Honda Civic hatchback review
"The Honda Civic e:HEV is a hybrid family car that’s good to drive, comfortable and well equipped"
- Good to drive
- Efficient hybrid motor
- High-quality interior
- Only one engine variant
- Not as economical as other hybrids
- Infotainment could be better
Verdict - Is the Honda Civic a good car?
The Honda Civic is one of the best family hatchbacks you can buy right now, and it’s certainly the best hybrid model in its class. It even beat the fantastic Toyota Corolla and Kia Ceed in a recent group test. The Civic is only available as a hybrid petrol, but you don’t need to plug in to achieve excellent fuel economy. It’s good to drive, practical and has all the modern equipment you need too. The only drawbacks here are its rear headroom and slightly firm low-speed ride, but the Civic does enough to secure our Best Hybrid award for 2024.
Honda Civic models, specs and alternatives
The Honda Civic has been a staple family car in the UK for decades and was even built here - in Swindon - for many years. However, that has come to an end but even though this latest model is no longer made in Britain it’s a brilliant family car and the best full hybrid model in its class.
There aren’t a huge number of full hybrids, where there’s no plug, as most manufacturers have invested more into plug-in hybrid tech (PHEV) for their cars. The Toyota Corolla is its main rival as a result - neither it nor the Honda need to be plugged in. The new Civic uses a 1.05kWh battery and a 2.0-litre petrol engine that, along with regenerative braking, keeps the battery charged. While the engine can drive the wheels when you need strong acceleration, most of the time it’s disengaged and only the electric motor is powering you along.
This is because it uses a clever transmission (called eCVT) that seamlessly transitions to petrol power from full-EV mode. It’s all very smooth and easy to drive, you don’t need to do anything different to any other automatic car. The set-up provides 181bhp and acceleration from 0-62mph takes just 7.9 seconds. There is also a high-performance model called the Civic Type R, but we’re not focusing on that model in this review, just the hybrid.
While hybrids don’t have the best reputation for thrills, the Civic is good to drive, yet it’s also comfortable and can achieve over 56mpg, making it a great all-rounder. Weight-saving materials mean that the smart-looking new body shape isn’t too heavy, which helps with efficiency and handling.
The interior is a massive step on from the previous-generation Civic, which was sturdy but unintuitive, and lacking in charm or upmarket appeal. The new Civic matches – and in some areas surpasses – the Volkswagen Golf, with more intuitive controls, a clean and modern-looking design, and improved infotainment.
Smartphone connectivity is included, and its nine-inch touchscreen comes with plenty of features, even if its graphics aren’t the best we’ve seen. On high-spec cars, there’s a clear 10.2-inch digital display in place of traditional dials behind the steering wheel.
The Honda Civic is a striking alternative for those not ready to switch to an EV just yet, and it’s one of the best hybrid hatchbacks on the market. A full five-star Euro NCAP result only furthers the Civic’s appeal. Quality has improved, and as well as being cheap to run at a time of soaring bills, it’s also rather fun to drive. Read on to find out more about the Civic in each key area.
Honda Civic alternatives
Hybrid family cars
Petrol family cars
Electric family cars
Which Is Best?
- Name1.0 VTEC Turbo S 5dr
- Gearbox typeManual
- Name2.0 eHEV Elegance 5dr CVT
- Gearbox typeAuto
- Name2.0 VTEC Turbo Type R 5dr
- Gearbox typeManual