Honda Civic Review 2024

Honda Civic At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The new Honda Civic is a very impressive all-round family hatchback, albeit one that's not exactly cheap to buy or exciting to look at. It's hybrid-only, making it smooth and powerful yet cheap to run, while it drives well and has a smart, intuitive interior.

+New-gen hybrid power is efficient yet enjoyable, good ride and handling balance, logical and spacious cabin.

-More expensive than rivals, no pure petrol or diesel choices, conservative styling.

A new Honda Civic is always a big deal globally. After all, it's one of the all-time best-sellers with over 27 million cars built to date. The eleventh-generation Civic is now hybrid-only in Europe, though, and in this Honda Civic review we'll see if that narrows its appeal. 

Honda has spent the last couple of decades shaking off its 'reliable yet dull' image, particularly where the long-lived Civic is concerned. You only have to look back at the radical 2006 model, which still looks mad even today, to see that reinvention.

But the following two generations of Honda Civic weren't exactly universally praised for their Marmite styling. So Honda's clearly played it safe with the latest, eleventh-generation model, arriving on the scene with fairly conservative looks that will disappoint some looking for another wacky shape. It's a more rounded, better proportioned version of the last Civic, but nothing revolutionary.

Don't judge a book by its cover, however. The Volkswagen Golf has made a name for itself for its subtle, classless, high quality approach, and that's clearly what Honda has its sights set on with the Mk11 Civic. Certainly the new cabin illustrates that, with a smart yet easy to live with layout and a significant step up in quality. It's spacious, too - if not quite up there with the Skoda Octavia

There's plenty of hatchbacks that the Civic competes with, ranging from the more affordable Ford Focus to the premium-badged Audi A3. But its closest rival is actually the Toyota Corolla, and that's because the new Civic is only available as a hybrid in Europe. 

So it looks a little dull and it'll be even duller to drive, right? Not so. Honda has thrown its considerable engineering might behind the new Civic, with chassis improvements and a new generation of hybrid system even compared to the latest HR-V.

That means good performance, impressive efficiency and probably the most natural-feeling (and sounding) CVT gearbox we've tried yet. It really is a surprise - you'd almost call it fun. Yet the Civic is comfortable and refined around town.

You pay a premium for this newfound polish, however. The Honda Civic's starting price is above most of its mainstream competition and knocks on the door of premium brand models. There's no pure petrol or diesel models to bring the price down, either. But hybrid and electric is the future, and if you're willing to pay to embrace that the new Civic is a strong buy.  

We're living with a Civic for three months - find out how we get on with in our Honda Civic e:HEV long-term review.

What does a Honda Civic cost?