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The 2012 Honda Civic 1.4 Petrol and 2.2. Diesel

With so much choice in the car market and a multitude of models for every sector there has never been a better time for buyers. The competition in the C segment is where car wars are at their fiercest. The latest challenger from Honda is the 9th Generation Honda Civic and the most important in its range. Plagued by launch delays, caused primarily by the devastating effects of the Japanese earthquake and hampered further by the subsequent floods in Thailand, the Civic has finally arrived. Ireland is the first country in Europe to launch the all new Civic and we had an opportunity to test drive the new model.

Externally this is clearly a very subtle evolution which will reassure customers but not isolate new ones. Inside rear visibility is much improved. Clever material use coupled with a functional yet finely crafted layout means the cabin is top quality throughout. Honda’s ingenious “Magic Seats” from the previous version, that fold in a variety of ways add an extra dimension and have been retained.

Legroom is good for two adults in the rear but the sloping roof gives the overall impression of less room than is actually available in the front and a cramped feeling in the back. The new Civic, which has been designed exclusively for the European market and tested extensively on the region’s roads, is the ninth generation of the popular hatchback. While there are two petrol engines on offer a 1.4 litre and a 1.8 litre the Civic’s only diesel offering is a 2.2. litre engine until a 1.6 joins the ranks in 2013. Until then, the 2.2 offers incredible value and economy boasting more than 4.2 litres/100km and with emissions of 110g/km is in the A motor tax band.

The goal in the engine and transmission development was to maintain the driving experience while improving the overall efficiency of the engine resulting in lower running costs. On the road the 1.4 petrol feels adequate if a shade underpowered when pushed hard, but it remains smooth and silent . Pick of the bunch is the diesel producing a thumping 150PS. Until the arrival of the 1.6 diesel this is clearly the version to opt for. Pricing for the new Civic start at €21,395 for the 1.4 litre SE petrol version and €24,445 for the entry level SE iDTEC 2.2 litre diesel option.

We like
The Civic feels taut, smart and classy with a well-made cabin, good storage space and a high-quality trim. Dynamically it is good, with excellent handling and powerful and economical engines.

We don’t like
The accommodation is a little cramped in the rear and the headroom is tight.

Verdict
The best Civic to date with the most powerful diesel in this sector.

Filed Under: First Drive

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