Civic’s sporting challenge

Honda Civic 1.0T EX Sport Line

By Bill McCarthy

THINK of the Civic and you may think of just a smart looking C segment family hatchback which has stood the test of time, or maybe the firecracker Type R.

Well Honda is offering a combination of the two with its latest smart-looking Sport Line, a bit of a sheep in wolf’s clothing. That’s not meant to be derogatory as the fire-breathing, record-breaking Type R takes some beating.

But if you are looking for something blinged up, still an engaging drive, with sharp handling and a willing and throaty one litre, three cylinder power unit, this model could fit the bill.

Futuristically styled when it first came out, but still a practical family motor the Civic has never been short of innovations.

For this year, 10th generation base models receive revised bumper vents and grilles front and rear, complemented with a revised lower grille section, new LED headlights and minor changes to the CONNECT infotainment system.

At around £25k, it’s not cheap, but boasts a comprehensive range of equipment including reverse camera, sunroof and full range of safety kit.

The Sport Line, at first glance, could be mistaken for the Type R, featuring distinctive skirts and rear spoiler, enhanced by 17-inch piano black alloy wheels, daytime running lights and electric sunroof. It most certainly looks the part.

The sporting theme continues inside, with red stitching detail on seats and steering wheel, drilled aluminium pedals and, familiar to those who have driven Type R, round aluminium gear shift.

The centre console features a piano-black finish, while the colour touch-screen display controls navigation, climate, connectivity and infotainment and reversing camera. It also runs Apple Carplay and Android Auto and employs the familiar ‘pinch, swipe and tap‘ functionality of a smartphone to access its features and apps.

New climate control and sound system buttons increase functionality by allowing the most used and requested sub-menus to be accessed with just one touch. A small TFT screen behind the wheel also gives the driver instant information.

At around £25k, it’s not cheap, but boasts a comprehensive range of equipment including reverse camera, sunroof and full range of safety kit.

The three-pot VTEC turbo unit produces an impressive 126 PS and 200 Nm of torque, delivering brisk acceleration, which feels quicker than the the 10-odd seconds 0-60mph time, thanks to the throaty rasp of power unit.

It does score well on economy with a figure approaching 50mpg meaning less frequent visits to the fuel pump.

Mated to a precise six-speed manual transmission and stiffer suspension, the car delivers a much more sporty drive than figures would suggest and handles really well on bending, twisting roads.

All Hondas are safe and the this Civic has earned top ratings in Euro NCAP tests through collision mitigation braking system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and traffic sign recognition. 

This ranger topper also includes blind spot information including cross traffic monitor.

It is still hugely practical with plenty of stowage space and seating versatility. A neat innovation in the large boot area is the side-sliding tonneau cover, which can be operated with one hand for extra practicality. The split and folding rear seats provide a large stowage capacity of 550 litres, expanding to 1267 to roof level with the seats down.


Price: £25,510

Mechanical: 126bhp, 998cc, three cylinder turbocharged petrol engine driving front wheels via six-speed manual gearbox

Max speed: 126mph

060mph: 10.9 seconds

Combined mpg: 45.6

Insurance group: 15E

CO2 emissions: 110g/km

Warranty: 3yrs/90,000 milesWarranty: 3yrs/90,000 miles

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