With Sport engaged, all the dials turn to red, the throttle gets more responsive and the engine note takes on an extra dose of aggression. I’ve enjoyed trying to convince myself I’m Gordon Shedden in his BTCC race car, and there is a slight hint of the road-going Honda screamers of old. The manic rev range is obviously missing, but there’s a hard edge to the engine note that doesn’t get boomy as the revs climb. This is no CVT drone, that’s for sure. 

Sport also turns on Winding Road Detection (an excellent Japanese expression), which keeps the engine engaged to reduce lag and increase deceleration.

Despite all this, the new Civic is heavier than the old one. It’s still only 1517kg (or 1533kg in this top spec), but it’s nevertheless annoying that the weight curve is going up, not down. To be fair, Honda has tried, giving this car an aluminium bonnet that’s 43% lighter than the old one and a resin tailgate that shaves some weight, but excess kilos will always be an enemy of enthusiasts.

Overall, though, things are looking encouraging, as the Civic is already making a strong impression. I think it’s the general ease of use: nothing flusters it and there are few annoying flaws. 

It’s the little things that count, like the seat heater that remembers how your last journey ended and comes on again automatically the following cold morning. A car that functions as nature intended: who would’ve thought that would be such a revelation in 2022?

Love it 

Seat comfort

After a day spent in a Citroën Ami recently, driving the Civic again felt like reclining in a La-Z-Boy.

Loathe it

Plump rump

The rear quarter view looks a bit flabby to me. Even the 18in wheels can’t hide the post-C-pillar bulk 

Mileage: 4744


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