The Honda Civic has an exciting time ahead as the highly anticipated Type-R model soon joins the range. If a 306BHP turbocharged hot hatchback doesn’t get your heart racing then you are likely in some form of vegetated state. Whilst the new Honda Civic Type-R is getting enthusiasts foaming at the mouth, there is also a little something for the more casual buyer who seeks sharper looks but not the increased fuel bill. This is the 2015 Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC Sport.
It is important to fully understand what the Civic Sport is before making a judgment on it. This is not a modern day incarnation of the Civic Type-S as it has no performance gains over a standard 1.6 i-DTEC model. Sport is in fact a new trim level which ditches the heated leather seats and glass roof of top specifications in favour of enhanced styling.
Our test car finished in imaginatively named “sporty blue” looked great with contrasting 17 inch alloy wheels. Fog lights prominently feature on the front bumper alongside a black mesh grill. Restyled daytime running lights gives the 2015 Honda Civic a unique and more aggressive appearance, especially at night! Rear privacy glass and defuser element continues the black detail. A body colour rear spoiler also separates this Sport model from its siblings. This is the Honda Civic at its best in terms of visuals. The injection of edginess creates an aesthetic that turns heads.
Inside the 2015 Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC Sport receives all of the enhancements of this model year. A touchscreen android tablet replaces the ageing unit of the previous model and gives users the ability to completely customise their infotainment interface. Bluetooth, DAB radio, satellite navigation, web browser and other applications are placed at the users fingertips. Supportive fabric seats host the front occupants with the driver getting a a clear view of easy to read instrumentation. Having the speedometer set above the dials means that the cars speed can be seen without glancing away from the road. New door inserts further boosts the perceived quality of an already well engineered cabin. The rear bench seats three with good levels of head and leg room. Due to the placement of the fuel tank further forward in the car, as opposed to under the rear seats, Honda have incorporated what they call “magic seats.” The lower portion can be folded like a chair found in the cinema allowing for large items to be stored separately from those in the boot. Speaking of the boot, a huge 477 litres is at your disposal, but fold the rear seats completely flat and a vast 1,210 litres will happily swallow just about anything.
As mentioned, the 1.6 litre diesel engine in this car possesses no more performance than the Civic in any other guise, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing… The engine in this 2015 Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC Sport is a good choice as it blends usable performance with great economy. 60MPG combined can be had without even trying and so with a bit of consideration this cars official 76.3MPG is likely achievable. 118BHP and 300Nm of torque means that the Civic is well equipped both around town as well as on the motorway. This year changes to the steering results in better weighting and increased precision. Something else new for 2015 is a system called “Agile Handling Assist” which brakes the inside wheel around tight bends. In doing this the car pulls itself closer to the apex of a corner increasing agility, hence the name. It works too! Whilst the Civic still isn’t the king of the hill in terms of handling, it does close the gap to the Ford Focus. These alterations add up to a car that feels more dynamic on twisty roads. Loads of grip and solid lateral control makes for a car you can have confidence in. Its slick 6 speed manual transmission is pleasing to use. Overall this 2015 Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC Sport rides well, but when encountering multiple road imperfections its sporty 17 inch alloy wheels don’t help. Another niggle is that rear visibility is impaired by the cars boot spoiler, that said the Sport comes with a rear view camera as standard. A nice addition to said camera is its ability to notify you when traffic is approaching from either side of the car as you reverse out of spaces or onto a busy road. On the motorway the Civic is very good at just settling down and getting on with the task at hand. It is comfortable, refined and generally a nice place to be when commuting.
This 2015 Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC Sport is the Civic in its best light. Its new sporty styling changes adds to the models appeal but retains impressive fuel consumption figures. The Sport grade is also reasonably priced starting at £19,565 for the 1.8 petrol or £20,820 for the highly recommendable 1.6 diesel.