Honda Civic Tourer

Honda Civic Tourer lr

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By Tim Saunders

It is possible to make a visually striking estate car and one that in my opinion looks more fetching than its hatchback equivalent.

I am talking about the Honda Civic Tourer, which is a thoroughly attractive vehicle from whichever angle you care to look.

The hatchback is a decent enough car but the position of the spoiler has always been an issue for me because it gets in my way obscuring my vision when looking in the rear view mirror. The Tourer doesn’t have that problem. Finished in orchid white with 17” alloy wheels this takes the estate car concept to a whole new level. Until now it was only Volvo that caught my eye in this department. The boot is massive too, easily swallowing our tandem pushchair and making it an ideal travelling companion. So we drive it to Suffolk to put it through its paces. It takes us a few hours to travel from Hampshire to Suffolk and the ride is comfortable.

The driver’s seat is comfortable and supportive and it quickly becomes clear to my wife that everything on the dash is angled in the driver’s favour. She never likes this because she can’t keep an eye on what’s going on.

This model is fitted with a sat nav and while it is undoubtedly useful this example is incredibly frustrating. Like a dodgy London cabby it takes us a long way round from Woodbridge, Suffolk to Ipswich added to which its female voice whispers and we cannot fathom how to make her speak up. This means that it’s really difficult to hear her above the noise of our daughters and the road. Fortunately visual directions are also provided on the dashboard display. It is surprising that this Tourer feels really quite nimble despite its very sizeable boot.

During our test Caroline is invited to a 40th birthday party for one of her friends, who lives in Chatham, Kent. So we punch in the details to the sat nav and a couple of hours later we arrive. As with all cars the best efficiency is recorded at 56mph and when travelling at this speed for some hours it is possible to nudge the miles per gallon over 70. Driving like this enables us to travel from Hampshire to Suffolk and back and Suffolk to Kent and back all on a 50 litre tank of diesel with a good amount of luggage.

The Tourer is certainly visually appealing and looks decidedly futuristic, which is surprising for an estate car, which so often looks the poor relation when compared to its hatchback or saloon variants.

Parkers, the car experts, write: “The Honda Civic Tourer is the estate version of the capable five-door Civic hatchback. It’s relatively small on the outside – the same width and wheelbase as the regular hatch and a scant 235mm longer – but can lug an extra 147 litres of luggage. From launch it is priced at approximately £1,000 more than the regular five-door Civic hatchback and enters a competitive market against other hatch-based estates such as the Seat Leon ST, Ford Focus estate, Vauxhall Astra Tourer and Toyota Auris Touring Sports. Although it’s not all that much longer than the hatchback model, boot capacity is the Civic Tourer’s real strength. Official boot volume is a very generous 624 litres (to the window with the seats up) – by comparison the Vauxhall Astra Tourer’s official capacity is 500 litres and the Ford Focus Estate 476 litres. With the seats down, luggage capacity increases to 1,668 litres (measured to the roofline). That figure includes a large hidden compartment under the boot floor offering nearly 120 litres, enough space for two decent sized travel bags to be stowed out of sight. That compartment disappears if you select the option of a spare wheel, however. With the 60:40-split seat backs folded downwards there’s a completely flat load area and a load length close to 1.8m.”

Facts at a glance

Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC EX Plus Manual

New price: £27,960

Used price: £19,000

0-60mph: 10.5secs

Top speed: 121mph

Economy: 72mpg

Power: 120bhp

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