Honda Civic Tourer estate (2014-2017)
"The Honda Civic Tourer isn't the cheapest small estate car but it has a huge boot and an economical diesel engine."
- Decent standard equipment
- Efficient diesel engine
- Massive boot
- Expensive list prices
- Thirsty petrol engine
- No automatic diesel
Honda never actually intended to produce an estate version of the current Civic hatchback, but demand for compact estate cars led to the development of the Honda Civic Tourer. The Japanese manufacturer has managed to produce a spacious car with a bigger boot than nearly all of its rivals – including the Skoda Octavia, Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon ST estate cars.
There's a choice of just two engines, with the diesel the stronger and more economical option. The Tourer is comfortable and reliable and comes with plenty of equipment as standard. Its only real weaknesses are the slow petrol engine, a dated interior and a slightly too-high price tag.
Honda had to heavily re-engineer the hatchback version of the Civic in order for the Tourer to offer more space than you’ll find in a Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia or Volkswagen Golf estate, but the design is effective and relatively good-looking considering the practicality on offer.
The car’s 624-litre boot capacity has since been surpassed by the latest Peugeot 308 SW, but the Civic Tourer remains a very competent family estate car. The Civic range was given a light facelift in 2015, too, with changes to the headlights, grille and bumpers.
All versions come relatively well equipped, but top-spec models benefit from an adaptive rear damping system that makes the Civic Tourer more comfortable and adjusts the handling when you’re carrying a heavy load in the back. A ‘Navi’ pack is available on the more basic S and SE Plus trims, and it’s worth the £600 extra if you can afford it.
Of the four main trim levels, SE Plus represents the best value, as it includes plenty of standard equipment even if you don’t get all the luxuries that thrown in with the SR and EX Plus. We’d go for the Civic Tourer in SE Plus trim with the diesel engine, as it makes most sense in terms of efficiency and performance.
Before you buy, it’s worth remembering that the Civic Tourer is more expensive than most other cars in this class – including both the Skoda Octavia and VW Golf estates. Cars like the SEAT Leon ST don’t offer quite as much space, but can be up to £3,000 cheaper than the Civic depending on which model you buy. It’s well worth considering the pros and cons of these cars before you settle on the Honda.