THE new Honda Civic is now in the showrooms with first models appearing on the roads next month.
Mass production was hit by the earthquake and tsunami in north east Japan last year and then again when flooding in Thailand meant a delay in electronic components arriving at the Swindon plant.
I managed to get a drive in the gleaming new Civic back in November and in my report then mentioned how Honda had maintained the good points but improved weaker ones in the model it was replacing.
It was a difficult job for the company’s engineers because the outgoing model was a hard act to follow – a fact endorsed after spending some time in one of those recently.
This was the eighth generation model that brought a radical new much-improved look to what was a dull Civic until then.
It was a top spec 1.8 iVTEC EX GT model I was driving and it was packed with standard equipment far too great to start listing.
Push the start button to fire up the punchy 138bhp engine and you can then accelerate to 62mph in just under nine seconds.
The six speed manual gearbox is nice and slick and this model does handle well going up through the gears.
With a top speed of 127mph, it is quiet and smooth at motorway speeds and ride comfort was excellent.
The one touch folding rear 60/40 split seat quickly extended the flat loading area and it coped easily with a boxed fridge on one trip.
The worse thing about this model is rear vision with the spoiler half way down the tailgate.
That’s one of the improvements on the new car with the rear window bar lowered, a wiper added and a heated lower rear screen.
Honda has somehow managed to up the quality in the new models with changes to interior, exterior, suspension and all sorts of gadgets included in them.
Price of this outgoing test model is £22,190 but with the new Civics now arriving this could be the perfect time to drive a bargain on one of these.