The Honda Civic has always been one of the best hatchbacks on the market, so when Honda set about building the latest 9th generation model, one might expect the company to effortlessly build on its past experience and deliver a model that is damn near perfect. But if one made this assumption one would be wrong.
It's a brilliant car, don't get us wrong, but it's littered with foibles at almost every corner that threaten to spoil its brilliance. In our video review, we highlight every aspect of its awesomeness, but waste no time in showing where Honda went about its business in the wrong way.
Take the Civic's aesthetic design for example. It's not an ugly car, but it's nowhere near as pretty as its gorgeous predecessor. Now, it cuts through the air with the greatest of ease, but has a face only a mother wouldn't think twice about taking a scalpel to. The rear end, arguably its best physical feature, is a thing of beauty, however the split rear tailgate damn near ruins rear visibility. And then there's the steering wheel, which physically obstructs your view of the speedometer. It gives you a reason to break the speed limit, we suppose, but knowing how fast you're going is occasionally quite useful.
Thankfully, the Honda Civic still has lots going for it. It has class-leading quantities of luggage space thanks to a huge boot, lots of room for odds and ends and rear seats that fold up or down to accommodate awkward loads. The front of the cabin is comfortable and well appointed with clear controls and a fantastic driving position.
Best of all, it drives superbly. Throw the Civic into a corner and it stays flat, encouraging you to push harder. It even pulls well, provided you opt for the 2.2-litre diesel model, and cruises effortlessly on long journeys.
On the whole, it's a fantastic piece of engineering that makes you wonder just how good it could have been if Honda would only iron out its ideosyncrasies. Check out the video below to see what we mean.