The family hatchback has to be a jack of all trades, with the best of them being masters of every discipline that an owner will throw at it. Over the past few months weíve been putting the Civic through the rigours of modern-day life; trawling countless motorways, tackling busy city commutes and even packing it to the rafters for a family holiday that also included carrying the dog. This Honda has acquitted itself well, but to be a true all-rounder it also needs to shine during more challenging driving situations.
While 99 per cent of a Civicís life will undoubtedly consist of mundane school runs and tortuous traffic, there will be those occasions when the driver can escape the humdrum urban world and find a twisting B-road. These more entertaining stretches of tarmac provide the perfect opportunity to find out how the car behaves when driven with a little more gusto. With changes in camber, elevation and surface quality, itís these types of roads that sorts the amateurs from the professionals and the wheat from the chaff. Pushing on through the green corridors of hedgerows in Hampshire and tree lined roads of Dorset, the Civic maintains its composure thanks to a sympathetic suspension setup conjured up by Hondaís engineers. It strikes a great compromise between bump absorption and body control, capable of shielding occupants from the worst cracks, imperfections and potholes, while not listing like a ship through a prolonged bend. Its steering, while not the most communicative in the class, is quick to respond to inputs, allowing the driver to have complete confidence in the Civic when zeroing in on the apex of a bend. The brake pedal is something else that promotes reassurance with its firm feel making it easy to modulate.
It might not be as entertaining to drive at a pace as a Ford Focus or perhaps a Volkswagen Golf, but its strong chassis balance provides a level of fluidity that makes it very predictable. Braking to shift the Civicís weight forward before a bend allows for a tighter angle of attack, and its trajectory is easily trimmed with the throttle upon corner exit. Thanks to the widened track of this tenth generation Civic, it hugs the road neatly and supplies plenty of grip ñ even in the greasiest of conditions. Of course, much of this frolicking on country roads bears little resemblance to day-to-day Civic ownership, but it is a very good test of mechanical competency and how well Honda has engineered its hatchback. Once again, our Rallye Red car proves to be a highly competent alternative to the UKís best sellers.
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Date arrived 20th June 2018
Fuel economy 80.7mpg (combined) 52.4mpg (on test)
The Civic’s eye-catching new television advert perfectly sums up this hatchback as a great alternative to the norm.
You missed a bit! Angular bodywork can be a challenge of automated car washes.