Civic Tourer 1.8 i-VTEC SR
in Swindon, the latest Civic
Tourer is another slice of pure Honda
that will appeal to both diesel
and petrol fans; the 118bhp 1.6-litre
turbodiesel comes with an alluring
Earth Dreams Technology
the 1.8 petrol makes do with
some extra brake horse power to
appeal to more racy drivers...
CASE YOU'RE TEMPTED to switch fuel allegiance, the 1.6 i-DTEC diesel sweetens
the deal with up to 74.3mpg (officially) in the combined cycle while emitting
99g/km of CO2. Against that the petrol-powered 1.8 i-VTEC officially averages
44.1mpg with emissions of 149g/km.
This past week we've been behind the wheel of the six-speed manual 1.8 i-VTEC
petrol version which, unlike the diesel, does also offer the option of an auto
if you're a less hands-on driver. In penultimate SR spec the 1.8 comes in at
£24,355 roughly mid-way cost-wise in a line-up that's priced between
£20,265 and £27,460.
Honda's load-maximising 'Magic' seats appear in all new Civics, both Hatchback
and Tourer, the new Adaptive Damper System offering Dynamic, Normal
and Comfort modes is standard-fit only on Tourer models and then
only on the SR and range-topping EX. It is also a £500 option on the SE Plus
although is not available on the entry-level S.
maximising Magic seats
appear in all
new Civics, both
Hatchback and Tourer,
the new Adaptive Damper System with Dynamic,
Normal and Comfort
modes is only available
on the Tourer...
Externally the Civic Tourer has real presence its long, streamlined,
hunkered-down profile is reminiscent of one of Japan's famous 'bullet' trains
and speaks subtly of technology happily married to utility; fronting it is a
thrusting nose with a clean, steeply raked bonnet that wouldn't be amiss on
a sportscar. Distinctively sculpted rear haunches flow into a practical yet
So, who's most likely to be driving this audacious new breed of Civic Tourer?
Given its reputation and practical nature, plus luggage and load space that
can match and even beat that of larger estates in the size class above the Civic's
'compact' slot, downsizers with a taste for quality will number strongly among
the families also keen to harness its all-singing and all-dancing versatility.
At almost nine inches longer than the equally-new five-door Civic Hatchback,
with which the Tourer shares its wheelbase, the estate has fully exploited the
extra inches with an enormous and class-leading 624-litre boot. That's with
the 60:40-split rear seats up; fold them flat and you'll understand why its
seat system is called 'Magic' as before your eyes the boot magically transforms
into a 1,668-litre cargo hold.
The resulting lengthy floor is all of a piece with no seams for cargo to snag
on. Better still, and not always the case today, the Tourer's cargo bay has
a totally flat floor. It's also accessed via a large opening; and the tailgate
rises high so you can stand right up close when handling heavier cargo or cases.
Look closer and you'll find a large and deep underfloor storage compartment
(with a self-supporting lid) beneath the boot floor. A particularly thoughtful
touch for a nation of dog-lovers is the provision of an easy-clean carpet. Adding
to the Tourer's uncomplicated usability, the smooth-working roller blind has
a clean locking action and a light finger-tap on its end flap releases it at
main cabin certainly doesn't disappoint. It's cosseting but at the same time
roomy with a fist of headroom; well-cushioned and well-shaped front seats are
separated by a padded centre armrest. The 'curvy' fascia creates a distinct
driver's space delineated by the slightly raised and conveniently close-to-hand
instruments are arranged in two easily viewed sections; the main three analogue
dials, each in its own nacelle, cover engine coolant temperature, revs, and
fuel, with pride of place in the centre given to a rev-counter red-lined at
main cabin certainly
Its cosseting but at the
same time roomy,
with a fist of headroom;
seats are well-cushioned
and the fascia creates a
distinct drivers area
delineated by the slightly
raised and conveniently
Immediately above it runs a wide display strip showing a range of driver information
(all quickly scrolled through via a fingertip press on the remote button) alongside
a large digital speed readout.
The meaty all-black, three-spoke multifunction (cruise, voice, phone, etc) wheel
is leather-wrapped, good to grip and reflection-free. In line with the main
dials and set in the middle of the fascia is a touchscreen for the infotainment
system; navigation is foolproof with speedy full postcode destination entry,
and the sharp mapping is backed-up by unambiguous countdown graphics and in-good-time
warnings of upcoming direction changes.
The climate control is very efficient, as too is the seat heating (two-stage),
the handbrake is the traditional pull-up kind that many drivers still prefer,
and there are plenty of storage spaces for personal items along with good-sized,
bottle-holding door bins. Adding to the Tourer's ease of use is a rear-view
camera supported by front and rear parking sensors, height-adjustable seatbelts
and a decent left foot rest for longer trips 'in the cruise'.
Entry and exit to and from the rear cabin is unhindered and while visually the
Tourer's passenger space is the same as the hatchback's, it does provide a tad
more headroom for those travelling in the back seats. In addition there's good
foot, knee and leg room and a nicely padded centre armrest to keep two apart
in a very civilised manner.
A third in the middle is doable but that denies the outer two passengers somewhere
to park their coffee cups as the cupholders are built into the armrest. Despite
the privacy glass fitted from the B-pillars back, the rear passenger compartment
is pleasantly airy thanks to a pair of third rear side windows.
with the back seats occupied there's loads of extra storage under the rear seats
across the full width of the body. And yet another storage surprise
lift the Tourer's rear seat and the base folds up against the seatback where
it can easily be locked in place, making available a massive self-contained
load compartment that runs right across the rear cabin and from floor-to-ceiling.
the new Tourer is 'good to go'. And go quickly. The electronic power steering
has been sharpened and offers improved weighting, and the stiffer bodyshell
delivers crisper handling. Building
on that, the new Adaptive Damper System automatically adjusts the rear suspension
to improve stability and ride comfort under varying load and driving conditions
the driver can select Dynamic, Normal or Comfort, the better to
match his or her driving mood, the road conditions or the load.
you'd want in an estate carrying sometimes heavy loads, the brakes are strong
with hefty vented front discs that help scrub of speed in a reassuringly controlled
Tourer is good to go.
And go quickly.
The steering has better
weighting and the stiffer
Plus the driver can select
from Dynamic, Normal
or Comfort modes,
the better to match his or
her driving mood,
the road conditions
or the load...
Overall the Tourer is easy and pleasant to drive this is a car
you can jump into day or night, sun or storm, and just drive, confident in its
ability to get you there come what may.
The petrol-drinking 1.8-litre is a high-revver and likes to be worked
and it's not afraid of hard work! Top speed is close to double the UK's legal
limit with the more useful off-the-line to 62mph sorted in 9.6 seconds.
A quick-changing six-speed manual 'box lets you make the most of its 140bhp.
In real-world driving we recorded 39.8mpg comfortably close enough
to the official 44.1mpg to indicate that more laid-back drivers should regularly
find themselves in mid-40s territory.
Honda don't stint on equipment and the SR spec includes just about everything
you'll want or need: SD-based SatNav with DVD player, CD tuner with DAB radio,
cruise control with speed limiter, dual-zone climate control, front and rear
parking sensors, rear-view camera, Active Damper System, Bluetooth hands-free,
a multifunction leather-rimmed steering wheel, voice activation, electric windows,
heated powerfold (on demand and on locking) door mirrors, auto-dim driver's
mirror, drive-away automatic door locking, Magic seats, Hill Start Assist, auto
lights and wipes, ambient interior lighting, alloy foot pedal set, cargo net,
a stainless steel rear loading edge cover, and alloy wheels.
can also be ticked for Driver Assistance Safety Packs that include Adaptive
Cruise along with various pro-active driver aids that monitor lane changes,
watch your blind spots, and recognise and display traffic signs as well as warn
of stationary traffic up ahead and brake for you if you ignore the warnings
and a collision is imminent.
With its huge, multi-configurable load space and multi-mode adaptive damping
that benefits both ride and handling, the sporting-looking Civic Tourer is a
particularly appealing package and all the better for that 'H' on its grille.
Honda Civic Tourer 1.8 i-VTEC SR
Maximum speed: 130mph | 0-62mph: 9.6 seconds | Test Average: 39.8mpg
Power: 140bhp | Torque: 128lb ft | CO2 149g/km