Review: Honda Civic Saloon (2018)

Rating:

More comfortable ride than the hatchback. Available with new nine-speed automatic gearbox

Rear headroom is tight for taller passengers due to sloping roofline. Infotainment system is clunky and fiddly. No 1.5 VTEC engine.

Recently Added To This Review

19 July 2018 Honda Civic four-door prices revealed

The entry-level SE petrol model with manual transmission will start from £19,395 OTR rising to £27,120 OTR for a top-spec EX diesel automatic. Starting from just 91g/km CO 2 for the 1.6... Read more

Honda Civic Saloon (2018): At A Glance

While Honda may no longer sell the Accord in the UK, that doesn't mean you can't get a decent sized four-door Honda with a boot. The Civic Saloon effectively replaces the Accord in the Honda line up and offers a surprising amount of room for a car based on a family hatchback.

The four-door Civic is similar in size to a Skoda Octavia and is usefully practical for a saloon with a bigger boot than the hatchback - close to 520 litres - although obviously with less versatility, not helped by a high boot lip. But on the plus side, there's good legroom in the back, even if head room is compromised by that swooping roofline.

It's designed more for comfort than the hatchback, with a softer suspension set-up that will appeal to drivers spending hours on the motorway. As a result, it deals better with poor road surfaces yet still handles more than capably with little roll in corners and impressive levels of grip. 

There's a simple engine line-up with the 1.0 VTEC Turbo - our choice for most buyers - available with either a manual or CVT gearbox. There's no 1.5 VTEC Turbo, but the 1.6 i-DTEC is available as a manual or with a new nine-speed automatic - the latter designed to improve economy.

Around town the Civic Saloon is easy to manouevre, although rear visibility isn't the best due to the thick rear pillars. Fortunately, parking sensors front and back are standard on all models, while SR and EX models get a rearview camera.

While the fit and finish of the Civic is excellent, the one thing that lets the interior down is the infotainment system. It's long been a criticism of Honda models and that's still the case here. It's fiddly to use, doesn't look great and just doesn't seem at all user-friendly. 

While most people will stick with the standard Civic hatchback, the saloon does have appeal, especially if you can get a deal on one. It's more comfortable than the hatch and just as easy to drive while there's plenty of room in the back and a useful boot.

What does a Honda Civic Saloon (2018) cost?

List Price from £19,405
Buy new from £15,993
Contract hire from £193.13 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

Honda Civic Saloon (2018): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4648 mm
Width 2075 mm
Height 1416 mm
Wheelbase 2697 mm

Full specifications

With a low driving position and plenty of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel, the Civic is easy to get comfortable in.

Room in the back isn't so good though. While there's plenty of legroom, head space is tight for taller passengers due to the sloping roofline and the middle seat is narrow and firm. That said, for two children or teenagers, the back seats should prove more than adequate.

The boot is of course what sets this apart from the hatchback. It actually offers more overall space with 519 litres (compared to 478 litres) with a good length and a fairly wide opening. Obviously its not as practical as the hatch and the high boot lip doesn't help, but you can still get plenty in there such as a pushchair.

One thing that really frustrates is the Honda Connect system. We've mentioned this before on other Honda models and as time passes, it's not getting better with age. It's slow to respond, looks dated and is all a bit clunky.

Compare it to what you get in a Volkswagen and it's far from user-friendly. On the plus side, it does have a 7.0 inch touchscreen and gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

It's the small things that are annoying. So there's no dial for turning the volume down - instead it's a touch button on the screen which is fiddly to use. Meanwhile, changing the fan speed has to be done via a menu in the touchscreen.

On the plus side, the interior of the Civic is well finished and solid, with a nice feel to all the controls and switches. It feels like a car that's designed to last. 

There's plenty of handy storage too with big door pockets and a huge box under the centre armrest that you can throw everything in. Under the centre console there's more hidden storage plus a hard-to-find USB socket.

Standard equipment from launch:

SE models have Honda SENSING safety features, collision mitigation braking system, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition. The petrol CVT and diesel automatic both come with low speed following. 

SR adds rain sensing auto wipers, dual climate control air conditioning, parking sensors and Honda CONNECT (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and a rear parking camera.

EX trim gets leather seats, smart entry and start, LED headlights with washers, LED fog lights, wireless phone charging and heated rear seats. 

Child seats that fit a Honda Civic Saloon (2018)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Honda Civic Saloon (2018) like to drive?

The Civic Saloon is the more comfortable relation to the standard hatchback. The softer suspension set-up means it deals better when it comes to rough roads and uneven surfaces - where the hatchback tends to thump over potholes, the saloon is a bit more composed.

Impressively this doesn't come at the expense of handling. True, it's not as sharp as the hatchback, but in isolation you're not going to notice this. It corners tidily with good body control and the steering is precise and responsive.

This is helped by the new rear multi-link suspension set-up, shared with the hatchback, along with a new rigid subframe. What the saloon doesn't have is the adaptive dampers from higher-spec hatchback models.

Despite that, the standard set up is well balance. It makes for an enjoyable and easy car to drive, but it's real forte is as a long distance car. Fitted with the 1.6 i-DTEC engine, which should be returning mpg figures in the mid 50s in real world driving, you can happily cover big miles in comfort.

The diesel performs well enough and is quiet once up to speed too, albeit a little noisy if you push it hard. But the six-speed manual is precise with a snappy shift.

The good news is that if you don't need a diesel, Honda's petrol VTEC engine is one of the best around. The 1.5 VTEC Turbo isn't available in the saloon, but we've always rated the 1.0-litre as the better choice anyway.

With strong performance and impressive refinement for a three-cylinder engine, the 1.0 VTEC is only matched by Ford's 1.0 EcoBoost in our opinion. While 129PS may not be much to write home about, the engine always feels eager and the turbocharger means it pulls really well in-gear. We'd avoid the CVT though unless it's essential you have an automatic. The six-speed manual is far better.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.0T VTEC 59 mpg 10.7 s 110 g/km
1.0T VTEC CVT 60 mpg 10.4–10.6 s 107 g/km
1.6 i-DTEC 83 mpg 9.9–10.0 s 91 g/km
1.6 i-DTEC Automatic 69 mpg 10.7–10.8 s 108 g/km

Real MPG average for a Honda Civic Saloon (2018)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

73%

Real MPG

35–80 mpg

MPGs submitted

7

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Honda Civic Saloon (2018)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Why doesn't Honda sell the Accord anymore?

If the Honda Accord is such a good car, how come Honda has stopped selling them in the UK?
UK consumers are buying fewer and fewer cars like the Accord, Avensis, Mondeo and Insignia as everyone wants an SUV instead. If people do want a car of that size/shape, they'd usually prefer something premium like a BMW 3 Series. The new Honda Civic saloon is much bigger than previous Civics and essentially replaces the Accord in the Honda range.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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