Review: Driven: 2012 Honda Civic i-DTEC review and pictures | evo
Well the first thing to say is that – if you’re keen on the idea of a Civic - you should buy the 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel. That might sound like sacrilege when you have the alternative option of an petrol engine with the letters VTEC in its name, but sadly the thrashy 148bhp 1.8-litre petrol is just too gutless to make driving it enjoyable. The diesel isn’t a corker in terms of refinement, but it will at least get you up a mild incline without multiple downshifts, and throttle response is good.
As you’d expect, a standard chassis Civic is not going to set the performance world on fire. Having said that, the ride is pleasingly supple without feeling wallowy (although it struggles slightly through bigger suspension movements at speed), the steering is engagingly direct and overall it feels nicely judged. The pedals are well spaced too and the manual gearshift is relatively close across the gate, so if you found yourself on a decent bit of road it certainly wouldn’t be horribly frustrating. Most importantly, it should ride well on British roads too.