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You have to nitpick to find fault with the Civic. It’s behaved flawlessly, and the fuel economy has been the best I’ve experienced with any business car

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.

Honda Civic
The Civic’s ‘hidden’ lower boot, and the ability to flip up the rear seat bases all add to load carrying flexibility

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.

Click here for our full review of the Honda Civic 1.6 diesel.


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