What's the used Honda Civic estate like?
For many people, the ninth-generation Honda Civic hatchback was practical and spacious enough. It had a boot considerably larger than most of its rivals', as well as clever rear seats that folded up, cinema-style, to allow the loading of taller objects in the back.
However, there are always those for whom space is paramount; after a couple of years of the hatchback’s life, it was joined by this Tourer version. Ostensibly the same car up to the B-pillar, and even sharing the same distance as the hatch between front and rear wheels, what set it apart was the increased rear overhang. Enclosed therein was more head room for the rear passengers and a boot of splendid proportions, amounting to 624 litres of usable space with the seats up and a whopping 1668 litres with them down.
There are two engines: a 118bhp 1.6 i-DTEC diesel and a 140bhp petrol. Both come with a slick six-speed manual gearbox, while the petrol model can also be specced with a five-speed automatic.
The diesel version is the better performer. The petrol car is quicker from 0-62mph (9.2sec vs 10.1sec), but it's a little breathless, while the diesel pulls strongly from low down and plays on its massive torque advantage, although it can be a little noisy when pushed.
Trims range from entry-level S, which comes with climate control, 16in alloys, a DAB radio and Bluetooth, through SE Plus, which adds dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and automatic lights and wipers, to SR with standard sat-nav. Top-spec EX Plus gets all the kit you could want, never mind need.
To drive, the Civic Tourer is much like the hatch, with both engines strong enough to pull a fully loaded car, and there’s plenty of grip when the road turns twisty. The car steers quickly, although it’s a little too remote to be truly fun. There are three modes to the damping that can alter the ride: Comfort, Normal and Dynamic. In all of them, though, the car rides well, with a comfort-biased feel.
Inside is a controversially styled and unnecessarily complicated dashboard that puts the instrument dials high up above the line of the steering wheel; many shorter drivers will struggle to see the entire display. In addition, there are too many buttons to decipher, the instruments are prone to reflections and visibility to the rear is poor.
There is better news in the seating department, with supportive seats up front and plenty of room for rear passengers. Interior quality feels good, too, although the switchgear looks and feels a little dowdy.