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Honda Civic (2012-2017) Buying Guide

Honda Civic (2012-2017)
Honda Civic (2012-2017)Honda Civic (2012-2017)Honda Civic (2012-2017)Honda Civic (2012-2017)Honda Civic (2012-2017)Honda Civic (2012-2017)Honda Civic (2012-2017)Honda Civic (2012-2017)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

There are plenty of good reasons to buy a Civic, not least of all because they're built in Britain, in Honda's Swindon plant. Reliability is everything you'd expect of a brand that's consistently rated for producing the most dependable cars on the road. Throw in class-leading practicality, efficient engines plus sharp looks and the Civic is even more enticing. Also, while the five-door hatch is one of the most practical and versatile cars in its class, if you need even more capacity the estate will be just the job. What lets the Civic down is its uninspiring driving experience but to compensate there are some cracking engines on offer, especially in the eye-popping Type R. This addresses many of the standard model's faults, and turns every drive into a thrill.

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We LikeWe Don't Like
Generally reliable
Huge boot
Comfy ride
Rear-seat versatility
Fabulous Type R
Distinctive looks
Frugal diesel
Dynamically dull
Poor rear visibility
High asking prices
Busy dash
Lacks refinement
Unsupportive front seats
Key Dates 
6/12The Civic Mk9 hits UK showrooms with 1.4 or 1.8-litre petrol engines or a 2.2 diesel. There's a five-door hatch only.
1/13There's now a 1.6-litre diesel available.
2/14An estate is introduced with 1.8 petrol or 1.6 diesel engines. 9/12
3/14A facelift brings refreshed styling, extra equipment and a revised trim structure (now S, SE Plus, Sport, SR and EX Plus).
7/15There's a new Civic Type R, with 306bhp.
Checklist 
  • Squeaky brakes are common, especially at the rear. Fresh pads often sorts things, or lubricating the sliding pins.
  • The spring 2014 refresh brought revised steering and suspension settings but the difference is marginal.
  • All manual-gearbox Civics come with stop/start - but the automatic doesn't.
  • The automatic wipers can refuse to work properly. Disconnecting the battery, replacing the sensor or updating the software can all help.
  • The shutlines aren't always as even as you might expect, especially those for the tailgate.
  • The windscreen washer reservoir filler cap isn't retained so it falls into the engine bay where it gets stuck.
  • Check the nose, roof, bonnet and door mirrors for paint damage. The paint tends to be quite soft so it chips and scratches easily.
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