If you appreciate good engineering, then there is a lot to love about the Honda Civic.
There are so many elements of our long-term hatchback which will prompt an appreciative nod from anyone who knows the effort that has gone into achieving something that may seem effortless in everyday use.
For example, talking about doors may be for bores, and it’s definitely not an ice-breaker at dinner parties, but the way Honda doors shut is something that can only have been achieved through hundreds of hours of painstaking work.
They don’t thud in a Germanic way, or twang like some European rivals – they whoosh. There is something so effortless in the way they close that adds to the overall aura of quality that exudes from our car.
The same is true of many touch points for the driver, such as the wonderfully direct, but light gear box that snicks from cog to cog, the instrument stalks, or the engine that thrums with an interesting note, despite being a diesel chugger at heart.
It’s the sort of statement of quality engineering that could have Honda compared to Apple as a benchmark for how things should be done.
However, while your Apple is made to the highest standards, it is also designed to be a thing of beauty.
The Civic is less successful in wrapping its impressive core in a universally appreciated exterior.
The original brave and bold design has bulked out somewhat, particularly at the front end. To be honest, it’s a bit ‘chinny’, in a Bruce Forsyth meets Derek sort of way.
In some lights and from some angles, it works successfully, but overall it tends to make the front end look a bit cluttered and fussy.
There is also the odd anomaly, such as the fuel cap release which is buried beneath the dashboard completely out of sight above the bonnet release.
It is still different though and I would rather it provoked debate rather than melted into blandness in the car park.
And any uncertainty about design tends to melt away when I shut the door and the whoosh reminds me that good engineering is always in fashion.