New 2018 Honda Civic Diesel Reviewed
By Tim Barnes-Clay, Motoring Journalist – tweeting @carwriteups
It’s awesome to think the Civic has been in production since 1972. The Civic Mk10 was launched last year and has already proven to be a step-up from the older model.
Its design has transformed. The latest Civic is like a pocket-sized saloon; it looks smoother around the snoop, and the tail end has a sharp, even shape.
Step inside the cabin, and immediately you can see the preceding car’s split-dash has been superseded by a niftier design. In some ways it’s evocative of the dashboard layouts Honda produced 20 years ago. This is a thumbs-up to an era when the Japanese firm made some of its best motors.
The new Honda Civic is currently assembled in Swindon, a plant that has produced well-made vehicles for a good while now. The British factory is building the hatchback not just for the United Kingdom, but for the whole planet. So, the present Civic is the maiden ‘global’ model, meaning it’s being constructed with no specialised changes for territories, other than the adjustments for right and left-hand drive markets.
Crowning the features of the contemporary Civic is Honda’s ‘Connect’ infotainment system, which is easy to hook up to Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The other top billing, in terms of equipment, is a safety technology bundle, branded as ‘Sensing’. It melds several areas of technology to keep you alive and well. It encompasses forward collision warning, lane keeping assistant, traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control.
Due to modifications to the structure of the Honda Civic, the ‘Magic Seats’ that made for ingenuous loading of awkward objects are now not in attendance. Regardless of this, the boot still has a cargo capacity of 478-litres, so it isn’t an issue.
Its new petrol-powered units are first-rate, with lots of keen delivery. And, now it’s time for Honda to usher in its 120PS 1.6-litre diesel to the Civic line-up.
Due in UK dealerships at the end of February, the up-to-the-minute oil-burner will sell from £20,120. You can order one now, but you’ll have to put up with a six-speed manual version of the 1.6-litre i-DTEC. If you’re not desperate to add your name to the order books yet, or you hate manual ‘boxes, then you might want to wait until the summer. Then the Civic diesel will become available with a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
The 120PS power unit was first uncovered at Frankfurt’s Motor Show last year. Capable of 0-62mph in a laidback 10.5 seconds, the diesel motor is a greatly reworked version of the former car’s engine. Honda has lowered friction for better efficiency, and it has cut vibration, harshness and noise levels.
The Japanese auto-maker says that the entering 1.6-litre i-DTEC will do up to 80.7mpg, and is one of the first vehicles to be assessed on the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure. This new analysis uses real-world driving information as a replacement for the controversial laboratory-result-only test centres.
A quartet of trims are available for the manual version of the new Civic diesel. The basic S starts the ball rolling at a shade over £20,000. Then there’s the middle ground SE at £20,220, the SR at £22,065 and finally there’s the EX. This flagship diesel will set you back just under £25,000.
Features for the top model encompass a leather interior, heated front seats and adaptive dampers. The car can also be bought with an optional £600 Tech Pack. This includes wireless phone charging, heated rear seats and LED lights.
Undoubtedly, the tenth incarnation of the Civic is an improvement over the last model, handling well on the test route that we took it out on around Rome.
The six-speed manual gearbox feels outstanding in the hand and satisfying to work with. It’s also to the hatchback’s credit that it stays quiet and refined, irrespective of the diesel engine.
The 2018 1.6 i-DTEC Civic is a product Honda should be proud of, and it brings the fight to core competitors like the VW Golf and Ford Focus.
Pros ‘n’ Cons
- Attractive √
- Hi-tech √
- Kit √
- British-built √
- Laidback performance X
- Max speed:125 mph
- 0-62 mph: 10.5 secs
- Combined mpg: 80.7
- Engine layout: 1597cc four-cylinder turbo diesel
- Max. power (PS): 120
- CO2: 93 g/km
- Priced from: £20,120