2015 sees some big changes to the Honda Civic range with the introduction of the Civic Sport and of course the Type-R. Don’t go thinking that the rest of the lineup has been forgotten about though! A facelift has been rolled out in order to spread a slightly sportier visage amongst the Civics. We got the keys to a top of the line 2015 Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC EX Plus to see if this already pleasing stylish estate can be improved upon.
As we have said since the Civic Tourer first hit the road, it is a fantastic looking car. Considering estate cars a usually rather boxy and overly sensible in their design, this machine injects some sculptural style into the practical recipe. A new front bumper with a gloss black element and chromed fog lights create more fluid front end. Sharp new headlights that incorporate a rather unique daytime running light looks great. Body lines carry your eyes rearward towards the cars tapering glass. In EX-Plus configuration this car also receives an attractive set of 17 inch alloy wheels. It isn’t just pleasing to the eye for an estate, it is handsome full stop.
For 2015 the interior also gets a nip and tuck. Taking centerstage is Honda’s new Android based touchscreen infotainment system that is customisable and gives the user access to DAB radio, satellite navigation, BlueTooth, internet browsing when tethered to a phone, and various apps. The introduction of this unit means that the array of buttons that used to surround the screen are now neatly integrated into the operating system. This cleans up the centre console and improves ergonomics. A silver strip runs across the passengers side dispersing what would be a sea of black dashboard with something a bit more stylistic. The leather heated seats in this car featured electric adjustment even for the bolsters. They proved supportive and comfortable on long motorway hauls. Visibility is good all around with a reversing camera aiding with parking or extracting yourself from a driveway. This 2015 Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC EX Plus interior is spacious with plenty of head and leg room for all. Wide opening rear doors make loading the car with people or “gubbins” easy. Fitted with “magic seats” the base of the rear bench can be folded to create a separate cargo space from the boot. Said boot is vast at 624 litres, but fold the rear seats flat and you will find 1,116 litres at your disposal. Fill it to the roof and that becomes 1,668 litres!
The 1.6 litre i-DTEC engine of our test car is the one to have. Officially it claims 72.4MPG combined but without trying very hard we achieved 68MPG and so once again Honda’s numbers add up unlike a lot of competitors. Obviously how much such a car costs to run plays a big role in decision making especially for those looking to buy a company car. On the move, refinement levels are high meaning that you would be perfectly comfortable trawling the motorway all day long. This engine option enables strong overtaking performance with 300Nm of torque available to it. A pleasant six speed manual gearbox proves itself to be well designed with a nice slick motion to each change. Moving onto some more enthusiastic stretches of tarmac, a few more changes to the 2015 car are revealed. The steering has had some weight added to it and as a result allows for more precise inputs. Agile Handling Assist applies the brakes to the inside wheels when rounding a tight corner, which sucks the car closer to the apex. As the systems name suggests, its boosts agility and teamed with high levels of grip is a more engaging car to drive than its predecessor. In the estate you also get adjustable dampers for the rear. At the push of a button you can cycle through normal, dynamic and comfort. With these larger alloy wheels I found myself leaving the car in comfort, but making a switch to dynamic for better body control when the road becomes interesting. In a town or city this car is just a happy pottering about as it is anywhere else. Its good visibility aids in keeping an eye out for those pesky cyclists and City Braking will perform an emergency stop autonomously at speeds up to 19MPH if you fail to do so.
Civics are now around £1,600 cheaper that last years car meaning they are better value for money. They are still a bit more costly than competitors, but this change does close the gap. Also if you factor in that world famous Honda reliability it might be a premium worth paying. The changes for 2015 to this car have refined an already great product. Our test car with every toy in the chest came to £27,265 but we would recommend going for a lower specification as they are still loaded with kit.
Want an attractive car that ticks all of the boxes for family life? Here you go…