Onwards and upwards for the Swindon-built Honda Civic.

It was victorious in the inaugural Company Car Today’s awards beating off the Ford Focus, Skoda Octavia and VW Golf demonstrating strength across 12 characteristics important to company car operators and drivers, including emissions, running costs, price, performance and desirability.

And the latest Civic diesel model, with both car and engine built in Swindon, will surely prove to be one of the best diesel models on the market.

Ah, I hear you say, I thought diesels were just about to be banned by the government and anyone driving one will have their hands cut off.

Well actually the latest diesel engines, like the new one in the Civic, are cleaner than petrol ones.

But what does the government really know about anything when it comes to motoring. It was in the days of Gordon Brown we were recommended to drive cars with diesel engines.

Now we are being told not to. This is by a government which can’t even sort out pot holes on main A roads while the Foreign Secretary can only talk about building a bridge over the Channel to France.

If you want to know the proper facts about diesel engines then go the Sun newspaper website where in the motoring section there is an excellent piece by Rob Gill. ( https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/5421422/why-diesel-isnt-dead-and-you-should-still-buy-new-cars/ ) He tells drivers to “ignore all the claptrap and scaremongering from idiotic politicians about “dirty diesel” and points out that diesel is critical to reducing CO2 and since 2002 diesel cars have saved 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 going into the atmosphere.

Motorists with diesels use 20 per cent less than petrol and save families between £300 and £400 a year, the equivalent of an electric or a gas bill.

And the new Honda Civic diesel can actually give you 80 miles to the gallon. That is nothing to sneeze at.

Mike Hawes, chief of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “Diesel is very much part of the future.

“Despite ill-informed comments from certain quarters, the truth is if you are buying a new diesel, you’ll be getting a vehicle that’s lower on emissions, and could cost you less in fuel. For many drivers it’s still the best choice.”

The new Civic diesel is quite brilliant. It is just as good as its petrol compatriot and handles equally as well.

Phil Webb, head of car at Honda UK. “The Civic provides excellent running costs, competitive pricing and an overall attractive proposition for company car drivers.

“We are delighted to have won this award and strengthen the image of Civic, across both customer and business markets.”

The Civic diesel will be on the forecourts this month and with the automatic available in early summer.

The entry-level S model with manual transmission will start from £20,120 rising to £24,925 OTR for an EX trim car with the six speed manual gearbox.

Trim levels will mirror those of the existing 1.0 VTEC Turbo petrol model with S, SE, SR and EX trims available. The EX trim is also available with an optional Tech Pack for £600 which adds LED headlights with washers, LED fog lights, wireless phone charging and heated rear seats.

PCP pricing has also been confirmed for the new car with monthly payments starting at £249 a month on a three year 5.9% APR contract for a Civic 1.6 i-DTEC SE Manual.

The comprehensively revised 1.6 i-DTEC engine will deliver an outstanding combination of performance and efficiency. It produces 120 PS at 4,000 rpm and 300 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm.

“The arrival of the diesel variant completes the line-up for the Civic hatchback in the UK,” said Phil.

“The 1.6 i-DTEC engine is the most technologically advanced diesel unit we have launched to market and will deliver a competitive offering for both the retail customer and the fleet market.”

Pricing for the automatic will follow in the summer when the car becomes available.

The CO2 emissions are 93g/km of CO2 and the top speed is 125mph with 0-62mph in just under 10 seconds.

There is good basic kit and the SR model has dual-zone climate control, auto lights and wipers and 17-inch wheels as standard.

The SE has Bluetooth, LED daytime running lights and smaller 16-inch wheels.

More than a million cars have been built by Honda in Swindon since they first came to the town in 1985.

In 2016 Honda reached the 100 million-unit milestone in automobile production since they first started in 1963 with the production of the T360 mini-truck and the S500 sports car.

Since then Honda has increased annual production, enhancing its line up and exporting their vehicles to an ever wider range of countries and including Swindon the company has 34 automobile production factories on five continents. While car production did not actually start in Swindon until 1992 – engines were built first – the factory at South Marston now provides work for 4,200 people.

The first ever Civic came off the line in Japan in 1972 and building on its 45-year heritage, the new model stays true to the original Civic concept of a car for all people.

It is a marriage of distinctive design, sporty styling and versatile practicality – with a renewed focus on rewarding driving dynamics.