Family hatch now offers a 1.6-litre diesel
A 1.6-litre diesel engine has turned up late to the Civic party. Is it worthy of consideration? On sale Now Price from £18,890
TO MANY, RELEASING a diesel variant of a car right now amid rapidly declining sales and public disdain will seem like sticking a beef burger on the menu at a vegan restaurant. But the reality is different; Honda recognises that there is still a sizeable market of fleet diesel buyers worth catering for.
The Civic is the recipient of this new 1.6-litre diesel engine, which claims the best efficiency in a range completed by 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol units.
Fire the diesel up and it clatters a little at idle, but it’s no worse than rivals. On the move, engine noise grates above 2000rpm when you’re accelerating but is far more hushed at a motorway cruise.
Compared with rival 1.6-litre diesel engines, the Honda’s performance is par for the course. With 118bhp, it doesn’t feel particularly strong, particularly off the line and in a dash from 0-62mph, but there isn’t much difference compared with the equivalent engines in the Ford Focus, Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf.
There’s a noticeable pause before the power surges in at around 2000rpm, but there’s enough get-up-and-go for motorway driving. The shortage of oomph will be frustrating if you cover a lot of miles, though. The same is true of those aforementioned rivals, but there are more powerful diesel variants of all three, whereas the 1.6 is the only diesel in the Civic.
Power and torque are unchanged from the 1.6 diesel of the previous Civic, so the only improvement is in efficiency, with official CO2 emissions and average fuel economy now at 93g/km and 80.7mpg respectively. These impressive figures make the Civic more frugal than rivals.
Elsewhere, the diesel Civic is no different from petrol models, meaning it offers decent steering, pleasing agility and a comfortable ride but falls short of the class leaders in terms of overall driving experience.
It has a big boot and a decent interior, but fit and finish aren’t quite up there with the best. Space is okay in the front seats, but the car’s sloping roofline compromises rear head room.
So, if you do a lot of motorway miles and are looking to keep your fuel and tax bills as low as possible, the diesel Civic is worthy of consideration. Just remember that the Octavia and Golf are better all-rounders.
Diesel engine is more ef cient but not a top performer