Until recently the latest ninth generation Honda Civic was available in 5-door hatchback format only.
Now however the range is joined by a very stylish and practical estate, the Civic Tourer.
The Tourer like its stablemate is available with either a 1.6 iDTEC diesel or a 1.8 iVTEC petrol. The diesel version will of course prove to be the popular seller and so it is that version that I am road testing this week.
Three trim levels are available, Comfort, Sport and Executive.
I like the new look, as estate cars go this one is very attractive.
It has clean sweeping lines with an almost coupe-like profile.
The 2014 Civic model range has had some minor upgrades to the materials inside the cars cabin and the new Tourer gets the same treatment.
The steering wheel is chunkier, with high quality leather trim to both the steering wheel and gearshift lever.
Other detail touches such as more matt black plastic than the previous shiny plastics used have given the interior a much better quality feel.
The improvement in quality is immediately obvious.
The whole effect creates a more upmarket, high quality feel to the interior. Sitting up front it looks and feels like the Civic hatch.
As you would expect standard equipment is very good even on the Comfort model, and includes highlights such as Bluetooth, a reversing camera, alloys, cruise control, auto lights, auto wipers, Auto stop/start, an Eco mode, hill start assist, USB and Aux ports, and LED day running lights.
There is more but too long to list here. Quite simply the 1.6 iDTEC diesel that powers both this new Tourer and the hatchback Civic is one of the very best small diesel engines I have ever tested!
Honda worked very hard to ensure that this unit was as close to a petrol in refinement with little or no vibration or harshness. They succeeded.
Mated to a 6-speed manual transmission the combination makes for a rewarding driving experience.
With a healthy power output and a C02 emissions of just 99g, the new iDTEC is just about perfect. Over my weeks test it burned just 5.2 litres of diesel per 100km, without any effort at economical driving. Road tax is €180.00 for the year.
One small gripe I had was that there is no spare wheel. As with many manufacturers these days they supply a tyre sealant kit which is just not good enough for our roads. This is being done to save weight and get the C02 emissions down as a result, but come on Honda, give us a spare. Even a space saver would help!
On the plus side that load area offers a class leading 624 litres of load space one of the largest of any estate car on the Irish market.
With the multi versatile “Magic Seat” rear seats folded down this load area increase to a whopping 1668 litres.
The new Civic Tourer is a welcome addition to the excellent Civic range and will broaden its appeal to buyers.
The fact that the car does not look too much like an estate is appealing yet it offers class leading loadspace to those that need it while retaining all the traditional Civiv virtues of style, reliability and economy.
Prices start at €25,995 for the Civic Tourer iDTEC Comfort model rising to €32,795 for the 1.8 iVTEC petrol Tourer.