No. 4: The honda Civic
The Honda Civic is another great family option. Every model has served as a great choice for those who are operating on a budget. They score incredibly well in road safety tests making it a go-to for those that want to ensure the safety of their families. The only downside is the excellent, USB compatible sound system. It guarantees any mother may have a hard time escaping their children's current terrible taste in music.
The new Honda Civic is a more comfortable hatchback for passengers than before, being longer and lower than previous models. This gives the people in the back more room to recline. It also means that roadholding is improved and it makes for a more nippy performance for the driver.
Honda believes in getting the maximum possible power out of the smallest possible engine! This gives great benefits for both weight reduction and fuel consumption. There is a 1.6 litre diesel for those who want to risk it; it's quite a clean one though with a claimed 80 mpg, although as usual this should be taken with a pinch of salt. There's no denying that it's a very economical engine though, and you should manage the high 50s, maybe 60s. The usual drawback of a diesel engine still applies in that they tend to be a bit rougher and noisier than a petrol one, although many people prefer them because of their power at low revs.
If you prefer to play safe and get a petrol engine there is a one litre three cylinder turbocharged one which pumps out 129 brake horsepower, which is no mean feat for such a small engine. The next one up is a 1.5 litre four-cylinder job with 182 brake horsepower; or you could buy the ultimate hot hatch, the Civic Type R with a two litre turbo VTEC engine (that's a very clever engine in which the valve timing changes according to the engine speed) with a massive 316 brake horsepower! If you fancy being a girl racer this could be the one to go for.
All that power needs some good safety features, and lane keeping, cruise control, collision warning, automatic braking, pedestrian recognition, are all fitted as standard. The cruise control can even read speed limit signs and slow you down automatically! The more expensive models also have a reversing camera.
Gearbox-wise you can choose between a six speed manual or a continuously varied transmission auto box.
To sum up, it's a lively car that can be exciting to drive but economical to run. Honda cars have an excellent reputation for longevity so they should hold their value well if properly treated. The Type R is in a different class entirely; this is a car that can shift like a rally car but if you want to drive it quietly and calmly it can do that as well. If it's performance you're after this is probably the hottest hatch on the block.
Expect to pay about £19,000 to £32,700 depending on model and spec.