Once a varied fleet of economical small cars, the Civic is known by most as a reliable runabout. Then, in the mid ‘00s, the GFC came.

It hit Japanese manufacturers hard. Small hatches and sedans weren’t as profitable as they once were, aspirational sporty variants (VTi-R, anyone?) were dropped, once-household names took a back seat, and from the ashes has risen an endless stream of SUVs.

For this reason, small cars are expected to deliver more than ever before, and today’s top-spec Civic VTi-LX sedan is perhaps the ultimate reflection of that. It's massive compared to its ancestors, has a focus on luxury over sportiness, and could even serve as a replacement for the large sedan long-distance tourers of old.

Stick with me as I explain.