Honda Civic Is Britain's Best Used Car

Honda Civic

Honda Civic

The Civic scoops the top prize in this week’s Auto Express Used Car Honours being voted Britain’s best used car. What makes it such a great secondhand deal?

The Honda Civic is a great new car buy. It is the roomiest in class, versatile, well-equipped, lively, fuel efficient and very safe for occupants and pedestrians alike. But what makes an attractive new car buy doesn’t always hold good for used car buyers.

Typically the second owner will be looking for a reasonable cost saving on the new car price but with low depreciation thereafter. He or she will want low service, maintenance and repair (SMR) costs as well as reassurance that costs will not rise dramatically once the warranty period has expired. They will also want to know that the car is built to go the distance, that it is mechanically robust and that it will be reliable in future years.

The current Civic is among the slowest depreciating cars in its class, with the mid range 1.6 SE 5 door losing just £1000 per year beyond the first year (according to Glass’s Guide). Servicing is needed only at 12 month / 12,500 mile intervals, and in the first 60,000 miles the model needs just 7 hours labour time for routine maintenance. Whether petrol or diesel powered, the Civic is among the most economical cars in its class while ABI insurance ratings start from a highly affordable Group 4.

Experienced car buyers will also take note of a good manufacturer backed Approved Used car programme. A scheme such as Honda Approved Used takes the risk out of buying, offering a comprehensive pre-delivery inspection, as well as a warranty and breakdown cover similar to that offered with a new vehicle (new Hondas have a 3 year 90,000 mile manufacturer’s warranty, with a 6 year anti corrosion warranty and 3 years AA cover).

Selections for the Auto Express’s Used Car honours were determined by a panel of experts which included Glass’s Guide’s Jeff Patterson. The experts considered many parameters including mpg, insurance group, spares and servicing costs, warranties, depreciation, pence per mile and overall residual value performance. A further selection process taking into account everything from driveability, suitability, reliability, durability and availability finally separated out the category winners.

And the verdict? Pretty much a clean sweep for Honda: the Civic won both the Compact Car category as well as the ultimate accolade of overall Best Used Car – while the Jazz took the Supermini Honours. Also the Civic Type-R, CR-V and S2000 were all commended in their respective categories.

The final words come from Auto Express, who said: "The Civic is a car that offers everything – value for money, reliability, good resale values, superb build quality and a package that guarantees to satisfy the demands of any buyer in its sector – and more.

"This year’s winner impressed our judges with its excellent reputation for reliability. It fared well in our Driver Power survey and has continually impressed our road test team by being one of the most practical all-rounders in its class.

"It’s also a fine drive, on a level with the best models in its sector and well-specified across the range. Glass’s figures prove it holds its value well, and demand is high. There’s also something for everyone in the line up, from a cheap runabout to a well-equipped Executive model, not to mention a hot version that’s the envy of performance car fans everywhere.

"We’re also very proud to say that this year’s winner is built here in Britain. The Auto Express Used Car of the Year 2004 is the Honda Civic!"

Published 7 April 2004 Melanie Carter

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