Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC ES-T
THAT time has finally come when I have to say goodbye to the Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC ES-T I’ve been running for the last six months. I’ve been avoiding thinking about it, simply because I’ve had such a trouble-free, cheap five thousand miles with the Civic that I’ll certainly be sad to see the back of it.
If you run it as a company car it sits in the lowly 13% company car tax band
Take a weekday as an example. Say I’ve got a meeting in Birmingham; I know I can jump in the Honda, and I know it’ll be trouble free, comfortable, and refined over the next few hours of monotonous motorway. As a bonus I know it’s got a crystal clear Bluetooth set-up so I can catch up on some business calls and I can be sure of getting my 60mpg without trying.
If I choose to stray from the motorways, I’ve got the excellent sat nav as a back up. The minute you don’t know where you’re going it’s easy to input a postcode or a street name. Once I arrive, the Civic portrays the perfect image for a small business – it’s smart and stylish but not ostentatious.
It’s so light on company car tax too. If you run it as a company car it sits in the lowly 13% company car tax band. What’s more it’ll keep business car managers around the country happy because its 94g/km CO2 emissions qualify for 100% FYA.
If you want that from a Focus or a Golf you’ll need the expensive ECOnetic or Bluemotion models and then you’ll need to add things like sat nav and a rear view camera, which both come as standard on the Civic.
When the weekend rolls around the Civic is still in its element. Mrs R likes the image that the Civic projects, and the kids still think it’s cool.
The whole family fits in easily, with plenty of stowage space for drinks and snacks – as well as a couple of Mrs R’s handbags. We’ve never had an instance where we needed more space in the boot, which must be a good sign, too.
When it does come to carrying big things I found the rear seats folded down really easily I appreciated the ability to flip up the seat bases of the rear bench cinema-style so I could slide in a tall, narrow piece of DIY kit. It also means that if the boot’s full I can stand up a set of golf clubs.
I’m under no illusions that the Civic is the best car in the world – I realise the interior quality and layout could do with a bit of work, and the engine could do with being a bit quieter. Nevertheless, it’s a cracking car – and should certainly be part of the choice list on any SME small fleet.