Did someone tell you diesel was dead? Well Honda Ireland certainly doesn’t think so. The brand cheekily launched their new Honda Civic Diesel to the media earlier in 2018 with the tagline ‘Never Say (Die)sel’. And after recently driving the new Honda Civic Diesel myself, I can say that it’s no surprise that Honda are confident that this car has plenty more mileage left in it!
In 2017 Honda launched the new tenth generation Civic to widespread acclaim, with the car collecting the 2018 Irish Compact Car of the Year Award. The new Civic was launched with two new petrol engines: Civic 1.0-litre and Civic 1.5-litre, which are good engines, but we were promised a diesel in 2018. Now it’s here.
Does the Honda Civic Diesel make a good family hatchback?
The Honda Civic does a lot of things right. Honda has toned down the styling to make it more palatable but it’s still very sporty and avant-garde for the compact segment. The Civic is genuinely spacious inside and buyers get a lot of ‘bang for their buck’: the boot is 478 litres, one of the biggest in the class, and the rear foot wells are large also. Up front it feels like a larger car too when compared to many rivals.
Inside new Civic, Honda has toned down the confusing dash layout and screens of the previous model, instead opting for a more ordinary and conventional appearance. It’s all the better for it. The material quality and build is very good, though a Volkswagen Golf is more premium feeling.
In Ireland the Civic range kicks off at €23,750 for a 1.0-litre petrol, while the Civic Diesel range kicks off at €25,550. Standard equipment includes 16” alloys, Bluetooth, parking sensors, and automatic air conditioning. Impressively, the Honda Sensing suite of safety equipment comes as standard including traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning and collision mitigation braking system.
My test car was a 1.6 i-DTEC Smart Plus retailing at €27,950. It’s not the cheap option for sure but there’s more equipment including 17″ alloys, Honda Connect infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual zone climate control, rear parking camera, privacy glass, fog lights, driver lumbar support, auto wipers and leather steering wheel.
What’s the new Honda Civic Diesel like to drive?
The Honda Civic Diesel is also one of the best diesel hatchbacks to drive and very efficient. Over a few days of driving my fuel consumption was 5.3 litres per 100km and motor tax is just €180 per year. The diesel engine suits the Civic perfectly: there is great flexibility in the engine allowing for very smooth driving, while it has plenty of power to make the most of the Civic’s agile handling and sporty steering. The Civic Diesel is refined on the move and not at all laboursome to drive, even with a 6-speed manual gearbox. A new 9-speed automatic is coming for the Civic Diesel this summer.
The new Honda Civic Diesel is not the cheapest diesel family hatchback you can buy, but on the whole in terms of space, equipment and safety features, it is good value. This is a fuel sipping hatchback that’s also great fun to drive. The Honda Civic Diesel has miles more life in it. It’s a fantastic diesel hatchback.
Model tested: Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC Smart Plus
Price: €27,950 (Range from €23,750)
Engine: 1.6-litre turbo diesel
0-100km/h: 10.1 seconds
Top speed: 201km/h
Claimed Economy: 3.5l/100km
CO2 emissions: 93g/km
Motor tax: €180 per year