Sue Cooke gets the behind the wheel of the Honda Civic four door saloon
Facts at a glance:
Model: Honda Civic four door saloon SE | Engine: 1.6 i-DTEC 120 PS | Performance: 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds | Combined fuel consumption: 83.1mpg | CO2 emissions: 91 g/km | Price: £20,745 otr
Sadly, the manual handbrake is becoming a creature on the edge of extinction. I have fond memories of grabbing this automotive saviour while learning how to perform a hill start. And I have rather more scarier memories of boyfriends, now banished to the times I would rather forget, who demonstrated rather flamboyant handbrake turns. Alas, the manual handbrake is passing, as only 37% of new cars on sale in the UK come equipped with the traditional mechanical lever, according to research by CarGurus.
The new Honda Civic four door saloon follows the automotive crowd and has an electronic parking brake switch, but depending whether you choose an automatic transmission or a manual transmission, will depend on its exact location on the centre console.
The new saloon is a dynamic and sophisticated four-door compact model and represents a significant step forward for Honda in this segment. For many customers, the Civic is synonymous with the Honda brand. This 10th generation model sets new benchmarks for the compact class in terms of dynamic performance, fuel efficiency, spaciousness, safety and interior quality.
The exterior design is sporty with a short front overhang, a sharp and aggressive face and pronounced wheel arches. It is rather gorgeous and I would certainly be proud to see it sitting on my drive.
The interior is spacious as it is built on a wider and longer platform. The cabin is simple and uncluttered with a long list of new technologies and high-grade materials. The second-generation of the Honda Connect infotainment and connectivity system incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
The Entry level grade, SE, comes with Honda SENSING suite of safety features which the company says ensures the car is among the very safest in its class. Technology includes collision mitigation braking system, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.
The road test car arrived with a 1.6iDTEC diesel engine which Honda says it is continuing to build where there is a demand for diesel engines. There is also a VTEC TURBO petrol. I can understand why the diesel engine is popular with CO2 emissions from just 91g/km, which means very low road tax.
The petrol version is equally clean with 107g/km CO2 for the CVT gearbox, while the petrol engine with manual gearbox emits just 110g/km CO2, making the Civic four door one of the cleanest saloons in its class.
Starting from £19,395 otr, the PCP pricing has also been confirmed for the new car with monthly payments of £259 a month on a three year, 10,000 mile contract on 5.9% APR for a 1.6 i-DTEC SR manual.
Unfortunately, the traditional handbrake is likely to decline further, only to be found on a select number of niche models. But there are many benefits to the electronic parking brake, which is regarded as a luxury feature. To engage the brake requires less physical effort, it holds the car more securely and doesn’t need adjusting like the traditional lever. Most electronic handbrakes disengage automatically when you pull away plus they often offer an automatic hill-hold assist function.
The Honda Civic four door is a good-looking saloon, with features both in and out which make it a pleasure to drive.