Fleet News

First Drive: Honda Civic 2.2i DTEC

Honda
BIK List Price
£21,040
Honda Civic BIK list price
BIK Percentage
13%
Honda Civic BIK Percent
CO2
110g/km
Honda Civic CO2
Combined MPG
67.3
Honda Civic MPG

Review

Honda has seen something of a drought in the UK fleet market over the past couple of years.

The diesel version of the Civic was discontinued at the end of 2010, although the manufacturer’s low-CO2 credentials continued to be supported by the Insight and Jazz hybrid.

However, this was at a time where the London Congestion Charge rules changed from only exempting hybrids and electric vehicles to exempting any vehicle with emissions below, first, 120g/km and, latterly, 100g/km. Both the Insight and Jazz exceed this threshold.

But things are looking up. An all-new Civic is about to be launched with first registrations expected in March 2012. The big news is, it not only has a diesel – it has one with class-leading CO2 emissions.

The 150bhp i-DTEC engine, which has seen service in the Accord and CR-V, has been fettled in the new Civic to achieve 110g/km and 67.3mpg on the combined cycle.

The 1.8-litre petrol engine has CO2 emissions from 137g/km (although even in the highest equipment grade and with automatic transmission tops out at 150g/km), while the 100bhp 1.4-litre achieves 129g/km.

The significant CO2 reductions are made possible not just through improved engine and transmission technology, but also aerodynamics (including a shutter grille on the diesel) and idling stop-start.

The styling of this Civic looks more of an evolution of the previous model rather than being all new. Although the rear window is still split, a wiper has been installed on the top pane, while the lower pane has a heating element to clear frost or condensation. It has also been positioned much lower than in the previous Civic to improve visibility.

Inside, the Civic is still one of the roomiest cars in its class, while the car feels more upmarket than its predecessor with a soft-touch dashboard and door panels.

In cars fitted with sat-nav, the current Honda system is carried over and sits in the dashboard centre, but an extra screen sits higher up near the base of the windscreen. When it isn’t showing sat-nav instructions, it displays trip computer information or can show an image uploaded via USB. One fleet customer will be using it to display a ‘no smoking’ symbol.

The 150bhp diesel offers strong performance, but is amazingly quiet at steady speeds.
Ride comfort is also much improved, dealing with
poor road surfaces in a much more composed manner than the previous Civic, while the seats also offer better support.

The Civic is a major improvement over the outgoing model, while fleet appetite will be whetted further by the recent announcement of a 120bhp 1.6-litre diesel promising CO2 at 95g/km. We can’t wait.

CO2 emissions
The Civic sets a new benchmark for CO2 emissions. Although other cars of this size have lower CO2, none have been able to achieve it with this much power, and, at launch in 2012, all of the Civic's rivals with similar power outputs have higher CO2 emissions.
Fuel costs
With combined fuel consumption of 67.3mpg, the Civic is class leading for a conventional powertrain, even if this figure would be more difficult to achieve in real-world driving, it should offer an advantage over rivals.
Residual values
The Civic has always been strong for residual values, and this version should be no exception, with well equipped versions available arriving on the used market at de-fleeting time, lower volume than rivals that rely more heavily on Motability and daily rental, and Honda's reputation for reliability.
Running costs
Overall running costs should be low for most versions of the Civic, and likewise personal tax liability will also be kept in check thanks to its modest BIK tax band.
Driver appeal
Increased comfort, better refinement and a more upmarket feeling interior will all give the Civic more appeal than the previous version. It's also better to drive and is just as spacious and versatile.
FN Verdict
The Civic will give Honda a must needed boost with fleet customers, with some class-leading figures, and this version will also whet appetites for the even more frugal 1.6-litre diesel in the pipeline.
Top Speed
N/A
Honda Civic Top Speed
VED band
N/A
Honda Civic Ved
Fuel Type
Diesel
Honda Civic Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : £8,100
4 Year 80k : £6,075
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : 33.50
4 Year 80k : 30.85

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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