It can happen that you buy an opel astra instead of a renault megane – because the offer is so good, the salesman is so nice or the dealer is so close. A honda civic, on the other hand, is probably not bought by chance. With the eighth generation, the brand has decided to step out of the mass of cars in this class by means of a rough wedge. Since then the civic has been a case for individualists. The tenth edition can be accused of all sorts of things, but it is everybodys darling it is certainly not. A test with the basic petrol engine shows this impressively in many respects.
We don’t want to say too much about the design – the design is polarizing, which can be seen as an enrichment. However, the civic has left its original competitors far behind in one dimension. With a length of 4.52 meters, it far exceeds the length of the golf class and is thus about as long as a vw touran. This would not be a problem if the space available were correspondingly better.
But neither in the front nor in the back does the civic offer more than is usual in the compact class. Especially on the front seats the space is even quite limited. The seats do not recline far enough, so people with very long legs have to squat with their buttocks on the seat surface. A tilt adjustment of the seat could partly solve the problem, but there is no such adjustment. In addition the right knee has permanent contact with the center console. Neither the nimble seat heating nor the stable headrests that reach far upwards are any consolation. In the rear, the isofix straps are wedged behind leather flaps between the seat and the bench in such a way that you have to worry about the upholstery if you have to change it frequently.
The civic really does offer more than is usual in the compact class when it comes to trunk space. At 478 liters, it’s barely smaller than the luggage compartments in the mercedes c-class estate or audi a4 avant – and these cars are around 20 cm longer. However, there is a small bump in front of the backrest, which cannot be compensated for due to the lack of a high adjustable load floor. Honda has also designed the load compartment cover very unconventionally. It is a two-part cover: one part is attached to the tailgate, the second part is a roller blind that is pulled up transversely. It is not really clear where the advantage of this solution lies, but perhaps it was enough for the designers to know that they had chosen something different again.
The designers also had the same claim for the dashboard, which means less the rough line than numerous details. The infotainment system takes a bit of getting used to, but then you realize that the developers seem to have thought of something here and there – that’s by no means self-evident. The menus gradually became more accessible, even if some of the ways could have been a little less convoluted. The fact that there is no volume control is just as good as on the volkswagen – in fact, not at all. Especially as the temperature control is located exactly where you would expect it to be for the loudness. So in the beginning, you often adjust the degree instead of the intensity of the sound.