Honda’s Swindon-built 1.6 i-DTEC has again been recognised for its strong fleet credentials, gaining the title of Best SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) Company Car to Buy at a recent industry awards ceremony.
The Civic triumphed in the second annual Business Car Manager SME Company Car of the Year Awards, which were chaired by Business Secretary Vince Cable. They recognise how well car manufacturers are meeting the needs of small businesses and SME small fleets with low emission cars, bespoke dealer programmes and after sales service. Some 47 vehicles and small business programmes enter this year.
The 1.6 i-DTEC, whose innovative high-performing diesel engine is built at Honda’s Swindon plant alongside the car itself, came top in in the category for cash-rich SMEs looking to maximise their tax position by buying cars that qualify for the 100% writing down allowance tax break and emit no more than 95g/km CO2.
At the same time, cars in this category had to have the appeal and ability to suit the employees of a small business.
The judges praised the Civic for its low purchase price, whole-life costs, BIK costs and driver appeal. They also said that the Civic was “comfortable, refined and features a three-year, 90,000-mile warranty along with Honda’s reputation for great reliability”.
Business Car Manager editorial director Ralph Morton said: “Full marks to Honda for winning this one. If you haven’t driven the new Honda Civic diesel, do yourself a favour and try it. It’s not only great to drive fast or slow, the fuel economy is astonishing – try getting it under 50mpg. Added to which, an SME firm can buy one and immediately get the cashflow benefit of 100% capital allowances. No wonder the judges marked it out as a winner.”
Honda (UK) manager – corporate operations, Lee Wheeler, added: “This award is yet further testament to the fleet credentials of our small diesel 1.6 i-DTEC engine, with its numerous benefits to businesses of any size.
“The Civic 1.6 i-DTEC is fast becoming a real favourite for both companies and their employees and we’re delighted with this recognition from such a leading authority as Business Car Manager.”
The Civic 1.6 i-DTEC was also shortlisted for the Best SME Compact Company Car award based on its fuel efficiency, company car tax rating and low running costs. Honda (UK) also made it to the last four in the Best SME Company Car Programme category, which looks for the best-tailored company car offering for SME businesses.
The new Civic 1.6 i-DTEC emits just 94 g/km of CO2 with a powerful 120PS. The engine is the first to be launched in Europe under Honda’s flagship Earth Dreams Technology environmental programme; offering customers high fuel economy, low emissions and what Honda calls “dynamic performance”.