Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-dTEC EX Plus diesel mini test by Ray Massey

Ray Massey mini test: A terrific tourer

Motoring editor Ray Massey takes the Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-dTEC EX Plus diesel (manual), £27,960 (price as driven) for a mini test and tells you the best and worst bits of his drive.

GOOD

  • Aero-dynamically smart and contemporary styling from a British-built, Europeandesigned family load-lugger that is flexible enough for most challenges. It looks great in profile. In fact, it looks great from most angles.
  • Made at the firm’s Swindon factory, the Honda Civic Tourer comes with a choice of a petrol or diesel engine, and four trim levels. 

Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-dTEC EX Plus diesel (manual) Price as driven: £27,960

Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-dTEC EX Plus diesel (manual) Price as driven: £27,960

  • Plenty of space for the family in its roomy interior.
  • Has a class-leading 624 litres of boot space. To put that in context, it will easily take two sets of golf clubs. But that figure increases nearly three-fold — to 1,668 litres — if you put down the easy-fold rear Magic Seats.
  • The Tourer is fitted with a new Adaptive Damper System, which automatically adjusts the rear suspension to maintain stability and comfort according to load level and road conditions.
  • It’s FUN to drive. The 1.6-litre, 120hp, diesel engine is eager, especially at low speeds. The car is nimble in town, and heads off at a fair sprint on major roads, accelerating from rest to 62mph in 10.5 seconds.
  • Smooth six-speed manual gearbox and fitted with comfortable seats.
  • It’s a family estate car, which promises an average 72.4 miles to the gallon — so fewer refuelling stops. Honda says a full tank will stretch to 800 miles plus.
  • Low carbon emissions (103g per km) put it in tax band B and will keep your road tax manageable. The S and SE Plus manual versions have even lower emissions (99 g per km), which puts them in the super-frugal band A — exempting them from annual vehicle excise duty.
  • The advantage of driving the top of-the-range EX-Plus model is its built-in technology. This includes smart entry and start capability — meaning that you can open the door without taking the keys out of your pocket and start the engine by pressing a red button on the dashboard.
  • Other clever extras include soft blue interior lighting, poweradjustable lumbar and side supports, 17in alloy wheels, leather interior, heated front seats, satnav and a music system.
  • Reliaility, low maintenance costs and inclusive servicing are Honda’s strong points.
  • There is a petrol alternative with a 1.8 i-VTEC engine. 

Roomy: The Civic's magic seats

Roomy: The Civic's magic seats

Roomy: The Civic’s magic seats

BAD

  • The interior trim is dull, especially when compared to the exterior.
  • The diesel can be noisy under strain, but is fine on a long run on the motorway.
  • Honda has started referring to its diesel engines as ‘Earth Dreams Technology’. Has its marketing department gone psychedelic?
  • Prices are steep compared with rivals — especially at the upper end. For the model I drove, Honda offers a deal for a £7,345 deposit, 42 payments of £345 and a final payment of £8,287. It includes five years’ servicing, warranty and roadside assistance. Prices from £20,265 on the road for the entry level 1.8 i-VTEC S petrol model.

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