Honda Civic hatchback

£16,995 - £26,655

The Civic wades into battle in one of the car world's most competitive classes to take on models such as the beautifully built Volkswagen Golf and the fun-to-drive Ford Focus.

The entry-level engine is a 1.4-litre petrol, but the pick of the range is the 1.6-litre diesel that is frugal, but also very cheap to run. Inside, the Civic hatchback already has plenty of space, but buyers can also opt for the Honda Civic Tourer estate, which has the biggest boot in its class.

Trim levels include the basic Honda Civic S – which gets alloy wheels and climate control, while SE Plus adds cruise control and a rear parking camera. Go further up the range and things get even more luxurious with leather upholstery, sat-nav, and heated front seats in the SR model, while top-of-the-range EX Plus Civics get powerful, self dipping Bi-HID headlights with washers, plus keyless entry and go.