Honda Civic Tourer, motoring review: A space-age dashboard - and that's about as exciting as it gets

PRICE from £20,270
ENGINE Capacity 1.6-litre diesel
POWER OUTPUT (BHP @ RPM) 118 @ 6,500
TOP SPEED 121 0-60 MPH (seconds) 10.1
FUEL ECONOMY 74.3
CO2 EMISSIONS (g/KM) 99

"If you love the inside as much as the outside," explains Honda's husky narrator in the new advert for the Civic Tourer, "then this is the car for you." I'm not sure what that means. Perhaps it's something to do with admiring carburettors. Honda also says that the Tourer (or estate, if you don't speak Car Salesman) is made from something loftily called "Earth Dream Technology".

Odd then, that actually driving the new Honda is a fairly pedestrian affair. I'm not saying it's a bad car. It's just that it doesn't live up to the breathless advert. It's certainly more refined than the firm's range of crossovers and SUVs, however, which are less economical, and drives just as well as the hatchback version. Inside, there's the same space-age cabin as the hatchback I drove last year, but a lower section devoted to climate controls and upper to infotainment seemed to confuse most of my passengers. Plus, there are too many poorly labelled buttons and a fiddly satnav system.

Dig deeper, though, and while the Civic Tourer might not be as exciting Honda's voice-over guy would have you believe, it does excel in several areas. Firstly, it gets a class-leading 624 litres of boot space with the rear seats in place, increasing to 1,116 when folded – and up to a cavernous 1,668 if you load it to the roof.

What really impresses is its economy – 60mpg is eminently achievable and the CO2 figure of 99g/km means you'll pay no vehicle excise duty (or congestion charge if in London). So that's the dreamy tech.

There's even dreamier tech if you opt for the Adaptive Damper System (fitted on my test car at a cost of £500), which checks the road surface every 10 milliseconds and adds as much or as little damping as required. This sort of control used to be the preserve of Mercedes and BMW, but is now available on more affordable vehicles. Even the Kia Soul – probably the ugliest car on sale right now – which I drove recently had a button for optional "sports" steering.

And just like the dampers in the Honda, I'm not sure most drivers will care or even notice. These aren't cars to be driven hard – they are cars to move stuff around.

And at £500 for the Honda damper system, I'm not sure the space-age dashboard really needs another button.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Life and Style
The spring/summer 2015 Louis Vuitton show for Paris Fashion Week
fashion
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Associate Recrutiment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

    Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

    £120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

    PMLD Teacher

    Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

    Day In a Page

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

    Time to stop running

    At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?