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GOLF'S CLUBBED; THE CIVIC GIVING VW'S HATCHBACK SOME STICK.

Byline: Quentin Willson

THE Honda Civic definitely isn't a car for your gran. Not only is it good for 135 and 60 in 8.5, the 2.2 diesel is so smooth, harmonious and refined, it's better than a Golf.

Wonderfully weighted controls, sharp steering and endless heave mean you punch along with verve.

And if you push the eco button to keep the leaves on the dashboard green and use the stop-start in traffic, you'll get close to 70mpg.

It's a cracking little hatchback that feels upmarket, brilliantly built and unburstable. I'm sad to see the triangular exhaust pipes and deco-esque door handles of the old model have gone, but instead there are magic rear seats that fold totally flat or flip vertically backwards.

What your gran would like is how easy it is to drive slowly or fast and with so much torque you don't have to stir around the six-speed box, hunting for the right ratio. Everything's intuitive, beautifully balanced and the gear change is gorgeously slick.

You'll also like the 90,000-mile warranty, 42 per cent retained value after three years and one of the best reliability records in the industry.

When's the last time you saw a broken-down Honda on a low-loader? Best of all, it's made in Swindon and at pounds 21k it's a decent deal.

So don't be horrid about Hondas - the only thing senior about them is the startling excellence of their engineering.

WHO'D DRIVE IT Anyone but Gran TECH FILE ENGINE 2.2 diesel POWER 148bhp 0-60 8.5SEC MAX 135MPH PRICE pounds 21,000 IN A WORD Civic pride

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70 mpg!
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 6, 2012
Words:273
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