It’s a new 988cc turbo petrol triple. There are two things of note here. One: it’s a very small capacity engine for a small but not tiny car; 127bhp and 148lb ft to shift 1275kg of car, plus whatever the luggage and occupants weigh.
All Civics come with Honda Sensing, which is Honda’s name for a bundle of safety features that help prevent and avoid collisions, including Lane Departure Warning and Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control. The Civic is front-wheel drive, and the 1.0 comes with a choice of six-speed manual or fractionally cleaner CVT
Prod the red starter button and the new 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo fires quietly into life. With 127bhp and a generous 200Nm of torque it helps deliver brisk acceleration on the road, despite our EX model’s hefty 1,348kg kerbwight. You have to work the unit hard to make decent progress, but precise action of the six-speed manual helps make the most of the available performance.
The Civic gives you five doors, five seats (or four and a central rear armrest if there are adults in the back), a very good boot and a look that’s half shrunken muscle car, half manga.
You sit lower than in most rival hatches, but the cabin is also noticeably roomier than some, in keeping with the Civic tradition of being cleverly packaged to combine a small footprint and a lot of useful interior space.