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

The Honda Civic reinforces the joie de vivre in the final stages of its final long-term test.

The Honda Civic test car spent a week in Normany

The Civic’s swan song on our long-term test fleet saw it complete some 500 miles travelling to Normandy and back, whereby it cemented its value as an everyday and long-distance workhorse. One that looks good too.

And while the trip, which was just in time for the D- Day commemorations, made it clear just how much the French seem to love SUVs as the Brits, I frequently found myself thinking how nice it was to be behind the wheel of something that wasn’t an SUV for a change.

Long stretches of French autoroutes – along with some surprisingly unkempt local roads – once again proved how compliant the ride was while also feeling nimble on more twisty sections. And although perfor-mance is more on the relaxed side, it’s certainly responsive enough.

The fact that we only had to refuel not far from home was also a godsend.

Over its whole 7,000-mile odd time with us, the Civic got 47.6mpg; not bad considering its high usage for local journeys.

Its 478 litres of boot space – second only to the Škoda Octavia – also made it highly practical for the trip and again had me pondering on how we’d chosen the right car for the job.

Perhaps what was most impressive though was the way that at the end of the journey – and the car’s seven-month stint with us – it had taken all the rigours of everyday life with the Middletons and remained impervious. No mean feat.

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.