We are in the midst of Armageddon, our world and its precious life sustaining bubble of oxygen is under attack from the dark forces of C02 emissions. I ask you how can we combat this erosion of air and earth? Downsizing may be the answer, enter the rise of the 1.6 litre Turbo-Diesel engine era. Honda are great engine builders with a reputation for ultra-reliability, its a statistical fact according to UK based Warranty Direct who report Honda have a failure rate of just 0.29 percent. A failure rate of 1 in every 344.
Honda set about developing their first 1.6 litre turbo diesel unit from the ground up, every component was systematically honed and re-designed to save weight and advanced production techniques were applied to reduce the weight even further. With out going into the technical detail the result was the lightest diesel engine in its class and the key benefits for consumers are less emissions, better fuel economy. Honda’s 1.6 i-DTEC outputs 118bhp and a 300Nm of torque, that’s a size-able amount of power from a small source.
With a combined fuel economy of 62mpg and emissions of 94g/km long journeys and tax free motoring is assured. But what is Honda’s new baby like, at first its noisy at idle, at low revs it doesn’t feel absolutely refined and lacks a bit of low end torque. That diesel noise enters the cabin when accelerating through the slick shifting six-speed gearbox and subsides at cruising speed to a distant and barley audible hum. Maybe its the lack of cabin insulation, but I was expecting better from Honda or perhaps I am being too critical. Nevertheless the 1.6 turbo-diesel suits the Civics’ chassis, it weighs 47kg less than its 2.2 litre diesel brother and this perks up the Civics’ handling it feels sharper, changes direction equally so but that firm, bouncy yet conversely comfortable ride remains.
Honda’s 1.6 litre turbo-diesel is a fine engine, with 300Nm of torque power isn’t in short supply for those looking to reach the upper rev limits. Honda’s goal of meeting strict emissions targets means good times for business users and consumers who will benefit from great finance deals, low tax and impressive fuel economy and a decent amount of toys in what ever spec you choose. But is it the best 1.6 litre-turbo-diesel out there, no, not yet but you can be left with no doubt Honda will make it so.