​It’s 1972. Russia has landed its uncrewed Luna 20 spaceship on the moon, rock ‘n’ roll band T.Rex is riding high in the music charts, and Ford has just launched its new Granada executive car. Slipping under the radar, with a little less fanfare, was the introduction of Honda’s first-generation Civic – first as a two-door saloon, followed by the now more familiar hatchback model.

Fast forward more than fifty years and eleven model generations, and it’s fair to say that the Honda Civic has become a motoring mainstay in not just the UK, but around the world.

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However, with families increasingly turning to SUVs and crossover-style cars to meet their everyday driving needs, the humble hatchback faces more competition than ever. Honda now only offers the Civic as a sensibly-styled five-door hatch to challenge rivals such as the great-handling Ford Focus, uber-practical Skoda Octavia, ever dependable (and equally hybrid) Toyota Corolla, plus the iconic Volkswagen Golf.

Other hatchback options for buyers include the great value Kia Ceed and Hyundai i30, the stylish-looking Mazda 3 and Peugeot 308, and the impressive SEAT Leon and Vauxhall Astra all being strong options. Those after a more premium model may wish to consider the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, and Mercedes A-Class.

The Civic is powered by Honda's e:HEV hybrid technology with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet, plus two electric motors to power the front wheels. The set-up produces a stout 181bhp and 315Nm of torque. For hot hatch fans, the stonking 325bhp Civic Type R is a high-performance weapon, having broken the front-wheel drive lap records at the Nurburgring race track in Germany and Japan's Suzuka race track.

Higher demand than expected for the Civic has led to short periods when certain trim levels weren’t available to order, but the range is back up to three now: Elegance, Sport and Advance. Entry-level cars are well-equipped, as you'd expect when prices start at nearly £35,000. Every Civic comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, keyless entry, a nine-inch touchscreen, reversing camera, and adaptive cruise control. Top-of-the-range Advance has a fully digital driver's display, heated leather steering wheel and panoramic glass roof.

For an alternative guide to the Honda Civic, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...

Frequently Asked Questions
The 11th-generation Honda Civic is good to drive, efficient, and features a much better interior than the model it replaced. It looks great, too, and comes with a generous amount of standard kit. It’s not cheap, but it covers so many bases we think it’s among the best family cars around.
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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    2.0 eHEV Elegance 5dr CVT
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £34,980

Most Economical

  • Name
    2.0 eHEV Sport 5dr CVT
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £36,475

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 VTEC Turbo Type R 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £50,235
News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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