Order books are now open for the new British-built Honda Civic Tourer with the first deliveries set to reach UK showrooms from February.
The family estate built at Honda's Swindon factory, includes new safety and road-holding technology.
Prices start at £20,265 base level 1.8 i-VTEC S petrol model up to £27,460 for the diesel 1.6 i DTEC Ex Plus. The entry level S grade includes Bluetooth hands-free telephone, digital radio, USB connectivity and 16 in alloy wheels.
The SE Plus adds rear parking sensors and 17 in alloys, while SR customers receive the new rear adaptive damper system (ADS), front heated seats, high-definition satnav and privacy glass.
The top-of-the-range EX trim level adds headlight washers, smart entry and start, a sunglasses holder and interior blue ambient lighting.
Despite being the lowest and most compact estate in the segment, it offers 624 litres of boot space with the rear seats up. It is also fitted with Honda's 'Magic Seat' system in which the rear seats can be pulled down to create a completely flat load area with 1,668 litres of capacity up to the roof lining.
The safety system includes laser and radar-based safety scanners and cameras. A new 'Driver Assistance Safety Pack' is a factory fit option costing £780 for SE trim levels and above and includes: a 'City-Brake' active system to help avoid or mitigate low-speed accidents; a forward collision warning which detects the risk of collision by scanning the vehicle directly in front; lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, and a blind spot warning feature.
An upgraded safety pack available only on EX models for an extra £2,500 adds automatic cruise control and includes a collision mitigation braking system.
The new 1.6 i-DTEC diesel claims to return 74.3mpg with a low 99g/km of CO2 emissions. Yet the 120bhp engine still accelerates from rest to 60mph in 10.1 seconds and Honda claims a range of 817 miles on one tank of fuel.
The 1.8 i-VTEC petrol engine, either manual or automatic, will develop 142bhp and still deliver an average 45.56mpg with 149g/km of CO2 emissions.
It is no bigger from above than a sheet of A4 paper. Yet Ford's revolutionary British-designed and built 1-litre EcoBoost engine will develop 125 bhp and, in a Ford Fiesta, achieves 65.7mpg with CO2 emissions of just 99g/km. And this week the engine won the UK motor industry's Award for Automotive Innovation - beating rivals including McLaren's new P1 supercar.
Designed at Ford's British research and development centres in Dunton and Dagenham, the cutting- edge three-cylinder petrol engine is now available in the Fiesta, Focus, B-MAX, and C-MAX, and commercial vehicles including the legendary Transit.
It will also be an option on the forthcoming Ford EcoSport SUV and next-generation Mondeo.
The Volkswagen Golf has become the first foreign vehicle to be named Car of the Year in Japan in the awards' 34-year history.
Sparks will fly in the New Year as the motor industry and government combine to push sluggish electric car sales.
When Dylan controversially switched in 1966 from acoustic to electric guitar, hecklers cried 'Judas'. An equally angry Dylan exhorted the band to 'play it ****ing loud' to drown out the protest. Maybe that would be a more provocative and attention-grabbing slogan.
Electric cars could do with a jump start. Even taxpayer-funded subsidies of £5,000 per vehicle are still failing to spark drivers' interest in 'green' motoring, says a new poll of 3,000 motorists this week by Auto Trader.
Only 1 per cent of UK drivers owns an alternative fuel vehicle, it says. And 'green' concerns, such as low CO2 emissions, are at the bottom of the checklist when we shop for a new car.