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Driven: Honda Civic e:HEV. Image by Honda.

Driven: Honda Civic e:HEV
Honda’s family hatchback has been reinvigorated, but there’s more to the update than just a smart new body.


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2022 Honda Civic e:HEV

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The Honda Civic has become a byword for longevity, but now Honda is hoping to add efficiency to the Civic's repertoire with this clever new model. There's nothing all that remarkable about a 2.0-litre hybrid these days, but the Civic's system is a little more involved than most, and that should make it both powerful and efficient. But does it work, and can the new Civic stand alone without being singled out by its powertrain?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2022 Honda Civic e:HEV Advance i-MMD eCVT
Price: From £34,650
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol hybrid system with electric motor
Transmission: eCVT transmission, front-wheel drive
Battery: 1.05kWh
Power: 184hp
Torque: 315Nm
Emissions: 114g/km
Economy/Range: 56.5mpg
0-62mph: 8.1 seconds
Top speed: 111mph
Boot space: 404 litres


The new Civic is a little more restrained than its predecessor, but that’s no bad thing in our book. It looks less yobbish and uncouth than the old car, adding a little more class to proceedings without becoming boring. The latest-generation Civic probably won’t be a style icon – it isn’t as attractive as the Peugeot 308, for example – but now it can hold its own alongside the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus in terms of grown-up style.


Honda cabins have often managed to merge premium construction with budget materials to find a weird middle ground, but as with the HR-V SUV, the Civic's interior is a step forward for the brand. Sure, there are a few cheap plastics knocking about, but that's true of the VW Golf these days, and Honda's material quality is a definite improvement on what's gone before. Build quality meanwhile, remains as impressive as ever. The touchscreen infotainment system has improved, too, although it could hardly be worse than that of the old Civic. It still feels old hat alongside systems from Ford and Kia, but it's an improvement, and that's something to be thankful for.


The Civic has long been one of the more practical offerings in the family hatchback class, and the new model is no different. The 404-litre boot is a little larger than that of a Ford Focus or a Volkswagen Golf, while rear space is ample, even though rear headroom is slightly decreased compared with the old car. There's no estate version, which might be a drawback for some, but the Civic is roomy enough for most people to go without the extra space.


Honda's hybrid system is very clever, using the electric motor to power the wheels for most of the time, while the petrol engine acts as an on-board generator. Of course, there are times when the petrol engine has to take over as it normally would, but the transition is seamless and we challenge anyone unfamiliar with the car to work out when the engine is driving the front wheels. That seamlessness is partly down to the hideously complex gearbox, which corrals the two motors, but it's also down to the smoothness of the engine. It's well engineered and it's efficient, returning more than 50mpg with ease and emitting just 114 grams of carbon dioxide every kilometre. The system performs well, too, offering 184hp and a 0-62mph time of around eight seconds.

Ride & Handling

In recent years, Civics have prioritised handling over comfort – and Honda claims the new model still does – but the latest-generation car appears to take a much more balanced approach. The ride is as smooth as that of a Volkswagen Golf, if not even more mature, yet the car feels more nimble with it. Admittedly, a Ford Focus or a Mazda3 will still be more fun, but the Civic really isn’t bad at all. And Honda has finally sorted the steering so it has some weight to it. Better still, the Civic feels refined and hushed, and the front seats are excellent, which only adds to the sense of refinement.


With prices starting at £30,495 for the basic Elegance model, the Civic isn't exactly cheap. You'll spend less on a basic Peugeot 308 or a Ford Focus. But as hybrids go, the Civic isn't especially dear, and that entry-level option comes with plenty of goodies. Front and rear parking sensors are standard, as is a rear-view camera and adaptive cruise control. Heated front seats, keyless entry and some safety gadgets are also thrown in. But the Advance model, which starts at £34,650, comes with even more, including wireless charging and a heated steering wheel, not to mention a Bose audio system.


The new Civic might not look as dramatic as some that have gone before it, but there's no denying its competence. With a spacious boot, a comfortable ride and solid economy for such a powerful engine, it goes straight in among the very best family hatchbacks you can buy. And with Honda reliability on its side, it's bound to be a popular choice.

James Fossdyke - 21 Dec 2022    - Honda road tests
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2022 Honda Civic e:HEV. Image by Honda.2022 Honda Civic e:HEV. Image by Honda.2022 Honda Civic e:HEV. Image by Honda.2022 Honda Civic e:HEV. Image by Honda.2022 Honda Civic e:HEV. Image by Honda.

2022 Honda Civic e:HEV. Image by Honda.2022 Honda Civic e:HEV. Image by Honda.2022 Honda Civic e:HEV. Image by Honda.2022 Honda Civic e:HEV. Image by Honda.


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