IT is well over ten years since Honda last had an estate version of their popular Civic but they have made a wise decision to re-introduce the model for the Honda Civic Tourer is a very sleek load carrier with the largest boot space in its class.
And the distinctive styling of the Swindon built Tourer not only makes it a better looking car than the Civic hatchback but the vehicle also incorporates world first technology with its Adaptive Damper System which automatically adjusts the rear suspension damping force to enhance stability and comfort under the varying load and driving conditions.
The Civic Tourer is available with two engines a 1.6 diesel and a 1.8 petrol with prices starting at £20,265 and my test car being the 1.8 i-VTEC SR manual which at £24,355 was just over half way up the pricing list.
The SR is next to the top of the trim levels and was extremely well equipped with standard kit which included the aforementioned Adaptive Damper System, sat nav, rear view camera, 17 inch alloy wheels, leather seats plus lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition system, blind spot information and cross traffic monitor.
Tourer is longer than the hatchback which helps to create that massive 624 litres of boot space and underneath the load area floor there is also another large stowage area with there being no spare wheel.
Probably many owners will go for the diesel but I liked the petrol engine which provided adequate power under all load conditions and with zero to 62mph taking 9.6 seconds it was quite lively with combined fuel consumption being 45.56mpg and 149g/km of CO2 emissions.
Honda has a long history of producing estate cars in various models and they rightly state that the Civic Tourer does not look like other rival estates such as the VW Golf, Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Skoda Octavia which are the main competitors.
For the Civic Tourer is arguably the best looking estate in this market sector with class leading aerodynamic efficiency which has helped to produce impressive fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The fuel tank is under the front seats which has helped to create more interior space and Honda’s Magic Seat configuration whereby the rear seats have a range of positions for maximum versatility.
There is a high quality ambience in the cabin which is well finished with a futuristic look about the informative instrumentation and I particularly liked the digital speedometer right in front of the driver and can be seen quite clearly in all driving conditions.
There is a lot of switchgear which can be a tad confusing and some of the switches especially the one for selecting the most suitable setting for the rear suspension damping force are very close to the gear lever when it is in certain positions making it rather difficult operating them.
But there is no doubt Honda has done a great job with the Civic Tourer especially with load capacity and styling making this an estate car with considerable street cred providing it with massive showroom appeal.
Model: New Honda Civic Tourer Estate 1.8i-VTEC SR.
Engine: 1.8-litre petrol.
Transmission: Six speed manual.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 9.6 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 44.1mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 149g/km.
Price: £24,355 on the road.