YOU CAN’T stay in a sports car all your life, as much as you might like to.

This is something I’ve discovered the hard way, but mainly because the kind of family car that ordinarily wouldn’t appeal, has suddenly become highly desirable.

For starters, it’s certainly in the running for the best-looking estate on the market, modern estates aren’t just vans with windows any more.

The Honda Civic looks sharp and thoroughly modern. It has curves and lines you just don’t expect from something with a big luggage area at the back.

It’s only when you stop and give it a real going over you realise how radical it is.

The Tourer offers up 624 litres of boot space with the seats up, and with the seats down and packed to the roof this goes up to a mammoth 1,668 litres.

There’s a very sizeable under-floor area (117 litres to be precise) that should prove extremely useful.

And because the Civic’s fuel tank is under the front seats, they fold almost perfectly flat in an instant.

It’s the same story in the cabin. Like the hatchback the layout is a little unusual with the digital display at the top and the analogue instruments below, and there’s an information screen up top while the infotainment system sits in the middle.

There’s plenty of storage too and lots of connections for all sorts of devices I don’t even own.

Keyless entry and go is a nice luxury to have and the electrically adjustable lumbar and side supports will no doubt come in useful given the amount of time that will be spent in the hot seat.

In the engine room it’s a bit of a no-brainer.

The petrol option is a fine thing but with an official combined figure of 72.4mpg is too tempting to resist.

It’s only the bigger wheels on the higher specification versions that stops it sneaking under the 99g/km of barrier, so hopefully expensive fuel station visits will be few and far between.The Tourer will have to deal with kids, a dog, my other half’s propensity to treat gloveboxes and door bins as an extension to her make-up bag and a lot of hacks up and down the motorway. I suspect long-term tests don’t come any tougher than this. machine but it’s the hatchback, that you as a stylish twentysomething, would want to buy right? Estates are for people with dogs, children or antiques to haul aboutI’m certainly guilty of two out of the three but far more relevant is that modern estates aren’t just vans with windows, which is why I’m happily taking the plunge with a Civic Tourer for the next six months.For starters, it’s certainly in the running for the best-looking estate on the market. Partly this is to achieve excellent aerodynamics but it’s also very easy on the eye. But this is still a Honda, so sensible comes as standard. hat’s not the whole story though. For starters trather than the rears itselfIt all makes sense when you’re sat behind the wheel – time and miles will prove whether it makes sense to live with. , but I’ll be sure to ask the kids what I need to buySpecification-wise I’m fortunate enough to have the EX-Plus version which has the figurative kitchen sink included as standard.