Honda Civic e:HEV

Honda's eleventh generation Civic family hatch embraces full-Hybrid tech. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

This eleventh generation Honda Civic switches to e:HEV full-Hybrid power in its mainstream form - and adopts a lower key look. It's slightly larger than its direct family hatch rivals and delivers everything its brand knows about petrol/electric technology. Which turns out to be quite a lot.


The Honda Civic, one of the global motor industry's most enduring model lines, has moved on. It's no longer built in Swindon. And mainstream versions of this eleventh generation version no longer use a conventional engine, instead adopting a 2.0-litre e:HEV full-Hybrid petrol powerplant. There's been a return to the more mature look of earlier generation Civic designs too; gone are the slashes and fake vents of the old MK10 model. Instead, the replacement liftback 5-door hatch design adopts a more conservative, but still sophisticated look.

This car completes the shift of Honda's entire model line to e:HEV Hybrid technology. Well, almost the entire model line anyway. The company, thankfully, couldn't quite bring itself to abandon the Civic Type-R hot hatch, so that continues with an evolved version of the previous model's 316bhp 2.0-litre turbo powertrain. But the Civic e:HEV is our focus here. Take a look before you sign up for the Toyota Corolla it's directly aimed at.

Driving Experience

This Civic e:HEV uses a freshly developed Atkinson Cycle 2.0-litre full-Hybrid petrol engine with two electric motors and the total output is 181bhp, with 232lb ft of torque. Handling is supposed to be much improved and the 35mm longer wheelbase helps the damping too. This should be a much quieter Civic than its predecessor, thanks not only to the Hybrid system but also to new adhesive and installation methods, which in the cabin reduce noise, vibration and harshness.

The e:HEV system offers various driving modes - 'Eco', 'Normal', 'Sport' and 'Individual'. These allow the car to switch between fully electric, Hybrid and engine-only power. A word about the alternative Civic Type-R hot hatch. That retains a pure combustion engine - an evolved version of the previous 'K20C1' turbocharged 2.0-litre four cylinder unit producing 316bhp.

Design and Build

Clearly customers have told Honda that they want the Civic to look a little more conservative because that's what we've got here. The previous model's prominent rear wing disappears and this replacement car adopts a fastback style sloping silhouette across a rear hatch that's lighter and features smaller hinges for a cleaner roofline.

Inside, Honda has adopted the minimalistic and 'human centred' cabin design approach it pioneered with its current HR-V and Jazz e:HEV models. There's a honeycomb-style trim panel with integrated air vents which runs the width of the dashboard and the company has at last upgraded its infotainment set-up, with a much more sophisticated freestanding 9-inch centre screen. Through the wheel, you view a 10.2-inch digital dial display.

On the back seat, passengers get 1.4 inches more legroom than was possible before and there are larger side windows to increase the feeling of spaciousness, while the different rear hatch design improves headroom. As before, there's a big boot.

Market and Model

Expect your Civic e:HEV to start from just above the £25,000 mark, with most variants closer to £30,000 and just above. That's pretty much what you pay for better versions of Toyota's rival Corolla Hybrid. Here though, there's just a single 5-door body style.

There are three trim levels to choose from - 'Elegance', 'Sport' and top 'Advance'. The flagship 'Advance' variant gets a 10.2-inch driver's display LCD panel and a BOSE 12-speaker audio system. All versions of this Civic get the latest version of Hondas 'SENSING' camera safety package. This gives you a 100-degree front wide view camera, enhanced recognition technology, blind spot information, low speed braking control and Lane keep assist.

Infotainment and connectivity benefit from a much improved voice command system, the Honda 'Personal Assistant', first seen on the little Honda e. This is basically a next-generation voice control system in that it can respond to multiple commands: for instance "OK Honda, find me an Indian restaurant with WiFi and free parking". With this car, Honda is also offering the latest version of its Honda+ smartphone app, which includes remote vehicle locking and unlocking, plus 'intelligent geofencing', which alerts an owner if the vehicle breaches a pre-set 'geofence' zone. Plus there's the ability to send journey information from the app to the car's navigation system.

Cost of Ownership

We don't yet have full efficiency figures for this MK11 Civic, but we can expect fuel consumption to be in the same ballpark as the returns you'd get from a 2.0-litre Toyota Corolla Hybrid in this segment - which means a combined cycle return of around 55mpg. Honda says it's targeting a CO2 reading of just under 110g/km. Basically, you're probably looking at the kind of real life running cost figures that you'd have got from the previous generation Civic diesel model. But without the kind of tax disincentives that apply to lap pump fuelled cars these days.

Many customers will want to budget ahead for scheduled maintenance with fixed-price scheme called 'Five'. It includes five years' worth of maintenance, an extended warranty for this period and roadside assistance breakdown cover should the unexpected happen. This can be transferred to a new owner if you sell the car before the service plan has expired.

The three year 90,000 mile warranty is better than the package you get from many competitors too. In addition, surface corrosion is covered for three years, exhaust corrosion is covered for five years, chassis corrosion is covered for ten years and structural corrosion for twelve years.


In half a century of Civic model line history, it's difficult to remember as much of a shift of emphasis as is evident with this eleventh generation design. It seems difficult to believe that this is the first Hybrid Civic hatch available in the UK - the sort of thing rivals Toyota have been offering for over a decade. Yet history suggests that when Honda does eventually catch up to a prevailing market trend, it does so in a way that introduces something new - something better.


CAR: Honda Civic e:HEV

PRICES: £26,000-£32,000 {est}



CO2 EMISSIONS: 110g/km {est}

PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph 8.0s / top speed 130mph {est}

FUEL CONSUMPTION: (combined) 55mpg {est}

BOOT SPACE [litres]: TBC

WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: Length/Width/Height mm TBC