Honda Civic Tourer vs compact estate rivals

Stylish new Honda Civic Tourer and SEAT Leon ST compact estates take on our class champion, the Skoda Octavia

Compact family estate buyers have never had it so good. Most small hatches are now also offered in estate form, so there’s a wide variety of practical models available. The latest arrivals have also injected some desirability into this increasingly competitive market.

Honda Civic Tourer review

SEAT Leon ST estate review

Skoda Octavia Estate review

The newest kid on the block is the Honda Civic Tourer. It has the biggest boot in the class, at 624 litres, while its rear seats feature some clever folding tricks. Plus, the Civic’s 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine should strike an ideal balance between performance and efficiency.

Another newcomer is the SEAT Leon ST. It’s the first time this model has been offered as an estate, and a large boot only adds to the stylish desirability of the hatchback, which was crowned Auto Express Car of the Year 2013.

We’ll put these new cars against our class benchmark: the Skoda Octavia Estate. We try 1.6-litre diesel versions of each, and we’ll pay extra attention to their luggage areas to see which model has the practical advantage.


Boot space

The Honda has the biggest boot, at 624 litres, and features a 12V socket, underfloor storage, lashing eyes and a roll-back load cover. You also get underfloor storage in the SEAT, plus a 12V socket and two bag hooks, while the Skoda has four hooks and a power socket, but no hidden compartment. The Leon and Octavia both have seatback releases in the boot, and their load covers are easier to use.


Honda Civic Tourer vs compact estate rivals 3

Rear seats

Narrower back doors and angled door pillars mean the Honda’s rear seats are harder to access. Once you’re in, there’s less legroom than in either rival, and it feels more cramped, too. The Skoda and SEAT are more spacious, while their back seat passengers benefit from standard air-con vents.

Running costs

All three models have stop-start, and the systems were happy to cut the engine’s power with the car at a standstill for more than 30 seconds. The Octavia was most economical, just edging the Civic, with the Leon a bit further behind.


1st place: SEAT Leon ST


A WIN first time out for the Leon ST. It doesn’t boast the biggest boot here, but it does have thoughtful touches and enough space for most people. Add decent comfort, a very entertaining driving experience and good value, and it’s hard to beat.

2nd place: Skoda Octavia Estate

Skoda Octavia Estate

The Octavia is still a sound choice if you want a no-frills estate car that will take everything you throw at it. But it’s only slighter larger than the SEAT, isn’t as stylish or affordable, and lacks some of the Leon’s versatile touches in the boot.

3rd place: Honda Civic Tourer

Honda Civic Tourer

If you just want a big boot, then choose the Civic Tourer. But it has smaller back seats and not as many useful touches as its rivals, plus it’s pricier and not quite as well equipped. While the engine is great, the rest of the driving experience isn’t.

 SEAT Leon ST 1.6 TDI 105 SESkoda Octavia Estate 1.6 TDI 105 SEHonda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC S
On-the-road price/total as tested£19,495/£23,365£20,365/£23,110£21,375/£23,845
Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)£8,773/45%£9,103/44.7%N/A
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£544/£1,089£569/£1,137£597/£1,194
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,794/£2,989£1,655/£2,758£1,692/£2,820
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost15/£356/A/£013/£378/A/£015/£366/A/£0
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£169/£199/£169£529 (3yrs/30k)£995 (5yrs/62,500)
Engine4cyl in-line/1,598cc4cyl in-line/1,598cc4cyl in-line/1,597cc
Peak power104/3,000 bhp/rpm104/3,000 bhp/rpm118/4,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque250/1,500 Nm/rpm250/1,500 Nm/rpm300/2,000 Nm/rpm
Transmission5-spd man/fwd5-spd man/fwd6-spd manual/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel50 litres/£9550 litres/£7550 litres/repair kit
Boot capacity (seats up/down)587/1,470 litres610/1,740 litres624/1,668 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,331/529/1,500kg1,247/645/1,500kg1,337/460/1,400kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient10.2 metres/N/A10.4 metres/0.30Cd11.2 metres/N/A
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (60,000)/2yrs3yrs (60,000)/3yrs3yrs (90,000)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealers10k miles (1yr)/128Variable/135Variable/223
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.27th/31st2nd/7th6th/4th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars94/92/70/593/86/66/594/83/69/5
0-60/30-70mph11.8/12.2 secs (wet)10.8/10.8 secs11.5/11.7 secs (wet)
30-50mph in 3rd/4th4.9/9.1 secs5.2/9.3 secs4.8/7.6 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th12.8 secs/N/A10.7 secs/N/A10.3/14.3 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph119mph/2,100rpm119mph/2,100rpm121mph/2,000rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph59.6/43.8/11.0m (wet)48.1/35.2/8.8m56.3/40.7/10.6m (wet)
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph70/47/63/66dB70/46/64/69dB70/49/63/71dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range41.7/9.2/459 miles45.2/9.9/497 miles44.2/9.8/486 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined61.4/85.6/74.3mpg61.4/85.6/74.3mpg67.3/78.5/74.3mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined13.5/18.8/16.3mpl13.5/18.8/16.3mpl14.8/17.3/16.3mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket182/99g/km/14%167/99g/km/14%171/99g/km/14%
Airbags/Isofix/rear park sensors/camSeven/yes/£265/noSeven/yes/yes/noSix/yes/£535/£695
Automatic box/stability/cruise control£1,250/yes/yes£1,250/yes/£180No/yes/no
Climate control/leather/heated seats£350/£1,370/£350Yes/no/£200Yes/no/no
Met paint/xenons/fold front pass seat£495/£995^/£75£525/£1,190/£110£500/no/no
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/Bluetooth£745/yes/£175/yes£550/yes/yes/yes£545/yes/yes/yes

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