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Car trim reviews

Honda Civic ES

The Honda Civic ES is a mid-range model that will no doubt attract business buyers who require Bluetooth, cruise control and a reversing camera.

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The Honda Civic ES sits in the middle of the range but offers some features usually only found on top-spec models. In addition to SE’s climate control, 16-inch alloy wheels and front and rear electric windows, the ES is fitted with cruise control, Bluetooth and a reversing camera. The ES also includes automatic wipers and lights, front fog lights and electric door mirrors. The ES-T model gets a touch screen sat-nav for a £1,000 premium. Until the 1.6-litre diesel arrives later in 2012, only two engines are available with ES trim, a 1.8-litre i-VTEC petrol with manual or automatic transmission and the impressive 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel. All Honda Civics come with the added peace of mind of a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and a three-year/90,000 mile warranty.

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Good points

The large boot is very useful and the Civic’s cleverly designed folding flip-up rear seats are unique in this class. Up front, the cabin is spacious and features a wide range of cubbies, plus a USB connection and Aux-in socket to connect portable music players. The ES model has plenty of convenience features, as both the wipers and lights come on automatically while the standard-fit reversing camera is very handy. The cabin also feels more upmarket compared to the Civic SE thanks to the leather steering wheel and gear knob.

Bad points

Some of the extra equipment fitted over the SE is rather pointless - for example, many people can do without alloy pedals and ambient interior lighting. Most buyers will find the SE model provides better value for money. The Honda Civic lacks headroom in the rear seats, and the driver’s rear view is badly obstructed by the rear spoiler. Also, while the styling is certainly striking, we prefer the looks of the previous model. The strong diesel engine is frugal, but it’s expensive and the small fuel tank fitted to all Honda Civics means that you’ll need to re-fuel more often.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Folding rear seats
  • Alarm
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Front fog lights
  • Auto climate control
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front electric windows
  • Single CD player
  • AUX stereo input
  • Cruise control
  • Stop/Start
  • Automatic wipers
  • Rear electric windows
  • Bluetooth

Recommended optional extras

  • Touchscreen sat-nav

Our choice

The 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel engine will suit business users, plus it's a great motorway crusier. The petrol engines can feel strained at higher speeds.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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