The Honda Civic Hatchback is available from €24,250
The Honda Civic Hatchback is available from €24,250

If you are interested in finding out more about the Honda Civic 2020 range, check out our Irish road test review of this Civic Diesel model. In 2020 Honda revamped the popular Civic with some exterior styling enhancements and improvements to the infotainment system and materials used in the cabin.

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 in 2018 with the tagline ‘Never Say (Die)sel’. And after driving the new Honda Civic Diesel, 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 Continental Tyres 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 at a later date. Civic Diesel has now been on sale in Ireland since 2018.

The Honda Civic Saloon joined the range in 2018 boasting an even more elegant design, large boot and comfortable cabin. The brand also sells the raucous Honda Civic Type R in Ireland with an inspiring 320 hp.

Manual and CVT automatic gearboxes are available, while Honda has since added the option of a 9-speed dual clutch automatic transmission to the diesel range.

The interior of the Honda Civic Diesel
The interior of the Honda Civic Diesel

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 avantgarde 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 they have opted 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.

Pricing and equipment for new Civic

In Ireland the Civic range kicks off at €24,250 for a 1.0-litre petrol hatchback, while the Civic Diesel range kicks off at €26,425. The Saloon is pitched higher in the range, with pricing starting from €27,385. 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.

The Honda Civic has been lightly updated for 2020
The Honda Civic has been lightly updated for 2020

My test car was a 1.6 i-DTEC Smart Plus hatchback retailing at €28,895. 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 100 km 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.

At Changing Lanes we have been a fan of the new Civic since we first drove it at the European press launch in February 2017. Since then we’ve been able to sample a variety of models across the Civic range. This compact car always impresses for its strong build and quality, and fun to drive qualities. Yet put a diesel in it, and you have one of the best iterations of this car yet. The Civic’s sporty looks are not for everyone but don’t let it put you off. This is still one of the best hatchbacks on the market.

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.

The new Honda Civic Saloon
The new Honda Civic Saloon

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC Smart Plus
€28,895 (Range from €24,250)
Engine: 1.6-litre turbo diesel
Torque: 300Nm
10.1 seconds
Top speed: 201km/h
Claimed Economy: 
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax: 
€180 per year