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Fleet World Fleet: Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC EX Manual hatchback

Our long-term Civic is certainly proving its low fuel consumption abilities, says Natalie Middleton.

We’re getting 47.0mpg combined but that’s based on mainly urban use

Four months into our test of the Civic and its fuel economy never ceases to amaze me – not least when it comes to paying for a full tank of fuel at the fore- court, which is less of an ordeal than it used to be.

Compared to the 61.4mpg (WLTP) for the Civic’s official combined figure, the 47.0mpg I’m getting may seem a bit paltry but my journey pattern is predominantly in urban and sub-urban settings and quite often with a lot of passengers and equipment on board. Stretch the Civic’s legs with some motorway runs and you’ll really notice the fuel economy stretch out too; I’ve been getting mpg figures into the 60s without even trying.

OK, this is still a bit small fry compared to last autumn’s MPG Marathon when BBC journalist Paul Clifton and his daughter Françoise managed to wring out 87.5mpg from the diesel Civic, but it does show that this family hatch can easily be capable of some impressive fuel economies without even going near the Econ button or hypermiling techniques.

And as a result, I’m now starting to take more and more notice of the gearchange indicator, the Ambient Meter – essentially a bar on the dash that goes from white to green if you’re driving efficiently – and the instant fuel economy bar graphic, which always reminds me of a snooker table.

I’m in two minds though about the boot’s ‘parcel shelf’ – which is really just a bit of material that pulls out, rollerblind-style, between two sides. It’s really handy to be able to remove it in seconds if you’ve got something bulky in the boot – and even handier that you don’t need to find somewhere to store it. But it’s not hugely effective at cover- ing boot contents from prying eyes. It also makes me laugh when relatives try to store their coats on it and it instantly sags under the weight. Definite pros and cons to it.

P11d/BiK: £24,750 (23%) MPG/CO2: 61.4mpg (WLTP) / 93g/km (NED Correlated) Test MPG: 52mpg

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006.