5 Sep 2014

Honda Civic Black Edition 1.6 i-DTEC - First Drive Review

I'm running a Honda Civic Black Edition 1.6 i-DTEC for a week. Here's my first drive review after a couple of days with the car

Honda Civic Black Edition 1.6 i-DTEC
Honda Civic Black Edition 1.6 i-DTEC

The ninth generation Honda Civic has been around since 2011 although you'd be mistaken for thinking it's been longer than that as externally it looks similar to the eighth generation.  The test car is a Black Edition, which I'll come to in a moment, and has the 1.6 i-DTEC engine, which I requested.

Why did I request it?  Because it returns a supposed 78mpg which is staggeringly frugal seeing as it produces 120bhp and 300Nm of torque.

The Black Edition is basically black or rather BLACK.  Everything is black. Black paint (Crystal Black Pearlescent to be precise), Gunpowder black alloys (which look really good) and entirely black bodywork - even the fuel filler cap. Oh, and a Black Edition badge.

Aside from that it's normal Civic inside which is both good and bad.  Good is the spectacular design with swoopy dashboard curves and funky dials, bad is some of the materials used in the cabin which are almost entirely plastic - even the steering wheel.  The only leather I could find is on the gearstick surround.

The Civic's ride is brilliantly composed. It's smooth over rough surfaces and it holds the body taut when flinging round corners.  The steering is delightfully precise.

The engine is also wondrous. It's reasonably powerful yet has returned 50mpg so far and I've only used it on sub 5 mile trips.

The seating position is great but the pedals are too small and dainty for my size 11s, my toes touch the plastic levers on which the pedals are attached.

Also, the Civic Black Edition doesn't have many options which I'd expect as standard in a car costing £22k.  Yes it does have a great sounding audio system with DAB and Bluetooth but it doesn't have satnav, cruise control or automatic lights or wipers. That may sound like I'm nitpicking but I'm increasingly seeing these features on middling cars.

Overall though I like the Civic and the engine is probably the best I've driven for a balance between power and economy.

I'll publish a more in-depth review once the car's gone back.  In the meantime keep an eye out for my social media updates on the Honda Civic Black Edition.
Honda Civic Black Edition 1.6 i-DTEC
Honda Civic Black Edition 1.6 i-DTEC

Honda Civic Black Edition 1.6 i-DTEC
Honda Civic Black Edition 1.6 i-DTEC

Honda Civic Black Edition 1.6 i-DTEC
Honda Civic Black Edition 1.6 i-DTEC

Honda Civic Black Edition 1.6 i-DTEC
Honda Civic Black Edition 1.6 i-DTEC

Honda Civic Black Edition 1.6 i-DTEC

Honda Civic Black Edition 1.6 i-DTEC

By Matt Hubbard