Fine Civic duty is a matter of pride for Honda

Honda’s Civic might look radical but underneath it’s a solid and dependable family hatchback.

Honda’s Civic might look radical but underneath it’s a solid and dependable family hatchback. - Credit: Honda

Honda's Civic is a practical family hatchback, with a supreme reputation for reliability, that still looks eye-catchingly radical years after its debut.

Used Car: Honda Civic (2006-12)

Engines – Petrol is the focus of the Civic range – Honda is famous for producing some of the best units engines. The 1.4, 1.8 and 2.0-litre VTEC units need to be revved for maximum enjoyment. The 2.2-litre diesel is also a good choice, although it can't match French or German rivals for outright performance.

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Exterior – A radical departure from the sensible-looking previous-generation car, this Civic certainly got everyone talking about the car and the brand. Years later, this Civic still stands out on the high street.

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Interior – No less challenging than its exterior, the Civic's cabin is unlike anything else in this sector of the market. Thankfully, form hasn't completely overtaken function, although the driver-focused fascia does have its quirks.

Driving – Delivering a noticeably more sporty drive than its predecessor – and that's even excluding the hot Type-R model – this Civic is a more enjoyable experience yet one that should appeal to both young and old.

Ownership – Honda's long-held reputation for delivering quality products is obvious in this Civic. From overall fit and finish to the cabin ambience and car's long-term reliability, only the lack of a wiper for the rear screen – something remedied on the latest model – stands out as a frustrating omission.

What to look for – A favourite of private buyers, always check for the usual parking dents and kerbed wheels that can accompany such a car. A full service history is essential with something this new, while if a test drive throws up any unusual behaviour that's your cue to walk away – there's no shortage of choice.

Model history – 2006, Honda launches a radical new version of is popular Civic compact hatchback model. The petrol-heavy range includes a sole diesel option plus Honda's usual high standards for durability and build quality.

Reasons to buy – Proven Honda reliability, unusual Japanese-developed diesel, equipment levels, sporty character.

Reasons to beware – Radical looks, cabin ergonomic quirks, lack of rear screen wiper.

Pick of the range – Civic 1.8 i-VTEC Sport five-door.

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