Civic e:HEV Advance
youre a best of both worlds
of person, when it comes to
your car a hybrid will be at the top
of your list especially a self-
charging one that makes all its
AT A TIME when many drivers are beginning to step back and take a long
hard look at all-electric vehicles, a hybrid is still a no-brainer, blending,
as it does, the best of ICE (FYI: Internal Combustion Engine) tech with the
benefits of electrification and, into the bargain, giving drivers what they
want with a guarantee of absolutely no range anxiety.
A practical five-door family-friendly hatchback, the coupe-styled all-new
Honda Civic comes in a single powertrain spec that partners a 2.0-litre naturally
aspirated petrol engine with a twin electric motor setup (one generator and
one drive motor) similar to that already in service with its excellent CR-V
SUV. The four-cylinder direct-injection twin-overhead cam engine is good for
141bhp and 137lb ft while the main drive motor contributes 181bhp and 232lb
ft. Power, as is the norm today, is put down through the front wheels.
your Civic is as easy as ABC… Actually, it's easier because there's only the
one drivetrain. But you do get to select from three trim specs (Elegance, Sport,
and Advance). For the record, all three versions deliver the same performance:
112mph and 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds.
new Civic looks long and sleek and you expect it to be airy and spacious inside.
Swing open the driver's door and drop into the sporty seat and space
plenty of it is exactly what you'll find. The low-mounted seats are extremely
and instantly comfortable, hugging you securely but lightly enough not to impede
entry or exit manoeuvres.
pull-aways are slick and
silent using electric
whenever strong urge is
needed, it fires up the
What all this adds up to
in fuel economy terms
is an official combined
figure of 56.5mpg.
Impressively, and without
any attempt to drive
averaged 55.7mpg during
our road-test week...
And there's a good range of electric adjustment (8-way driver; 4-way passenger)
as well as powered lumbar for both front seats that, combined with very good
headroom (a full fist of it even with the driver's seat electrically raised),
decent shoulder and elbow room, and height-adjustable seatbelts. So just about
everyone who travels in the Civic can set their ideal seating position.
Helped by relatively narrow screen pillars, visibility from behind the multifunction,
sporty, flat-bottomed wheel is excellent; even over-the-shoulder-views are good.
The Civic's low waistline and deep windows mean views out in all directions,
from any of the seats, are pretty much unhindered. Adding to the spacious feel
on range-topping Advance models is a sizeable, two-panel glass roof the
powered larger front section of which tilts/slides and it comes with a one-shot-op
powered 'blackout' sunblind.
The cabin is smartly designed, meticulously put together, and very pleasant
to spend time in with plenty of appreciated features such as the single
strip air vent running across the dash that directs the cooled or heated air
flow without any disturbing turbulence. The trim materials all look and feel
good, the instrumentation and screen graphics are all crisp and clear and inform
without any distractions, while the wheel's multifunction controls and the voice
commands make for safer driving. Boosting the soothing ambiance is an inner
calm, courtesy of some very effective sound insulation this new hybrid-powertrain
Civic is a agreeably quiet car; especially so when covering long mileages. All-in-all,
this cabin is exactly what you might expect to find in a far more expensive
The comms provide all the essential connectivity via the large central touchscreen,
aided by easy and intuitive menus for both infotainment and navigation (with
3D mapping). Plus the digital input keyboard is first-rate. More good news:
the dual-zone climate system is operated by a separate panel of dials and switches
that all work with slick efficiency.
Wireless charging for your smartphone is also standard (and takes place in the
bed immediately ahead of the drive selector panel) as too are wireless Apple
CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth hands-free phone op, DAB digital radio, premium
audio with 12 Bose speakers, a rearview camera, and eCall 'SOS' buttons in the
roof console. Ahead of the driver is a 10.2-inch hi-def digital instrument panel
that can show as much, or as little, driving info as you wish.
that too many new cars seems to fall down on is in-cabin storage but
not the Civic, which provides plenty of it including a large cubby with a removeable
upper tray beneath the wide armrest between the front seats, full-size dual-use
siamesed cupholders, a spacious tray at the base of the centre stack served
by two USB ports (one charging) and a 12V socket, door bins commodious enough
to hold a full-size wine bottle (and deep enough for other stuff too), a drop-down
overhead glasses case, and a real-world glovebox.
for the range-topping Advance trim and you'll get all the kit you can handle.
In addition to the comms stuff already mentioned you get keyless entry and Start,
synthetic black leather upholstery, three-stage heated front seats, heated steering
wheel rim, two-zone automatic climate control, reversing camera supported by
front and rear parking sensors, panoramic glass roof, tinted front and side
glass plus rear privacy glass, powerfolding heated door mirrors (on demand and
automatically when leaving), four one-shot power windows, auto-dimming rearview
mirror, electric parking brake with autohold function, ally pedals, and a set
of 18-inch two-tone black and diamond-cut alloy wheels.
can push this
hybrid through the twisty
bits and raise a grin as
it sticks to your chosen
line. Also coming in
handy is Hondas
Winding Road Detection
feature which ensures
petrol engine operation
is maintained whilst
cornering on winding
roads, thereby reducing
lag on acceleration.
Or you can use the
paddles on the steering
wheel for effective
engine braking to
maintain the sweet spot
of the Civics
you punt it through...
Safety is seriously well specced too with Honda's comprehensive 'Sensing' features
that include eleven airbags along with a Collision Mitigation Braking System
that's vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist aware, Road Departure Mitigation System,
Intelligent Speed Limiter (automatically sets the speed limit as detected by
the Traffic Sign Recognition System), Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed
Following (maintains a constant speed and a set following interval behind the
vehicle in front; if needed it will also decelerate and stop the car autonomously),
and Traffic Jam Assist (this reduces the driver's workload in low-speed, congested
traffic by steering to keep the vehicle in its lane).
Plus there are also adaptive LED headlights, automatic dip/main beam-switching,
a headlight wash/wipe system, auto lights and wipes, LED daytime running lights,
LED front fogs, LED rear lights, Blind Spot Information, Cross Traffic Monitoring,
Vehicle Stability Assist, tyre deflation warning, and Hill Start Assist.
Those travelling in the Civic's back seats have it made courtesy of this latest
version's longer wheelbase that guarantees plenty of room for feet, knees, legs,
and heads for two adults sharing the wide back cabin; and, like the front, the
also rear welcomes six-footers. Note that three side-by-side is equally easily
there's plenty of features to make your passengers feel right at home, from
comfy backrest angles and a well-padded drop-down centre armrest with twin built-in
cupholders, commodious front seatback pouches, two charging USB ports, central
climate system air vents, and deep bottle-holding door bins. To that you can
also add fine views out through the long side windows and an airy interior vibe
courtesy of the glass roof's rearmost section extending back above the rear
Civic's stiffer new platform is good news both for the handling and the ride.
Combined with assured damping, it enables the Civic to keep its cool over all
tarmac and even sleeping policemen (and let's face it, these days there's a
lot of them about!). And that's despite rolling on 18-inch alloys shod with
sporty 235/40 Michelin rubber. Not that the nicely pliant ride penalises the
roadholding abilities in any way this latest Civic can assuredly walk
the walk and drives beautifully just about everywhere you take it, from back
roads to city centre blacktop. It also aces motorways where its quiet and refined
character shrinks 250-mile journeys to a stroll in the park.
to a wider track at the rear, a stance that puts it closer to the road and a
lower centre of gravity, plus some positive tweaks to the MacPherson-strut front
and independent wishbone rear suspension set-up this new generation Civic feels
sharper, grippier, and sportier. Body control is well managed and the well-weighted
steering reassuringly accurate, and although this Civic's mission statement
is principally 'competent family hatchback', at the same time it serves up a
strong performance feel that beguilingly whispers 'drive me'.
yes, you can push it through the twisty bits and raise a grin as it sticks to
your chosen line. Also coming in handy is Honda's 'Winding Road Detection' feature
which ensures petrol engine operation is maintained whilst cornering on winding
roads, thereby reducing lag on acceleration. Or you can use the regenerative
braking-deceleration control paddles on the steering wheel for effective 'engine
braking' to maintain the sweet spot of the Civic's rhythm as you punt it through.
4.55 metres nose to
tail, the Civic hybrid
provides plenty of
passenger space yet still
manages to include an
easily accessed 409 litres
of boot capacity with the
rear seats in use.
Fold down both the
and youll free up a 1,187-
litre loadbay with a level
and seamless floor.
Need the rear seats for
No problem: you can
carry 65kg on the roof or
tow a braked 750kg...
The brakes are confident and dependable; the stopping all the way down
to a complete halt is nicely modulated which is doubly impressive given
their dual-function duties (battery regenerative and regular friction) which
in some EVs and hybrids can be rather snatchy. Not so in the Civic in which
everything comes together very harmoniously.
And that includes the well-regulated power delivery; press the pedal hard and
you'll see 0-62mph done and dusted in a fluent but nonetheless lively 8.1 seconds.
As is the norm these days, driver-selectable drive programs are available at
the flick of a switch the Civic offers four: Normal (automatic switching
between powertrain modes to achieve the most effective balance of efficiency
with performance); Sport, which as its name promises, palpably sharpens up the
performance; Eco, to maximise economy; and Individual to tailor the drivetrain
and steering to suit your personal preferences. Incidentally, P, R, N, and D
are selected via the foolproof individual pushbuttons on the centre console.
Civic's hybrid powertrain delivers the power in one of three ways. First, there's
Hybrid mode, where the electrical generator directly powers the main electric
motor; next is EV, where the main electric motor takes its power from the battery,
temporarily making the Civic a pure electric vehicle; and lastly there's Engine
Drive while the system's electronic 'brain' chooses to use electricity
whenever it can, the petrol engine contributes during high demand / high speed
situations which is why you'll find effective reserves of power when cruising
In everyday driving, pull-aways are slick and silent using electric power; thereafter,
whenever strong urge is needed, it fires up the petrol engine. What all this
adds up to in fuel economy terms is an official combined figure of 56.5mpg.
Impressively, and without any attempt to drive economically, we averaged 55.7mpg
during our road-test week.
At 4.55 metres nose to tail, the Civic hybrid provides plenty of passenger space
yet still manages to include an easily accessed 404 litres of boot capacity
with the rear seats in use (plus there's a handy 5-litre underfloor luggage
box). Fold down both the 60:40-split backrests and you'll free up a 1,187-litre
loadbay (814 litres if you only load to the window line) with a level and seamless
floor. If the rear seats are needed for passenger duty you can carry 65kg on
the roof or tow a braked 750kg.
As important as the new Honda Civic hybrid's green credentials are, its refined
character, uber-practical hatchback usability, and genuinely good real-world
economy are all equally critical 'box-tickers' for potential owners. Good looking
and so refined, and very much more than the sum of its parts, this very nice
to drive and very nice to look at, built-in-Japan hybrid hatchback makes a genuine
and refreshing alternative to any of its pan-European rivals. ~ MotorBar
Honda Civic e:HEV Advance
Top speed: 112mph | 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds | Test Average: 55.7mpg |
Power: 181bhp motor/141bhp engine | Torque: 232lb ft motor/137lb ft