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In-depth reviews

Honda Civic review - MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

Not quite as frugal as its petrol rivals, but the diesel is impressive, although there's no Honda Civic hybrid for the time being

The 1.0 EX version of the Civic costs about £24,000, which looks expensive on paper. However, spec a Golf SE Nav to a similar level, and the £3,000 price difference is more or less cancelled out. If you can forego leather, keyless entry and adaptive dampers, the Civic SR is more palatable at around £21,000.

The lack of a hybrid model means the Civic can’t compete with rivals when it comes to rock-bottom running costs. That said, the two petrol engines offer low emissions and decent fuel economy, so neither should break the bank over three years or 36,000 miles. According to the latest WLTP test figures, an entry-level 1.0-litre turbo with a six-speed manual gearbox will do 49.6mpg and emit 110g/km of CO2 (the Civic saloon manages the same figures), while the CVT auto is slightly less frugal – returning 47.1mpg, but lower emissions at 107g/km, while the saloon performs very slightly worse. Watch out, though, as the larger wheels on SR models and above adversely affect the official fuel economy and emissions figures.

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Opt for the 1.5 VTEC, and the manual is more economical than the CVT auto. The automatic car will do 42.8mpg and emit 137g/km of CO2, but the manual does 46.3mpg and 128g/km. In both cases, the less frugal car represents a one per cent Benefit in Kind tax penalty for company car drivers. However, higher list prices mean business users will be better off with a Golf in comparison. Choose a 1.0 TSI Golf, and emissions of 109g/km mean lower-rate earners will save hundreds in annual salary sacrifice. 

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Unsurprisingly, the most economical engine in the Civic range is the 1.6 i-DTEC diesel. Claimed fuel economy is up to 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 90g/km are up with the very best in the class, and better than the equivalent engines in the Volkswagen Golf, SEAT Leon and Renault Megane. Interestingly, the Civic saloon manages emissions of 91g/km.

Insurance groups

The outgoing Honda Civic had insurance groups as low as Group 5, but due to all the added kit and new engines, the current car starts at group 15 for the entry-level 1.0 SE. Luckily, upgrading to the better-equipped SR makes no difference to the Civic’s rating – in fact, even top-spec EX models fall into the same category.

Stepping from the three-cylinder to the more powerful 1.5 pushes the hatch into group 22, while the diesel cars are in group 18 except for the EX versions, which are in group 19. As with the 1.0-litre, all cars fitted with the bigger engine fall into the same insurance bracket.

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A Volkswagen Golf starts from group 7, while a Peugeot 308 goes from group 12 upwards.

Depreciation

Residual values are reasonable for the Honda Civic, with an entry-level 1.0-litre SE expected to retain 44 per cent of its value after three years or 36,000 miles. The more desirable SR holds on to 43 per cent, while the top-spec EX boasts a 41 per cent rating. Regardless of trim, the Civic can’t match the Golf for residuals, as a similarly specced Golf will retain around 46 per cent of its value. 

The faster 1.5 posts broadly similar numbers, though the range-topping Prestige model dips just below the 40 per cent barrier – holding on to 39.57 per cent of its value after three years. Almost all Vauxhall Astra models are expected to retain less than 40 per cent, meaning the Civic is a better financial bet if you’re planning to keep your car for an extended period of time.

In comparison, the Civic saloon holds on to 35-40 per cent of its value, reflecting the slightly less practical and desirable nature of the four-door saloon body

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