While Honda’s Civic Tourer is one of the most compact estate cars available, it packs an impressive punch. Not least from its 1.6-litre diesel engine, but also from its useable load space.
Those clever bods at Honda have given the C-segment’s smallest estate car the biggest boot volume in the sector. By putting the fuel tank in the centre of the car, beneath the front seats, the Civic realises a lot of extra internal space.
Honda’s ‘magic seats’ format delivers practicality and space – the rear seat assembly folds down in one movement, and the load floor has been raised to create a completely flat area when the seats are folded down.
Rear seat cushions can also be flipped up to reveal floor space for carrying taller objects.
And it gets better. An under floor compartment in the rear, with two-position lid means this compartment can accommodate two flight cases with the lid up, or with the lid in its lowest position, objects as tall as one metre can be accommodated.
Laid bare, the Civic Tourer offers 1,668 litres of load space. And it feels roomy when sat behind the wheel. A slim central tunnel and sculptured door cards give plenty of room for those with long legs – it is easy to keep your right knee away from the pod carrying the electric window switches.
Despite only offering 120hp, the 1.6 diesel is something of a peach.
It feels much more alive than the on-paper figures suggest, and a strong helping of torque does wonders to keep the Civic moving briskly along – more so when loaded to the gunwhales.
Having a large rev counter that is easy to see through the steering wheel, with a digital speedo display in the top part of the dash, makes it easy to see what is going on.
While I struggled to get anywhere near the claimed 72mpg, figures in the high 50s and low 60s were easy to achieve. Though a lazy cruise control no doubt helped, by slowly winding on the power every time I flicked ‘resume’.
But it is not all good for the Civic Tourer. The cabin is littered with buttons and the steering wheel is cluttered with a myriad of functions. Rearward visibility is poor too.
This aside, Honda’s enviable reputation for reliability means the Civic Tourer is unlikely to go wrong.