Honda Civic (2005-2012)

If you want a small hatch that stands out from the crowd, the Civic is for you. Even now, this eighth-generation Civic's futuristic lines still look the part, and the dash is every bit as cutting-edge. Throw in generous equipment levels, a strong structure, lots of safety kit and a spacious, flexible interior and you've got a great family car. Some early examples aren't as well built as you might expect however, so you can't always take that legendary Honda reliability for granted.

Key Dates

9/05 :The eighth-generation Civic debuts, with 1.4 or 1.8 petrol engines or a 2.2 diesel.

1/06 :The Civic IMA hybrid saloon appears, without the radical styling of the hatch.

1/07 :A three-door car arrives, along with the Type S, the latter with 1.8 petrol or 2.2-litre diesel powerplants.

3/07 :The three-door 198bhp Type R goes on sale, along with the high-spec GT.

3/09 :A facelift brings a new 1.4 petrol engine.

9/09 :The high-spec Si joins the range.

3/11 :The BTCC-inspired Civic Ti arrives, with 1.4 or 1.8 petrol engines.

Honda Civic (2005-2012) Checklist

  • Door handles can fail, so check each door from inside and out.
  • Headlight seals fail, leading to condensation inside.
  • If the grille badge isn't intact, you have to replace the whole grille assembly.
  • Rear visibility is poor, so check for damage to the rear wings and bumper.
  • There's no spare wheel, so check the car isn't being driven on damaged tyres filled with sealant.
  • Diesels have no low level warning light and oil consumption can be up to 600 miles per litre.
  • The front foglamps, in the front bumper, get damaged from stones.
  • The rear window seals fail, letting water into the cabin.

We Like

  • Distinctive styling
  • Cabin flexibility
  • Safe construction
  • Equipment levels
  • Strong 2.2 diesel engine
  • Big boot

We Don't Like

  • So-so handling
  • Busy dash
  • Early cars' fragility
  • No small diesel