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

What Car? - - Contents - Doug Re­volta Doug.re­volta@hay­mar­ket.com

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.