Honda Civic 4 Door 1.6i-DTEC 2018 UK review

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Front and rear passengers will find little difference between this car and the regular Civic, with plenty of leg room and the same low-slung driving position.

As big as the newly separated boot may be, though, actually using the space is made trickier by the smaller opening. It may be wide, but the boot opening isn’t as tall as the hatchback, and it can be harder to store bulkier items.

The mid-spec SR trim of our test car includes a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system as standard but, compared with rivals, the Garmin-supplied navigation graphics feel outdated and cumbersome. Thankfully, both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available for an improved sat-nav experience using your smartphone.

Overall interior quality still isn’t quite up to the same standard as Volkswagen or Mazda, but the soft-touch plastics and sensibly laid-out dashboard continue to make a good impression here. The digital instrument cluster is particularly slick compared with similarly priced rivals’.

On the road, the four-door Civic is just as engaging as the hatchback, with direct and nicely weighted steering, and a chassis that’s responsive to your inputs. The saloon uses a version of the dual-pinion power-assisted steering found on the Civic Type R, specifically tuned for the four-door model with a focus on secure handling.

There’s no disguising the car’s size but, whereas saloon-like handling was a detriment to the hatchback, it makes more sense here. Grip is sufficient enough to carry plenty of speed through corners, and the whole car feels reassuringly planted on the road.

The firm suspension doesn’t lean too far towards sporty, managing to soak most bumps without ever becoming crashy or transferring shocks to the passenger compartment.

There’s plenty of pull from the 1.6-litre engine, although it lacks the same burst of torque you’d get from some of its rivals. The six-speed manual gearbox may provide a satisfyingly precise shift, but the engine isn’t particularly rewarding when pushed.

It begins to sound harsh early, with little extra shove to show for it at higher RPMs. Things become more refined at cruising speeds – even if road noise still makes its way into the cabin.

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