October 21, 2014

Honda Civic Tourer review

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2013_honda_civic_tourer_wagon_concept_05-0306It’s strange, really. Many car manufacturers release estate versions of their cars; Volkswagen with the Golf, Hyundai with the i30, Seat with the Ibiza; yet few can master the art of balance. You see, what each of those estate cars have in common is that they’re really, really ugly, in a twisted and uninspiring kind of way. Yet, one car manufacturer can get that balance right, and that manufacturer is Honda.

Now don’t get me wrong – the Honda Civic is no gorgeous machine. It stands out from the crowd with its slender design, but it’s only as good looking as the Golf or i30, not better. So why is it that the Honda Civic Tourer makes the Volkswagen Golf Estate look, to be frank, like a steaming pile of rubbish?

I think it’s because the Civic was born to be a Tourer. The lengthened wheelbase suits the curves of the car and the wraparound tail lights and sweeping roof line make this car stand out more than the standard Honda Civic. It has more purpose, more mojo, and when it boils down to what makes a car a good car, the Tourer ticks all of the boxes.

Huge boot? Check – the Civic Tourer has a 624-litre boot and a further 117-litres under the tonneau cover. Efficiency? Check – the Civic Tourer is available with a 188 bhp 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine that will return 72.4 miles per gallon with a CO2 rating of 99 g/km. Equipment and tech? Check – the Civic Tourer has a long list of standard equipment and a generous array of optional extras.

My pick of the range if the Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC SE Plus, which has an on-the-road price of £22,960. This car comes extremely well equipped with dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, DAB radio, Bluetooth, automatic wipers, power folding mirrors and alloy wheels. Available from Honda Civic Doncaster from Vertu Honda, this model of the Tourer is exceptional value for money.

I recommend the diesel over the petrol, too. The 1.8-litre petrol engine might be quicker on paper, but in-gear it’s lethargic compared to the diesel and it’s nowhere near as efficient. The diesel engine of course costs more to buy, but it offers a more rewarding and relaxing driving experience, along with some serious torque – 221 lb /ft to be exact, versus the paltry 128 lb /ft of the petrol.

Interior quality is pretty decent too. This is no Golf, but the Civic Tourer has lots of space inside, a generous amount of  cubby holes and cup holders, and all switchgear and controls have a nice weight to them. At no point does the Civic Tourer feel worse to be in than a Volkswagen Golf Estate.

Overall

The Honda Civic Tourer is an excellent family car. Honda used cars (click here) offer great value for money, but if you are going to be buying new, seriously consider the Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC SE Plus which comes well equipped at a reasonable price.


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