Honda released the Civic Tourer Concept in March 2013, low and behold it’s now sitting on our driveway!
We loved the 1.6 i-DTEC engine in the Civic hatch that we tested last year, so we went for the same power plant once again. The 1.6 litre diesel lump provides 118 BHP and a whopping 300 Nm of torque, to help keep things feeling peppy. 0-60 is dispatched in 10.5 seconds.
Our test car was in the range topping EX-Plus trim level, the only option being pearlescent paint at £500, bringing the total to £27,960.
So the concept looked stunning, what about the final product?
Well, it has been toned down a little now it has hit production, the back end is less rounded and butch, and that rear arch styling is also less pronounced; which is a shame. But it still looks damn good for an estate!
If you were to put hatch and estate side by side, the estate is only marginally longer – 23.5 cm to be precise – but the sweep of the roofline and the flat rear end really complement the looks, they finish off the whole car rather nicely.
We have said it before, but Honda’s little 1.6 i-DTEC engine is just superb. 118 BHP in a car this size should feel slow, lumbering and lacking. But thanks to the bucket loads of torque this unit develops it feels far more spritely and responsive than it should be.
Plant your right foot and the Tourer picks up pace well, in fact that can be said at any speed.
Its gearbox is slick with a short throw, and the ratios match the engines torque and pace perfectly. Sixth gear is great for cruising, but if you want to overtake you are best to change down.
Under hard acceleration, with the revs climbing it gets quite thrumy toward the red line as the torque dies, but keep it within 2 – 4,000 RPM and you are rewarded with surprising pace.
Now with this being the top of the range, all singing all dancing model we had the luxury of the Adaptive Damper System – this is standard from SR trim up. It has three modes: Dynamic, Normal and Comfort.
On a car of this ilk it’s an unusual but welcome addition, and I’m pleased to say it makes a big difference – especially seeing as the system is only fitted on the rear axle.
The Normal setting isn’t bad. It’s a halfway house between Dynamic and Comfort. You do get some minor body roll in corners and bumps are soaked up well with a thud, followed by some minor cabin discomfort.
Dynamic stiffens the whole car up rather nicely. It dials out that body roll giving a precise, near flat turn in to corners. Under brisk, spirited driving it makes the Tourer a lot sharper, you feel every bump and cats eye through the chassis. Steering input is also heightened.
Comfort makes the ride super slick and smooth. Lumps and bumps are ironed out nicely, with nothing more than a dull thud when you come toe to toe with a pot hole. Body roll becomes massive in the corners, but on longer journeys munching those motorway miles it’s perfect.
Braking is sharp and precise, you get quite a bit of nose dive no matter what setting the suspension is in; but this only happens under more severe braking.
Grip wise the Tourer is easily on par with its Hatchback forbearer, and yes once again I say you can have some great fun with this car (and engine setup) along some twisty B roads.
Over 200 miles of purely town driving we managed 48 MPG which isn’t half bad, however Honda reckon it will do 67.3 in an urban environment…I don’t think so!
Inside the Civic Tourer is smart and well put together. Quality is very good and feels as though it will last a lifetime.
Due to our model being in EX-Plus spec there were no nasty blanking plates, we had switches galore – the keyless entry and start button were welcome additions.
Another range topping feature is the electrically adjustable driver’s seat, not only can you adjust the lumbar but you can also increase the bolster grip. Inflating these supports fully allows you to have a deeply hugging, bucket-esque seat.
The chunky steering wheel is thicker than you would normally find, but feels nice to grip. Unfortunately the nice sensations end there…as the steering does feel rather lifeless and disconnected. Turn in is precise but there is no feeling whatsoever.
You really don’t notice the size of the Civic Tourer until you look behind you to reverse, then you think ‘Christ this is big’. Boot space is superb at 624 litres, push those ‘magic’ folding rear seats completely flat and you will have 1,668 litres.
Rear legroom is decent with an average size driver up front, head room is also very good despite that sweeping roofline.
Honda have done it once again, the Civic Tourer is superb looker and has practicality by the boot load! If the Civic is too small for you then for an extra £1000 the Tourer will give you hectares more space.
Spec wise EX-Plus has all the toys, but SR is also very well kitted out and comes in at nearly £2k cheaper. We’d opt for that one.
Civic Tourer – Great looks, superb 1.6 i-DTEC engine, a little pricey, excellent small estate.