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.
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...