BATD ON Feb 19, 2014 AT 10:38 am

by Liz Turner

Honda Civic Tourer

Honda Civic Tourer

Honda Civic Tourer proves length does matter…

Beauty and style are often down to proportions. One of the Sunday supplements once ran a very cruel story showing supermodels swishing down the catwalk beside pictures of the same outfit worn by a mere mortal who bought it. Ooh dear.

The right proportions are just as essential for architecture – and for cars. Long and low is slinky and sexy. Short and upright, however practical, can look more Moomin Mamma than Ms Moss.

So, although the Honda Civic isn’t a bad-looking car, it doesn’t turn heads. That’s changed with the introduction of the Tourer. If this were an Aston Martin, it would be called a ‘shooting brake’. A larger load area has been added behind the rear wheels of the hatchback, and the longer, low roof, gives the car a svelte profile.

It’s nice to know it was designed in Europe to suit European tastes, and is built in the UK, at Honda’s Swindon plant.

Clever tech
Out on the road, the Tourer feels confident and comfortable. It has a world-first rear suspension design, which we’ll take their word for it, is almighty clever. You can push a button to select Comfort, Normal or Dynamic suspension feel, depending on the kind of driving you’re doing. Unfortunately, as the test route was mainly M1, a city ring road and a A-road infested with trucks, we didn’t need the Dynamic and stuck with the Comfort.

The dash has a large sweeping digital display that makes the car feel bigger than it is. It’s all very clear and the plastics are good quality, if not premium.

Honda Civic Tourer Interior

Honda Civic Tourer Interior

The Driver Assistance Safety Pack, optional from the SE upwards offers a suite of features appearing on lots of new cars at the moment, this includes City-brake Active System, which prevents your car running into the one ahead in stop-start traffic. In the Safety pack 2, this upgrades to a system that acts on the brakes and other safety features to reduce the impact of an accident at higher speeds.

If you were heading off on a trip, the new load area will take plenty of luggage or two bikes, and it does clever things. For example, the floor is low and flat, with a box underneath for added storage. If you need to load it up higher than the tonneau cover, you can stow this under the floor and retrieve it later when it’s needed, rather than leaving it behind.

Honda Civic Tourer

Honda Civic Tourer

How much?
Perhaps best of all, the Tourer shouldn’t be expensive to run. The team has worked hard on its weight and aerodynamics to reduce its thirst for fuel – there’s even a cover underneath the vehicle to make it slip through the air more easily. It also offers a five-year care package including warranty, servicing and roadside assistance.

So, if you want to slip into something elegant, the Honda Civic Tourer may make you look better than haute couture. And it’s more affordable.

Honda Civic Tourer

1.6 i-DEC S
Price £21,375
Max speed 130mph
0-60mph 9.2 seconds
Economy 74.3mpg combined
CO2 99g/km

1.8 i-VTEC S
Price £20,265
Max speed 130mph
0-60mph 9.6 seconds
Economy 146mpg combined
CO2 146g/km

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