Honda has taken quit a daring approach with the new Civic, while most manufacturers are jumping on board with cross overs Honda seem to have faith in their hatch back. Admitted it’s been around since the 1970s and has a great reputation so now with the all new Civic they are dropping the previous model’s petrol engine and manual gearbox in favour of a hybrid only approach - The Honda Civic e:HEV.

All New Honda Civic e:HEV

All New Honda Civic e:HEV

This latest Civic e:HEV is only available as a self-charging hybrid, so, how does the new Civic come out.

The hybrid powertrain.

The Civic hybrid powertrain is a variant of the e:HEV system also used in the latest Jazz and HR-V. It is built around a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine developed specifically for the new Civic.

Here though there isn’t a gearbox – the electric motor powers the car for most of the time, with the petrol engine doing its job in the background, that is  generating electricity. All this means the cabin is very quiet and making it feel every bit an electric car.

On the motorway the petrol engine comes into play sending power directly via a smart auto clutch system to the front wheels. Drive to the road is 1:1 ratio – which gives better efficiency at high speeds than running on hybrid.

The benefit is efficiency, with CO2 emissions as low as 108g/km, while driven carefully you’ll see an easy 60mpg around town and well over 50mpg the rest of the time. That is pretty close to PHEV levels of efficiency, and it easy to achieve.

The drive

Considering how complicated it seems, Honda’s e:HEV powertrain works very well. It can go from start up to motorway speeds on the electric motor, which means its smooth. Then because the engine doesn’t need to rev hard to generate electricity, the cabin remains very refined. It’s approaching electric car levels of serenity – the only noise audible is a bit from tyres and that’s only at speed.

The Civic petrol engine sounds quite good when you’re pushing on, it is quick – you get 181bhp and 258lb/ft of torque and is rapid enough to outstrip much of the competition.


Again, Honda have done a good job because, despite the heavy electrification, the new Civic remains fun to drive. Its body is 22% more rigid than the previous car, which means the chassis doesn’t flex when you throw it into corners. Grip levels are also impressive thanks to the wide rear track.

With the battery pack mounted under the rear seats, the chassis stays steady when you change direction quickly. Honda has balanced the front and rear of this new Civic well, with just enough forward bias towards to make the front turn in smoothly.

The ride is excellent, effectively smoothing the edge off all but the largest potholes.

Slick and well-weighted positive steering keeps the Civic online, no drift or uncertainty when cornering.


Honda’s new 9.0-inch infotainment system looks great and the dashboard comes with rotary climate controls.

The new Civic has all the touchpoints trimmed in either soft-touch vegan leather, or aluminium – and Honda even wrap the door pulls in padded faux leather.

There is stacks of room, too. Head and shoulder room is good in the front, the seat and steering column have sufficient adjustability to allow the, tallest of drivers to get comfortable behind the wheel. Space in the back is a touch tighter due to the sloping roofline, though this is countered by 35mm of extra legroom, over the previous model, which is an appreciable difference.

Our Civic e:HEV Advance model came with a sunroof which takes some headroom from rear-seat occupants although there is still plenty of passenger headroom.

There is stacks of standard equipment, with LED headlights, a 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster, dual-zone air conditioning, heated seats, a rear-view camera and a wireless smartphone charger. In our Advance grade there is a 12-speaker BOSE audio system, electrically adjustable front seats and a heated steering wheel all as standard.

In the boot the Honda Civic e:HEV  has a massive 410 litres of space so no problems fitting everything in. 

Honda Civic e:HEV: The verdict

Those of you who are our regular readers will know we test our cars around Manchester city centre and the surrounding suburbs, both in normal and peak traffic conditions before heading off on long journeys across the UK. This approach tests the vehicle in real life situations of everyday use which all of us want our motors actually for.

In City centre traffic the Civic e:HEV is impeccable, easy handle, parking is easy especially with the rear view camera and lane sensors.

On the long runs over the m62 again the Civic e:HEV Advance was a pleasure to drive and we arrived fresh and ready for work at our destination.

The Honda  Civic e:HEV has a lot of very clever technology underpinning the new Civic and its petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain, it is fun to drive, economical, spacious and fast enough for when it needs to be.

By building on the heritage of the Civic Honda are onto a winner here.

For more information on the Honda Civic e:HEV and all other Honda Vehicles go to Honda UK

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