The great thing about the Honda Civic Tourer is that its sleek good looks are the first thing you notice – not the fact that it’s an estate car.

It is also a very likeable motor. The Civic Tourer is specifically designed to match the requirements of European customers and European driving conditions and there are just the two engine choices - a 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel or a 1.8-litre i-VTEC petrol engine.

I drove the 1.8 petrol version, which provides up to 142PS of power and 174Nm of torque with a range of more than 500 miles on one tank of fuel. It was a great drive too – smooth and consistent – and I also made sure the ‘Eco’ button was on, designed to help you drive at optimum efficiency.

The system uses the car’s speedometer to advise drivers how their driving style is impacting on fuel economy. If it’s being driven efficiently, the dashboard glows green. If the driver slightly exceeds the best level of throttle control, the dashboard will glow white/green.

Finally, during heavy acceleration and deceleration, it will glow white. Let’s just say that I had a healthy mixture of both, but didn’t quite achieve the quoted figure of 44mpg.

As the most compact estate in the C-segment, the Civic Tourer offers a huge amount of boot space - 624 litres of volume - or 1668 with the rear seats down.

The entry-level S trim comes with climate control, 16-inch alloy wheels, USB socket, DAB radio and Bluetooth. SE Plus adds dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, and larger alloy wheels, while an upgrade to SR gives you sat-nav, heated leather seats and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

Roof rails come as standard meaning that the roof carrier can be easily be engaged clamping neatly on to the roof rails.

Additionally, roof cross bars allow you to carry everything from skis to bicycles and extra luggage.

There are a wide range of safety features on the Civic Tourer, including stability control, six airbags and active anti-whiplash front head restraints.

It is the world’s first production car to feature a rear adaptive damper system, which automatically adjusts the rear suspension damping force stiffness in a split second, based on driving conditions.

This allows the car to remain comfortable during highway cruising, yet firm and agile when high-performance handling is required.

Honda Civic Tourer 1.8 i-VTEC
On the road: £24,355
Top speed: 130mph
0-62mph: 9.6 seconds
Fuel: 44.1mpg (combined)
CO2 emissions: 149g/km