The Honda Civic Tourer was designed and developed here in the UK, so we’ve been looking forward to the chance to try the diesel on home turf.

• Honda Civic Tourer review

Our test model is powered by a 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel, which delivers 118bhp and a healthy 300Nm of torque. In the standard hatch, we’ve criticised this engine for being a little unrefined, but in the Tourer it’s nice and quiet, and it takes the car from 0-62mph in an impressive time of 10.1 seconds.

And although you’ll be shifting up and down through the gears to keep it in the power band, the six-speed box is so accurate that this is never a chore.

• Honda Civic review

The suspension and steering have been tweaked over the hatch’s, while our top-spec EX Plus also comes with adaptive dampers fitted to the rear axle. Set these to Comfort mode, and the Tourer has a really supple ride – it’s up there with the best in this class.

The Civic is a class leader for boot space as well, with a huge 624-litre capacity. That’s not far off what you get in Mercedes’ cavernous E-Class Estate, and it expands to 1,668 litres if you fold the seats. Alternatively, the seatbases in the rear flip up, cinema-style, if you need to stand something up in the footwell.

Honda Civic Tourer diesel 2014 boot
It’s all very clever, although there are no easy access handles in the boot to fold the rear seats and, unlike in the SEAT Leon ST, no shopping bag hooks. Up front, the Civic’s design looks a bit cluttered and chintzy compared with the understated, classy cabin of the latest VW Golf Estate, too. You’d get used to it, but it’s nowhere near as user-friendly.

At least this car will be cheap to run, promising 72.4mpg fuel economy and 103g/km emissions. The Civic’s problem is that you can buy a similarly efficient Leon ST – based on our Car of the Year and with similar kit to our EX Plus model, bar leather seats – for over £3,000 less.

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