changing lanes

2019 Honda CR-V Hybrid First Drive Review

The new Honda CR-V Hybrid pictured at Barberstown Castle, Straffan
The new Honda CR-V Hybrid pictured at Barberstown Castle, Straffan

Honda Ireland has just welcomed the new Honda CR-V Hybrid to Ireland. It joins the all-new Honda CR-V 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo (petrol) that arrived in Ireland in 2018. The 2019 Honda CR-V Hybrid is the first Honda SUV to be available as a hybrid in Europe and the car uses a 2.0-litre petrol electric powertrain. Caroline went to the Irish launch in County Kildare to test drive the new CR-V Hybrid.

Styling

The Honda CR-V Hybrid has considerable stature and road presence. The evolution between the styling of this new model and the previous generation has been quite gentle, but there are broader and more muscular wheel arches, sharper contours on the bonnet and rear quarters, as well as the latest Honda headlight signature. LED lights and 18” alloy wheels come as standard. There are eight exterior colours to choose from including Rallye Red, Crystal Black and Lunar Silver.

Interior

The Honda CR-V has a fabulous build quality and the interior is immaculately finished with plenty of soft touch materials, metallic trim and wood-effect inserts in the dashboard and doors. On all but the entry model, there is a stylish looking 7” touchscreen set in the dash with the Honda Connect infotainment system.

Practicality

This is a large vehicle, with plenty of interior space and a 497 litre boot. Honda has increased the wheelbase to eke out more passenger space. The 2019 Honda CR-V Hybrid is available with five seats only, though the 1.5-litre petrol models do come with an optional seven seats.

The interior of the new Honda CR-V Hybrid
The interior of the 2019 Honda CR-V Hybrid

Engines

The 2019 Honda CR-V Hybrid uses a 2.0-litre petrol electric hybrid powertrain with 184hp and 175Nm of torque available in both the front wheel drive and four wheel drive model. The CR-V Hybrid puts its power to the road using a CVT automatic gearbox. The manufacturer quotes fuel consumption for the front wheel drive model at 5.3l/100km and C02 emissions at just 120g.

On the road

The Honda CR-V Hybrid is one of the most aerodynamic cars in its class and features Honda’s Active Shutter Grille system to improve fuel efficiency. The hybrid system is operated via buttons rather than a traditional gear lever – Drive, Park, Neutral and Reverse. There is also a Sport mode button for a more responsive throttle input. A short range EV mode can be selected when in town and it gives about 2km of pure EV range, depending on battery charge and driving conditions.

I took the Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD for a short test drive around Kildare. The CR-V Hybrid is quiet and smooth on the move with a natural feeling hybrid drive and CVT gearbox. The CR-V Hybrid is more stoic than sporty in the handling department but it’s a competent drive for the five seat SUV, with good comfort and refinement, a must for this type of vehicle. Fuel consumption on my 30 minute test drive averaged at about 6.7l/100km.

Equipment

Honda Ireland is selling the new CR-V Hybrid in four grades: Comfort, Lifestyle, Elegance and Executive. Standard equipment includes 18” alloys, keyless entry and start, emergency call, Honda Sensing suite of safety equipment including adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist system, driver lumbar support, climate control, and LED headlights. Lifestyle models add equipment including rain sensing wipers, electrically folding side mirrors, leather steering wheel, dual automatic climate control, front and rear parking sensors, rear view camera and Honda Connect with 7” touchscreen. The Elegance model has leather upholstery, front heated seats, active cornering lights and ambient lighting. The Executive model has an opening panoramic glass roof, head-up display, heated steering wheel, electric tailgate and rear heated seats.

The new Honda CR-V Hybrid is a spacious five seat SUV
The new Honda CR-V Hybrid is a spacious five seat SUV

Pricing

Comfort is available from €38,000, Lifestyle from €40,500, Elegance from €43,500 and Executive from €49,500. Prices quoted here are for FWD models including grants reductions for hybrids, with AWD cars available from €43,500.

Rivals

The new Honda CR-V Hybrid has a direct rival in the recently launched Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Indirect rivals include other large SUVs like the Hyundai Santa Fe, Skoda Kodiaq and Nissan X-Trail.

Verdict

The 2019 Honda CR-V Hybrid starts off well with this new generation off CR-V sporting a terrific build, top interior quality and spacious interior. The hybrid powertrain is new for the CR-V but appears to be quite a natural fit with good refinement. I look forward to taking the CR-V Hybrid for a longer test drive later in the year to test how efficient it is over a week of driving!

Caroline Kidd

The new Honda CR-V Hybrid is available in Ireland from €38,000
The new Honda CR-V Hybrid is available in Ireland from €38,000

Alison Canavan pictured with the new Honda Civic

Alison Canavan Joins Clonskeagh Motors As Honda Ambassador

Alison Canavan pictured with the new Honda Civic
Alison Canavan pictured with the new Honda Civic

Clonskeagh Motors has announced Alison Canavan as their new Honda Brand Ambassador. The model, author and health and wellness coach will be driving a new Honda Civic provided by the dealership.

Speaking as she received the keys to her new Civic, Alison said: “Honda has a special place in my heart as my late father Tom was a proud Honda Dealer, so it means a lot to me to be partnering with such a honoured family dealership like Clonskeagh Motors. Honda's brand reputation for safety and reliability are values I am highly aware of and are so important to me as a mother with a young son”.

Fiona Murphy, Company Director of Clonskeagh Motors said: "For many reasons we are delighted to partner with Alison at this exciting time for Honda. Firstly, the Honda association goes back a long way with the Canavan family and we are pleased that our partnership with Alison rekindles this tradition. Secondly, the Civic has been a very popular family car with Irish buyers for generations and its core strengths of style, reliability and safety are a great fit with the work that Alison does. We look forward to a mutually beneficial collaboration with Alison and some exciting events in our Honda showroom over the coming year."


The new Honda CR-V is now on sale in Ireland

2018 Honda CR-V 1.5 Review

The new Honda CR-V is now on sale in Ireland
The new Honda CR-V is now on sale in Ireland

Caroline drives the 2018 Honda CR-V.

Following on from the arrival of the award-winning Honda Civic in 2017, Honda Ireland has recently welcomed the new Honda CR-V. Honda’s large family SUV first emerged back in the 1990s but with the explosion of SUVs in recent years, it’s just as relevant today as the Civic, if not more.

When this new generation of the car was revealed last year, the Honda CR-V grabbed headlines because Honda confirmed no more diesel for this model in this part of the world - it was to be the first CR-V to be exclusively powered by petrol and for the first time as a petrol electric hybrid.

The CR-V Hybrid will arrive in Ireland in early 2019, but 1.5-litre petrol launch models are already in Honda dealers. A few years ago one might balk at the idea of a petrol engine in a big bruiser like the CR-V, but with Honda’s skill in making great engines and a general shift in public consciousness, this CR-V looks well primed for the future.

What's new with the 2018 Honda CR-V?

Benchmarked against premium-brand products, Honda says that the new CR-V delivers improved ride quality, steering response, body control and refinement. The new CR-V is built on the same platform as the new Honda Civic and the slightly larger exterior proportions, longer wheelbase and wider stance give it a significantly larger interior over its predecessor. There’s also a wider, deeper boot with a longer load bay.

The interior of the 2018 Honda CR-V
The interior of the 2018 Honda CR-V

On the outside the styling has evolved again but the 2018 Honda CR-V retains a familiar silhouette and imposing physical presence. The wheelbase is longer and there are larger wheels and dual exhaust tailpipes for a sporty stance. LED headlamps come as standard and aerodynamics have also been improved using Honda's Active Shutter Grille system.

Inside, it’s immediately apparent that the CR-V has gone upmarket. The quality and build is rock solid but it’s the material quality and design that really elevates the 2018 Honda CR-V. It’s a sleek design with slick features like the screen integrated neatly into the centre stack. A soft touch panel sweeps across the width of the cabin and the wood effect trim is a very nice addition adding some contemporary coolness to the cabin.

Will it make a good family car?

Standard models are five seat but for the first time there is a seven seat option on petrol AWD models (from €40,300). The longer wheelbase means that there is more space inside and the CR-V is definitely one of the more spacious family SUVs of its ilk, with a good wide bench in the rear, large footwells and loads of headroom. In five seat models, there is a boot of 561 litres (472 litres in seven seat models). There are plenty of practical bins and spaces around the cabin to accommodate family life too.

The new Honda CR-V is available with five or seven seats
The new Honda CR-V is available with five or seven seats

The new CR-V is available in four trims in Ireland: Comfort, Lifestyle, Elegance and Executive. Standard equipment includes the Honda Sensing suite of safety features, 17″ alloys, climate control, auto lights, 5″ monitor audio with DAB digital radio and Bluetooth, and automatic high beam. The Lifestyle model on test added Honda Connect with 7″ touchscreen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 18″ alloys, parking sensors and a rear view camera.

Smooth, petrol power for the 2018 Honda CR-V

At launch the Honda CR-V comes to Ireland with a 1.5-litre VTEC turbo petrol engine with 173hp (manual) or 193hp (automatic). In February 2019, a hybrid version will arrive. The 1.5-litre 'Lifestyle' five seat model on test has a list price of €35,500.

The new Honda CR-V has a lighter and more rigid chassis with the wider body stance and longer wheelbase improving stability. On the road the 2018 Honda CR-V is a star performer with great comfort for all on board, while also delivering considerable prowess when the roads get twisty. For a large SUV, it's smooth to drive and neat to manouvre - it's not laboursome to drive, even with a manual gearbox.

The new Honda CR-V goes on sale in Ireland priced from €33,500
The new Honda CR-V goes on sale in Ireland priced from €33,500

The 1.5-litre petrol suits the short hops in and out of town while also settling down for a hushed cruise on the motorway. The engine has plenty of power, though diesel fans will miss the immediate shove of torque from low down in the rev range - the petrol engine builds its speed in a different way. Still it's very pleasant to drive around town.

Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 7.1l/100km, while the CR-V 1.5 qualifies for motor tax of €390 per year.

Would you buy it?

The 2018 Honda CR-V is a formidable family car with a spacious interior and high quality finish that make it highly desirable. While this time the CR-V launches with no diesel option, the 1.5-litre petrol makes particularly good sense for drivers that will spend a lot of time in suburbia. Next year's CR-V Hybrid promises to offer even more efficiency. A seven seat option for the first time should boost the CR-V's fortunes even more.

Caroline Kidd

The Honda CR-V is a formidable family SUV
The Honda CR-V is a formidable family SUV

Model tested: Honda CR-V 1.5 VTEC Turbo Lifestyle
Price: 
€35,500 (Range from €33,500)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo petrol
Power:
173 hp
Torque: 220 Nm
0-100km/h: 
9.2 seconds
Top speed: 210 km/h
Economy: 
6.3l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
143 g/km
Motor tax: 
€390 per year


Katie Taylor with her new Honda Civic

Katie Taylor Announced As New Honda Brand Ambassador

Katie Taylor with her new Honda Civic
Katie Taylor with her new Honda Civic

Katie Taylor has joined the Honda brand as a brand ambassador for Universal Honda Ltd. and Castle Garage Honda in Bray Co. Wicklow.

The Olympic Gold boxing medallist - who is currently the IBF & WBA World Boxing Champion - collected her new Honda Civic hatchback at Marlfield House, Gorey, Co. Wexford at the launch of the new Honda Civic Four Door Sedan.

Speaking of the new partnership, Katie said: “I'm delighted to be partnering with Honda and really looking forward to getting out on the road in the new Civic!"

John Saunders, Director of Sales and Marketing for Universal Honda Ltd., said: “We are absolutely delighted to bring Katie on board as a Honda Ambassador. Katie is one of Ireland's most successful athletes ever. With a record breaking amateur career behind her, including multiple world titles and of course Olympic GOLD, she continues her dominance in the professional world. We are really delighted and honoured to welcome Katie, and we wish her all the very best in her next title defence in October".

Derek Bradshaw, Dealer Principal of Castle Garage Bray Co. Wicklow said: “We at Castle Garage are truly honoured to have this association with Katie, one of Ireland’s all-time great sporting heroes. Not only a phenomenal sportswoman but a fantastic role model too.  The fact that she is also a local Bray girl makes this association very special for us. We really do hope she enjoys driving her new Honda Civic and wish her continued success in the future."


Honda Civic 1.6 diesel i-DTEC

2018 Honda Civic Diesel Arrives In Ireland

Honda Ireland has expanded the Honda Civic range in Ireland with the arrival of a new 1.6-litre diesel engine with 120hp.

The tenth generation Honda Civic launched in Ireland in 2017 with two petrol engines: a 1.0 and 1.5 litre turbo petrol.

The Honda Civic range starts from €23,750 for a 1.0-litre turbo petrol, while the new Civic 1.6-litre diesel goes on sale from €25,550.

Honda has comprehensively revised its 120hp, 300Nm 1.6 litre i-DTEC diesel engine for the all-new Honda Civic range. CO2 emissions (under the updated NEDC test conditions) are from 93g/km when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. Combined fuel economy figures under the updated test conditions are 3.5l/100 km.

The Civic Diesel is available in four trims: Smart (from €25,550), Smart Plus (from €27,950), Premium (from €31,950) and Premium Plus (from €33,450).

Standard equipment includes the Honda Sensing suite of safety equipment, Bluetooth, parking sensors, auto air con and 16" alloys.

Read a review of the Honda Civic 1.0 Turbo or Civic 1.5 Turbo.

Caroline Kidd


Honda Civic 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo review ireland

Honda Civic 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo Review

Honda took a maverick approach to launch their new Honda Civic in early 2017 with just two petrol engines. That’s right no diesel. While a 1.6-litre DTEC diesel is to join the Civic range in Ireland in the spring of 2018, petrol has been the plat du jour in the Civic camp in 2017.

Lucky for Honda that the tide seems to be beginning to turn on diesel and the two engines are good in their own right. While we’ve already reviewed the Honda Civic 1.0-litre VTEC Turbo in detail, the subject of this review is the 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo.

Honda Civic fans seeking more power will find it in the 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo. Power is up from 127hp to 180hp. The 1.5 litre is also a four cylinder unit versus the three cylinder 1.0-litre Honda Civic.

On the road the 1.5-litre feels quick, mature and robust with 0 to 100kmh achieved in 8.2 seconds. The extra cylinder adds refinement and the engine does not need to be revved so much to pick up the pace. The handling is excellent and the steering direct, while the suspension is well damped for Irish roads. Emissions of 133g of CO2 per kilometre place the car in tax band B with motor tax of €280 per year, while this reviewer returned very close to the claimed 49mpg.

On the outside, the Honda Civic is already no shrinking violet with fake vents, spoilers and plenty of aggression in that front grille. The 1.5-litre adds a centrally mounted twin exhaust to the mix, with a black garnish on the front, rear, side sill and around the window frame.

Honda Civic 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo review ireland
The interior of the 2017 Honda Civic

Inside, the Civic’s cabin has matured and gained a more straightforward and sophisticated layout. The quality of the plastics has improved and all but the base model come equipped with a touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. In terms of space, the Honda Civic offers some of the best passenger space in the class and the 478 litre boot is huge too.

In Ireland, the 1.0-litre Civic range starts from €23,750 and is available in three trim levels: Smart, Smart Plus and Premium. The 1.5-litre Civic carries a larger premium starting at €28,550 and is available in three trim levels: S Design, GT Pack and Prestige Pack.

My 1.5-litre S Design came with LED headlights, headlight washers, LED front fog lights, Honda CONNECT with GARMIN navigation, rear parking camera, dual zone climate control, 17" alloy wheels, privacy glass, driver seat power lumbar adjust, alarm, leather steering wheel, alloy pedals, and rain sensing wipers.

The Honda Sensing suite of safety equipment is also standard across the range including traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning and collision mitigation braking system.

Honda Civic 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo review ireland
The Honda Civic 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo offers power and mature driving character

So should you buy it? There’s no question that the new Honda Civic is a fine vehicle, a mixture of great space, equipment and a fun and engaging driving character. The 1.0-litre is already a great option with plenty of power and economy. The 1.5-litre offers a more mature and robust driving experience, but it still could not be deemed much of a hot hatch. For real fireworks behind the wheel, you’ll still be wanting the new Honda Civic Type R!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Honda Civic 1.5 VTEC Turbo S Design
Price: 
€28,550 (Range starts at €23,750)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
180hp
Torque: 240Nm
0-100km/h:  
8.2 seconds
Top speed: 220km/h
Economy: 
49mpg
CO2 emissions:  
133g/km
Motor tax: 
€280 per year


2017 Honda Civic review ireland

Honda Civic 1.0 VTEC Turbo Review

The Honda Civic has been a steady seller for Honda in Ireland and accounts for over 50% of Honda’s sales here. The Honda Civic has its own loyal following of fans and though the Civic has always been a little alternative, they’ve stuck with it through some of the more challenging design iterations.

Generation ten, which landed in Ireland earlier in 2017, will challenge them yet again. Honda takes a more contrarian view to design, showing complete disregard to the mid-sized ‘box’ culture that other manufacturers take when designing a new mass market hatchback. The wedge-shaped weirdness of the previous generation has evolved into something far more aggressive and sporty. The pronounced wheel arches, spoiler, swept back headlamps and large intakes set in the bumpers front and back combine to make rivals look meek in comparison.

Inside new Civic the quality of the materials has improved, and the confusing multiple screen and digital display layout is gone.  It looks grown up and upmarket, and there is loads of space. The second generation Honda Connect infotainment system is standard on all but the base model, and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2017 Honda Civic review ireland
The interior of the new Honda Civic

The new Honda Civic is a very generously proportioned car. There’s almost a bit of class blurring going on here, such is the substantial feeling to this car. The rear bench feels more accommodating than most of the rivals and the footwells are very large. Step around to the boot and you will find one of the best in class at 478 litres. Due to a new rear suspension design, the innovative ‘magic seats’ feature is gone: you can’t slap up the rear bench to hold a pot plant (!) for example, but this new car is so good to drive that I think you will agree the sacrifice for a better suspension was a much better investment.

On the road, the new Honda Civic is a smooth, smooth operator. That’s in part because Honda has launched the car with solely petrol engines (though a diesel will follow later). But the whole execution of the car feels tight and composed. The steering is fluid and direct and the front end grips willingly with amazing stability from the car even when pushing on. Comfort has not been sacrificed and the new Honda Civic deals very well with Ireland's changeable road quality.

The new Civic is currently on sale with a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine with 127hp, which will suit the needs of most buyers, while there is also a more powerful 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine with 180hp. When revved the 1.0-litre has a familiar three cylinder thrum, but it settles down well to a cruise and it is a very flexible engine being one of the most powerful of the 1.0-litres in this class. It works exceptionally well with Honda’s 6-speed manual gearbox. Motor tax is €200 per year for this model and it returns a claimed 55mpg, with real world economy not far off that.

2017 Honda Civic review ireland
The Honda Civic is available with choice of two turbo petrol engines, with a diesel on the way in 2018

Pricing for new Civic starts at €23,750 for a 1.0-litre in ‘Smart’ trim. Standard equipment includes 16” alloys, Bluetooth, parking sensors, automatic air conditioning and the Honda Sensing suite of safety equipment. Impressively traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning and collision mitigation braking system all come as standard.

The model tested was a ‘Smart Plus’ 1.0-litre (€26,250) and includes Honda Connect with navigation, rear parking camera, 17” alloys, front fog lights and auto wipers. ‘Premium’ models with leather interior, heated seats, opening glass roof, adaptive dampers, 11 speaker audio system and keyless entry and start are priced from €30,150,  while ‘Premium Plus’ (from €31,650) includes wireless charging, LED headlights and LED fog lights, and headlight washers.

The 1.5-litre 180hp range starts from €28,550, rising to €32,550.

The new Honda Civic is an exciting new launch for the Japanese carmaker and is definitely worth sampling if you are in the market for a new hatchback. The new Civic arrives in our diesel-biased market with two brand new petrol engines, but for many people a petrol powered hatchback will meet their needs. The new Civic is one of the most comfortable and refined cars of its class, and a genuinely good drive, while a high standard spec including democratising safety equipment and a spacious cabin to boot, mean that the Civic has all the right ingredients to make an excellent family car.

2017 Honda Civic review ireland
The Honda Civic is now one of the best in the segment

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Honda Civic 1.0 VTEC Turbo Smart Plus
Price: 
€26,250 (Range starts at €23,750)
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
127bhp
Torque: 200Nm
0-100km/h:  
10.9 seconds
Top speed: 203km/h
Economy: 
55mpg
CO2 emissions:  
117g/km
Motor tax: 
€200 per year

If you are looking for a petrol hatchback, you might also like this review of the Volkswagen Golf TSI.


Honda Civic Ireland

Honda Civic Arrives In Ireland

The tenth generation of the Honda Civic has arrived in Ireland and is in dealers now.

The Civic represents over 50% of Honda's sales in Ireland, and this is an important new model for the brand.

The new car is launching with a 1.0-litre 127hp and 1.5-litre 180hp turbo petrol engine, with a 1.6-litre diesel to join before the end of the year. The 1.0-litre is priced from €23,750 and the 1.5-litre from €28,550.

The Honda Civic hatchback comes with a high specification from base with the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assistance technologies coming as standard including lane departure warning, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition and forward collision warning.

Read my first driving impressions of the 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre Honda Civic from the European press launch in Barcelona.

Caroline Kidd


2017 Honda Civic

Honda Civic First Drive Review

There’s a new Honda Civic landing in Ireland next month. This is the tenth generation Civic and is the result of one of Honda’s most ambitious new model development plans in the brand’s history. Honda speak about a ‘dynamic rejuvenation’ of the Civic, and are boldly aiming for the best in class.

Part of the Civic’s new character is a sportier design. Even entry models into the range look ready for the track with pronounced wheel arches, an aggressive noise, slim, swept back headlamps and large intakes set in the bumpers front and back. There is no hatchback out there that looks like this, so the Civic really has the capacity to stand out and be noticed.

New Civic has been engineered with a renewed focus on rewarding driving dynamics and sits on a new lightweight platform. 16kg has been shaved off the body weight, while the overall rigidity has been stiffened by 41%. The centre of gravity has been lowered and the driver now sits lower in the car. The suspension set-up has also been tweaked for a better balance between comfort and tight handling. There are MacPherson struts at the front and a new independent multi-link rear suspension at the back.

2017 Honda Civic
The new Honda Civic has been engineered to deliver a more rewarding driving experience

The new Honda Civic is longer, wider and lower than the car it replaces, and the new platform has boosted interior space. Front shoulder room has been increased by 10mm, and space between the front seats has increased by 30mm. There is 95mm more legroom in the back.

The interior design has also been vastly improved with a simple, horizontal design and some more plush cabin material finishes. The second generation Honda Connect infotainment system is standard on all but the base model, and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

For this new model launch, Honda is debuting two new turbo petrol engines. The new 1.0-litre VTEC Turbo is a three cylinder unit producing 127hp and is likely to be popular for its low entry price into the Civic range, low emissions (110g CO2) and good fuel economy (up to 4.8l/100km). A larger 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo will also be available at launch. This four cylinder unit produces 180hp, with emissions of 133g of CO2 and fuel economy of up to 5.8l/100km. A 1.6-litre diesel will join the Civic range at the end of the year and a high performance Type R is also on the way.

At the European launch in Barcelona we had the opportunity to sample both engines with 6-speed manual and CVT automatic gearboxes.

2017 Honda Civic
The Honda Civic has a new interior with a better design and improved quality

The 1.0-litre (from €23,750) is one of the most powerful 1.0-litres in its class and is responsive to the throttle with reasonable refinement, though it does get noisy under hard acceleration. The four cylinder 1.5-litre engine (from €28,550) feels more even, flexible and refined, though the extra premium for this engine means it’s likely that the 1.0-litre will find more buyers. Yet it is a joy to drive, and transforms this car into something more of a warm hatch. The CVT gearbox has been improved for this generation Civic, but it is more successful when paired with the 1.5-litre engine, becoming noisy and strained at low speeds in the 1.0-litre VTEC. The 6-speed manuals work well and are pleasant to use.

On the road, the Civic feels more than ever like a real driver’s car with more agility in corners and direct steering that makes it good fun to drive. The suspension is well-tuned for comfort yet the car feels utterly composed and balanced through corners. The adaptive dampers on the 1.5-litre model driven at the launch improved things even a little more. Honda has added more sound insulation around the car and refinement at cruising speed is excellent.

When the new Honda Civic goes on sale here next month, Honda will be leading the way in terms of the suite of safety equipment that is standard on the car. Honda Sensing includes sophisticated safety tech that puts the car head and shoulders above rivals including a collision mitigation braking system, a forward collision warning, a lane keep assist, a lane departure warning, a road departure mitigation, intelligent speed limiter, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and low speed following.

For the Irish market, both the 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre engine will be available from launch. The 1.0-litre starts at €23,750 for ‘Smart’ trim but comes well equipped with the Honda Sensing suite of safety tech, Bluetooth, parking sensors, climate control and 16” alloys. For €26,250, buyers can upgrade with a Smart Plus Pack that adds the Honda Connect infotainment system with navigation, rear parking camera, dual zone climate control, 17” alloys and front fog lights.

2017 Honda Civic
The Honda Civic will be available in Ireland from €23,750

The entry price for the 1.5-litre turbo petrol is €28,550 in ‘S Design’ trim and includes the Honda Sensing suite of safety equipment. This car looks sportier with a centrally mounted double exhaust, 17” alloys and extra sills on the front, rear and sides. LED headlights are also included as standard along with Honda Connect, rear parking camera, and dual zone climate control. The GT Pack (€30,750) adds adaptive dampers, a glass roof, keyless entry and start, heated front seats and a blind spot monitor with cross traffic monitor. There is also the option of a Prestige Pack (€32,550) that is a more ‘luxurious’ version and does without the double exhaust.

Honda Ireland are keen to use this new launch as an opportunity to reposition Civic in the market and urge buyers to rethink what they know about Civic, probably Honda’s most synonymous and well-known brand within their product range, but one that has been outshone by rivals of late. But from our time driving the car in Spain, we can say that the Honda Civic has evolved into something very likeable indeed.

Caroline Kidd


2017 Honda Civic

New Honda Civic On The Way In March

Honda Ireland has announced that the new Civic will go on sale here from €23,750. The new car will launch in Ireland in early March 2017.

The new Civic is wider, longer, and lower than any of its predecessors and has a new interior.

Honda's 'SENSING' suite of active safety and driver assist technologies will be standard across the new Civic range, including Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Traffic Sign Recognition.

The new Civic is available with the second-generation of Honda’s Connect infotainment and connectivity system, which offers full smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2017 Honda Civic
Cabin of the 2017 Civic hatchback

This is the tenth generation of the Honda Civic and its arrival will also see the launch of two new petrol engines, a 127bhp three cylinder 1.0-litre i-VTEC Turbo and a 180bhp four cylinder 1.5-litre i-VTEC Turbo.

Caroline Kidd