The Honda Civic has been a popular choice for British motorists since the 1980s. After many decades on the road, it’s now in its 10th generation.
The Japanese hatchback has made a name for itself as being a good looking, quirky choice for those looking for a small, fun family car with a history of reliability.
The current car offers all those things, with its bold styling even in lower trims. At the top of the range is the frankly barmy Type R, which has motorsport-inspired wings and aerodynamic devices plastered all over it.
So whether you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive runaround or want something with a bit more performance you can’t go wrong with the Civic. To save you time perusing brochures, we’ve looked through the range to find a car for three different types of buyer.
The smart choice for saving money – Honda Civic Sport, 1.4-litre
You might be surprised to learn that the least expensive way to enter Civic ownership is through the ‘Sport’ trim.
Couple it with the 1.4-litre petrol engine and it starts at just £18,360. The great thing about that is that it’s better equipped in many ways than the SE Plus Navi trim that supposedly sits below it.
Inside you get DAB radio, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, air conditioning and an in-car audio and information system. It’s here where your penny pinching shows, as Sport models don’t come with satellite navigation.
Outside there’s a sporty mesh grill, a choice of two different 17-inch alloy wheel designs and a body-coloured bootlid spoiler.
The smart choice for those on a budget – Honda Civic SE Plus Navi, 1.6-litre
If you’re willing to pay a bit more for good value and long-term savings, you can’t go wrong with an SE Plus Navi in diesel form.
It’s still well specified with DAB radio, parking sensors and large alloy wheels, as well as the aforementioned Garmin satellite navigation system.
What makes this trim better long-term, despite it costing £21,750, is that it’s packing Honda’s new 1.6-litre diesel engine. It’s the first product of the company’s pretentiously-named Earth Dreams Technology. The result is good fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions of just 94g/km – that means you won’t pay any road tax.
With nearly 120bhp it’s far from slow, offering better punch and more drivability than the Sport’s 1.4-litre petrol.
The smart choice for technophiles – Honda Civic Type R
The full fat version of the Civic will have technology nerds salivating. It was honed on the infamous Nurburgring in Germany, and until recently held the front-wheel drive lap record at the circuit.
At its heart is a 2.0-litre VTEC petrol engine that makes 306bhp. A ‘+R’ button on the dashboard sets the car up for high performance, adjusting the engine torque-mapping, steering feel and suspension dampers for better track performance.
An information screen offers up data on everything from g-forces to acceleration times, and if you needed any further hint that Civic Type R takes driving fast seriously, you should know that all of the exterior aerodynamic devices are fully functional. There’s no posing here.
Considering the increased performance, there’s also some welcome safety technology including traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning and an autonomous braking system.
There’s a hefty premium for all this technology. The Civic Type R starts at £30,000.