Honda Civic Saloon (2018)
Our Rating 4 / 5
Pros: Engaging drive, added practicality, efficient engines
Cons: Premium pricing, styling not for everyone, rival infotainment
The new tenth generation Honda Civic hatchback landed in Irish showrooms last year, followed swiftly by the new four-door saloon version. The Civic saloon offers the same new technology and punchy engines as the Civic hatchback, with added practicality inside and revised exterior styling. We spent a week driving the new Civic saloon on Irish roads, to see what it is like to live with and how it compares to rival models such as the Opel Astra Saloon, Hyundai’s i30 Fastback and many more.
What is it like?
The Civic saloon’s styling is more conventional than the hatchback with a sloping roofline and redesigned rear bumpers. Visually, the saloon has more road presence than the hatchback, although there isn’t much of a difference in terms of outright size. In standard Smart Plus specification, the Civic is equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels and front fog lights, while there are seven different colour combinations to choose from including the vibrant Rallye Red option pictured here.
Stepping inside, the Civic saloon is virtually identical to the hatchback, except for added space in the boot (519 litres rather than 478 litres). It offers lots of space for passengers in the front and rear seats, and the driving position is comfortable with a wide range of steering wheel and seat adjustment . As standard, the Civic saloon is equipped with Honda ’s seven-inch Connect touch screen system, which also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for easily connecting a smartphone. The infotainment system isn’t as easy to use as those offered in rival models, but it is a good standard offering.
The Civic saloon is available with a 1.0-litre VTEC turbocharged petrol engine or a 1.6-litre i-DTEC turbocharged diesel. The 1.5-litre petrol that we tested in the hatchback last year isn’t currently available in the saloon however. We drove the 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel model and it offers an excellent mix of performance and economy; with 118bhp it can sprint from 0-100km/h in around 10 seconds. Running costs are low with annual motor tax listed at €190 and we averaged 5.4l/100km in fuel economy during the test. Both engines are available with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic, and the six-speed manual gearbox offers swift and precise changes.
Out on the road, the Civic saloon is engaging to drive with well-weighted steering and impressive road holding. Compared to its rivals, the Civic offers superior road feel and it's rewarding to drive on tight and twisty back roads. The Civic is smooth and comfortable for the most part, though it has a stiff suspension setup which shows on bumpy road surfaces. As standard it is equipped with Honda ’s Sensing safety system which includes various technologies such as Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control and Traffic Sign Recognition.
Prices for the new Honda Civic Saloon start from €27,750 in Ireland for the entry specification 1.0-litre VTEC Turbo Smart Plus. As standard, the Smart Plus model is equipped with a leather steering wheel and gear knob, alloy wheels, climate control, rain sensing wipers, electric mirrors, front and rear parking sensors and Honda ’s Connect system with satellite navigation. Premium specification (from €31,650) adds a sunroof, heated front seats, keyless entry and start, an upgraded 10 speaker audio system, blind spot monitoring, lumbar seat adjustment, leather upholstery and lots more.
Carzone verdict: 4/5
The Civic saloon adds more versatility and practicality to the Civic range, with more boot space and a superb range of turbocharged petrol and diesel powerplants. It’s great to drive, while being economical and cost effective. Standard equipment is strong with lots of Honda ’s latest safety technology featured as standard. The Civic Saloon demands a premium price tag in the class however, and the infotainment isn’t as impressive as rival offerings. That said, the Civic Saloon shoots straight to a high ranking position in its class.
Test Car Details:
Prices from: €27,750
Price as tested: €32,950 (excluding options)
Annual Road Tax: €180
Engine: 1597cc four-cylinder turbocharged diesel
Top Speed: 207 km/h
0-100km/h: 10 seconds
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Body style: Saloon
Boot Space: 519 litre