CCT100 2019 Lower Medium Car of the Year – Honda Civic
The five-door hatchback sector is still the company car heartland despite the rise of crossovers and SUVs, so the CCT100 Lower Medium Car of the Year is a big deal in the fleet marketplace.
And for 2019, Honda has retained the award the Civic collected in 2018. The Japanese brand has added to the car’s strengths in the intervening 12 months, with the introduction of a diesel engine in the spring of 2018.
This merely enhanced the business appeal of the Civic, bringing emissions down to just 93g/km from the 120hp 1.6-litre engine, although the 126hp 1.0-litre petrol is also impressive at just 110g/km for the manual, or 107g/km for the CVT automatic version. There’s also a range-topping 182hp 1.5-litre petrol that kicks off at 128g/km, although the two more sensible engines are the better bets for anyone trying to mitigate big company car tax bills.
Honda hasn’t always had a strong diesel presence, and after launching the car and selling it for 12 months with only petrol units, it didn’t necessarily bode well for the diesel Civic. But any worries were ill-founded and proven incorrect as soon as the diesel arrived. It’s a very refined unit, offering good performance to go with the low emissions figure.
It built on existing Civic strengths; the five-door model had already shown itself to be a fine-handling car that’s up with the class best for driver entertainment while also happy on long mile-munching runs.
It’s also incredibly practical, being at the larger end of the class, which means there is a huge amount of rear space but also a huge boot of 478 litres, which is well up on most of its rivals’.
Safety equipment is an important part of any fleet’s duty of care, and all Civics come with autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and road departure-mitigation systems, while the SR trim upwards gets the 7.0-inch navigation system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The diesel wasn’t the end of last year’s additions to the Civic range, with the introduction of a new bodystyle for those buyers looking for a saloon rather than a hatch. It’s only expected to take a small portion of Civic volume, but it enhances the car’s overall portfolio.
But not as much as the range-topping Type-R does. The 320hp touring car for the road is as rapid as the big wings, spoilers and bodykit make it look, offering sub-6.0 second 0-62mph acceleration and a top speed of almost 170mph. And emissions of 178g/km.
But as much fun as it is, the Type-R isn’t what makes the Civic such a good, double award-winning, company car. No, it’s the competitive pricing, low emissions figures, incredible practicality, striking looks, low running costs and enjoyable driving experience that does that.