For a start, most observers, me included, reckon the old car to be the best looking family hatch yet made changing a winning formula would have been stupid.
You also get a stereo system clever enough to use its neat shark fin style radio antenna to re tune itself to your favourite radio station as you drive through areas of different frequencies. Plus it offers USB port and iPod connectivity.
The Honda Civic. A family hatchback that in eighth generation form sold between 2006 and 2011, was frustratingly close to greatness.
It's a five door only bodyshape this time round, so there's a coupe style look to the shape but despite this, there's still reasonable room in the back.
need it, sitting in heavy traffic or stopped at crossings and traffic lights for example.
Whichever model you choose 1.4 or 1.8 litre i VTEC petrol or i DTEC diesel you should find your car to be decently equipped.
The 150PS 2.2 litre i DTEC diesel's much better refined though, slightly ironic given that with competitors, refinement is one reason you're tempted not to consider the diesel option.
As for petrol power, well the entry level 1.4 i VTEC manages 52.3mpg on the combined cycle and puts out 129g/km of CO2, figures that fall to 48.7mpg and 137g/km if you go for this petrol 1.8.
For the first time, Honda has diesel offering in this class that's good enough to match and probably beat most of what the opposition can throw at it.
Instead, Hondas design team has wisely settled for careful evolution, creating a shape that's 20mm lower and 10mm Omega Speedmaster Black Dial
All models include alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, climate controlled auto air conditioning, the i MID driver information display, all round electric windows and power mirrors, an alarm and a Hill Start Assist system to stop you rolling backwards on uphill junctions.
All of these figures have been assisted by the standard fitment of a stop and start system Honda calls it Idle Stop to cut the engine when you don't Omega Seamaster Professional Black
Though the seats here recline, they don't slide back and forth, but that's only because they can do something cleverer still. If you've a tall load to carry say a plant from the garden centre you can flip the base up, cinema seat style.
Whatever your transmission choice though, it'll quickly become obvious once you try this Honda that this is an easy car to drive.
The Japanese brand has developed a 118bhp 1.6 litre diesel engine to take on the most frugal of its sub 100g/km of CO2 rivals but even the 150PS 2.2 i DTEC variant Omega Speedmaster
is now able to develop a very impressive set of overall running cost figures, despite this engines 10PS boost in this 9th generation Civic, putting out just 110g/km of CO2 and delivering a healthy 67.3mpg on the combined cycle.
Perhaps an even better solution is the 120PS 1.6 litre diesel unit your dealer can tell you about, also developed for this car.
The 142PS 1.8 litre i VTEC petrol engine is the one that most customers choose, claiming the performance of a 2.0 litre unit with Omega Watch For Sale the efficiency of a 1.6, which is pretty much the way it pans out, rest to sixty occupying 9.1s on the way to 134mph, more than four seconds and 18mph faster than the entry level petrol 1.4.
It's the car it should have been six years earlier and it's a family hatchback that Honda reckons that every thinking buyer in this sector ought to consider.
And behind the wheel? Well, there isn't a cockpit we can think of this side of a motorshow concept car that looks more wilfully futuristic. In principle, it sounds like a mixed up mess. In practice, it all works brilliantly.
Civic is better in every way
wider than its predecessor, so offering a squatter, more purposeful stance.
And glory be, you even get a rear wiper! I wouldn't normally bother to mention this feature but unbelievably, the previous Civic hatch never had one, the designers talking of droplet dispersing aerodynamics and forgetting how useless that is in slow traffic.
You'll be looking at paying somewhere between and for mainstream models.
On the move in this car, you're first struck by the near perfect weighting and smoothness of the brake and clutch pedals and the lovely, snickety precision of the six speed gearbox.
There's a five speed automatic option on the 1.8 if you really don't like it.
T HE ninth generation Honda Civic retains the bold styling theme of its predecessor but beefs up quality, improves efficiency and pays particular attention to ride and refinement, so dramatically improving its appeal in the Focus class family hatchback segment. As a result, an already strong and very practical package is now a whole lot better. Its rivals should worry.
If you're tempted to write this ninth generation Civic off as little more than a facelifted version of the old car, then don't be.
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