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Honda Civic hatch tested

Honda Civic
We test Honda's new Civic hatch, which is arguably one of the most radical looking cars on the road.

What's it about
The Honda Civic hatchback is aimed slap-bang against hatches such as the popular VW Golf. It is in your face and the rebel on the hatchback block. The Civic's daring design oozes confidence, which is a major design departure from its predecessor's dull styling. But the Civic isn't only about looks, it is also a showcase of impressive engineering and good build quality.

The Civic's unusual design might not quite be everyone's cup of tea but it works for us. Its futuristic theme continues on the inside and the dashboard design would have looked equally at home in the Starship Enterprise. Again some people might not be at ease with the digital dials but it works well, while ergonomics are good too. The interior also has a quality feel to it. The 1.8-litre engine pulls reasonably well and is quite responsive to the slick six-speed manual gearbox. In general the car feels stable on the road while its cornering grip is impressive. Furthermore the electric power steering is well weighted.

The engine sounds a bit coarse under acceleration. There is no rear wash/wipe function either.

The Civic is an eye-catching car and its styling provides the most potent talking point. It is a crucial model for Honda and it is without doubt more than able to rival accepted hatchbacks such as the Golf. It certainly has more personality than a Golf, and the general ride is good for its class too.

Key figures
  • Price: R204 000
  • Engine: 1.8-litre
  • Power: 103 kW at 6 300 r/min
  • Torque: 174 Nm at 4 200 r/min
  • 0-100 km/h: 8.9 seconds
  • Top speed: 205 km/h

  • Honda Civic hatch tested
    Japanese Import Car, New & Used Car, 2007