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Honda is pioneering a niche with this unconventional alternative to compact estate motoring. In a segment where trendy SUV crossovers and boxy yet practical wagons are the public’s general order of the day, has the 2014 Honda Civic Tourer got what it takes to be in a class of its own?
If you’re one of those searching for that elusive combination of tons of space and the style to cover up the fact that it has so much of the stuff; then rejoice for the 2014 Honda Civic Tourer has arrived unto this world. The first Honda to be properly designed and built wholly in Europe (who does that right?!) and based on all the underpinnings of the 9th generation Honda Civic, the mechanicals are sound – especially with Honda’s new feisty and frugal 1.6 i-DTEC engine which ensures there is plenty to desire here.
Let’s face it – most small estates are not lookers. Sure they generally do the job well but you’d rather keep the ungainly thing chained up in a garage than show it off too your friends and acquaintances at the society ball. In contrast, this 2014 Honda Civic Tourer boasts an elegant and flowing design that doesn’t make it look like the blocky Frankenstein’s monster of the car world. It still bares the trademark Honda Civic hatch design cues such as the nose, the cool hidden rear door handle and the swooping sides which seem genuinely cohesive with the 235mm of extra length.
The 2014 Honda Civic Tourer is first and foremost a car with lots of space. It stands at just 4.5 metres in total length yet has a total cargo area of 1668ltrs. That’s 10% more than a huge executive estate like the Volvo V6 Estate. No it’s not a TARDIS, but it is partially down to the ‘magic’ seats. This means that the rear bench seats have great flexibility which is somewhat rare in estate vehicles. You can pop their seats up like cinema seats (to put taller items in) or fold them completely flat. In the actual cargo bay there are loads of practical bits and bobs like side nets, ring hooks, 12 volt socket and pet hair repellent carpet, but the piece de resistance is the huge underfloor compartment that’s big enough to smuggle a relatively small Mexican family across the border in. The loading lip is also one of the lowest in the class. This is very useful in general if not to just facilitate your smuggling activities. The back seats aren’t too affected by the emphasis on cargo space here. The head and leg room is good and the general seating arrangement is comfortable, although it’s worth noting that the middle seat is a bit of a short straw. The front of the cabin looks futuristic with a combination of analogue and digital features that feel very driver centric. The gearstick is perfectly placed as are the metal pedals and the seats. The ‘Information Zone’ central console is very much as its name implies – it houses the controls for air con, the Panasonic MID TFT touchscreen which displays the sat nav, stereo system and air con info. This can be personalised with your own pictures too. Above that, arching over the top of the dash is the ‘driver interface zone’ which basically works as a big heads up display – showing all the important driving information cleanly in your eye line as you’re driving.
The 2014 Honda Civic Tourer is a cut above most SUV crossovers and small estates when it comes to driving dynamics. For starters it’s based on the Honda Civic which is always bound to be a fun drive. There’s a large comfort factor when cruising about in the Honda Civic Tourer. The near perfect weighting, the smoothness of the brakes and clutch and the precision of the gearbox all work well to give a feeling of effortlessness when driving.
It also feels fast, which is good considering both of the available engines aren’t really of the hot rodding nature. The 142ps i-VTEC 1.8ltr petrol unit goes 0-62 in 9.2 seconds up to a top speed of 130mph, yet you have to rev the thing to death in order to get those figures, which some might see as excessive effort-wise. It’s worth skipping over this unit entirely in favour for the impressive 120ps 1.6ltr i-DTEC diesel engine. It doesn’t sound as impressive on paper with 0-62 in 10.1 seconds up to 120mph, but the pulling power is double that of the petrol engine at 300Nm. Being a diesel, it also has the monopoly on economy between the two making the Honda Civic Tourer relatively cheap to run on a day to day basis.
All in all, what’s the lowdown with the 2014 Honda Civic Tourer? This is a small estate that boasts a gold star for having one of the largest and most flexible cargo spaces in the class (or indeed the class above). In short it’s one of the most practical estates – surprisingly effective and has a certain level of desirability that other small hatchbacks just plain don’t.
If you want to get hold of the 2014 Honda Civic Tourer then don’t hesitate to leave us a message on our contact us page or give us a call on 01903 538835 to find out about our Honda lease deals.
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