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Honda Civic e:HEV 2.0 i-MMd e-CVT Sport

Imagine a world where you could walk into a dealership and simply buy a car confident in the fact that it will come equipped with pretty much everything you’ll need without having to wade through page after page after page of optional extras, each of them adding a few hundred pounds here, a grand there.

Welcome to the world of the new Honda Civic where there is just a single engine – Type R aside – with a single body style (five doors) and three trim levels. Yes, that really is it.

That engine is a 2.0 petrol that is coupled with a small battery pack and an electric motor. It allows for a little electric-only motoring and, consequently, helps improve efficiency and reduce emissions without the need to plug it in, as you would with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). Yes, the clue’s in the acronym.

2022 Honda Civic e:HEV
2022 Honda Civic e:HEV

Let’s take a closer look at how the Civic measures up and whether less choice is, actually more. Or something like that.

Just like the previous version, you sit low in the cabin of the 11th generation model. It helps give it a sporty feel. The driver’s seat is very comfortable and is blessed with electrically adjustable lumbar support.

Despite sitting so low visibility out the front is good thanks to narrow windscreen pillars and a low-set dashboard. The rear three-quarters view is decent, too, again thanks to narrow pillars and large side windows. The boot protrudes significantly enough to make you feel grateful for the rear-view camera, and parking sensors front and back, that are fitted as standard across on both Sport and Advance trim, but not entry-level Elegance.

2022 Honda Civic e:HEV
2022 Honda Civic e:HEV

LED headlights are standard while top-spec Advance trim includes an adaptive system that automatically adjusts the high beam to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers.

There’s a seven-inch digital instrument panel, accompanied by an analogue speedometer, behind the steering wheel on Sport trim – essentially the entry-level model – but Advance gets a much larger 10.2in display which, while clear enough, can’t display full-width sat-nav maps.

Infotainment services are served up via a nine-inch touchscreen with buikt-in sat-nav in the centre of the dashboard. It’s not the most intuitive of set-ups but neither is it the least, instead treading a happy middle ground. There are, thankfully, physical controls for adjusting the air-con, which are less distracting that having to surf through menus on the touchscreen.

2022 Honda Civic e:HEV
2022 Honda Civic e:HEV

Android Auto (wired) and Apple CarPlay (wireless) are both included, as is wireless phone charging. There are two USB ports in the front and an eight-speaker sound system in Sport trim, with an upgraded Bose 12-speaker audio set-up in Advance.

The Civid can’t quite match the plush interior of, say, the Mazda3, but the standard of the fit and finish, and the quality of the materials is still excellent. There are some harder plastics in evidence lower down in the cabin but you’d have to go looking for them to find them.

Driver and front-seat passenger enjoy a generous amount of space but, while there’s ample legroom in the back – even when carrying a car full of six-footers – rear headroom is likely to be an issue. There’s also the familiar hump in the middle of the floor which makes things a little more awkward for a third back-seat passenger.

2022 Honda Civic e:HEV
2022 Honda Civic e:HEV

The glovebox is a useful size and the front door bins will easily accommodate a large bottle of non-alcoholic beverage. There’s a couple of cupholders on the centre console as well as a storage box and a tray that’s perfect for a mobile phone.

The boot is a good size. Even with the rear seats in place it will hold 410 litres. Stow them away – they fold in a 60/40 split – and that rises to 1,220 litres.

The tailgate is wide but the bootlip is high, so while larger items will easily fit it can be a struggle to lift them up and over. There’s a a handy 12v power socket mounted in the side of the boot.

The engine – remember there’s just the one version on offer – is an e:HEV hybrid set-up that produces a healthy 181bhp. That’s enough to propel the Civic to 62mph in a respectable 7.9 seconds from a standing start.

2022 Honda Civic e:HEV
2022 Honda Civic e:HEV

Around town there’s often little need for the engine to muck in – the small battery is generally more than up to the task – and, when it does, it’s almost imperceptible as the car accelerates effortlessly away. The single-speed gearbox ensures progress is always smooth.

Overall the engine is quiet and wind noise is very suppressed. There is, though, a noticeable amount of tyre roar at higher speeds.

The ride is settled but not as supple as some of the Civic’s rivals. The front end isn’t as keen to turn into corners as, for example, the soon to be retired Focus, but there’s still plenty of grip and the well-weighted steering is accurate enough to let you place the car with confidence.

It’s hard to find fault with the Civic. Yes, it’s quite pricey, but that’s mitigated a bit by the actual cost of ownership and the generous equipment levels. Other weaknesses include the compromised rear headroom and intrusive road noise but it does have lots of room in front, is very well put together, boasts a big boot and impressive fuel economy.

Honda Civic e:HEV 2.0 i-MMd e-CVT Sport

Price: £30,595

As tested: £31,220

Transmission: e-CVT

Max power (engine): 143PS @ 6,000rpm

Max torque (engine): 186Nm @ 4,500rpm

Max power (motor): 184PS

Max torque (motor): 315Nm

Max speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 7.9 seconds

Fuel economy (mpg)

Low: 64.2

Medium: 68.9

High: 62.8

Extra high: 45.6

Combined: 56.5

Emissions (combined) CO2: 113g/km

For more information cli

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