Snapshot: Honda Civic Tourer

Honda_Civic_Wagon_2“This is such a pretty car” said the man from Honda about his new Civic Tourer.

It’s not a phrase I would have chosen but this Honda estate car is certainly interesting to look at and rather more pleasing to the eye than the five-door hatchback.

Because the Wagon is built just for Europe, costs have been kept in check by using the doors from the hatchback. Except that’s not the whole story because the rear window frames have been heightened so that the longer roofline could maintain its flow to the rear of the car. It’s a neat, creative solution.

The big deal about the Civic Wagon, though, is its capacity. Compared with the SEAT Leon ST I drove last week the Civic is significantly roomier and more practical. Space is a gigantic 624 litres and that’s under the rear parcel shelf.  You can get two cabin bags under the boot floor, though if you choose to have a space-saver spare instead of a repair kit, you’ll lose that option and over 100 litres of capacity.

Then there is the low boot sill, squared off boot space and Honda’s wonderful “magic” seats which notch up so many positives over rivals you wonder how they hope to compete. If you’ve owned a current Civic or Jazz you’ll know how the rear seats work but if not, well, you’ll be bowled over once you try them out at a dealer.

It’s not all roses. Prices start at the wrong aside of £20k, and that’s for the 1.8-litre petrol model, a controversial choice. Use the revs and the 1.8 flies, but around town the performance feels flat. The diesel is much more desirable, and returns 99g/km in S and SE versions.  A nice one costs £23k+.

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