If you can forego the brutal power in favour of something more wallet friendly in terms of performance and economy, the latest Civic might just tempt you.
With the latest and menacing look of something hinting at more brutal underpinnings, the Civic EX Sport Line is what you might dub an insurance friendly package.
With it comes Honda‘s highly-efficient, yet decently powerful 1.0 litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine, with 125bhp and 148lb/ft of torque.
So, a lightweight compare to its Type R stablemate, but one that has the look of something infinitely more rewarding with its front and side skirts, rear diffuser and a subtle rear spoiler paying homage to Honda’s sporting heritage. Seventeen inch alloy wheels in a high-gloss, piano black finish are another stand out feature and it also comes with full LED headlights and daytime running lights.
Not that it’s not rewarding to drive, of course. Based as it is on the top of the range EX model, it has all the driving dynamics of the standard Civic, as well as its practicality.
The little engine never really feels like it’s going to struggle. Maybe with a family of five on board and loaded to the rafters with luggage it might need to draw a deeper breath, but two up cross-country it proved particularly adept in all conditions.
There’s that distinctive thrum you get from all three cylinder engines, but it’s fairly unobtrusive in the main and when you do work it hard, it just sounds like it’s working hard. It has a more acceptable air of subtlety at lower speed, but it’s still audible. A more muzzled growl, if you like.
The emphasis is on a sporty, more engaging driving position to go with the lighter, stiffer chassis that the new Civic is built on.
With the fuel tank relocated in the latest Civics, the driver now sits a bit lower, which makes it more of an involving experience for the ‘keen’ motorist.
CO2 emissions are low and fuel economy of 42.2mpg to 47.1mpg on the WLTP cycle. Sport Line variants will be available with either a six-speed manual transmission or latest-generation CVT with paddle shift.
And it’s not all about the exterior look. Inside you’ll find red stitching detail on the seats, steering wheel, gear shift boot and door panels whilst drilled aluminium pedals reflect Honda’s famed sporting heritage. There’s a decent amount of space and it’s comfortable too, the seats offering good support.
As well as the existing colour options for all Civics, Sport Line can also be finished in a stand-out new paint finish, Obsidian Blue.
And it includes a selection of active safety technologies that helped the car earn top ratings in Euro NCAP tests, including Collision Mitigation Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System and Traffic Sign Recognition.
It’s priced from £25,510 for manual, and £26,910 for CVT variants, with deliveries starting in January 2020.
Honda Civic EX Sport Line
Price: £26,910 (£27,435 as tested)
Engine: 1.0 litre, three cylinder, petrol
Transmission: six speed manual
0-62mph: 11.2 seconds
CO2 emissions: 110g/km