Our cars: Honda Civic - August

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Honda Civic
Honda Civic
Honda Civic 2.2 i-DTEC ES

Week ending August 31
Mileage 10,021
Driven this week: 239 miles

Honda Civic review

The Civic has just nudged past the 10,000-mile mark, but in most respects it feels like it could have come straight out of the showroom.

After a wash, the exterior looks spotless and the paintwork still has a deep shine. Thanks to the comparatively high-profile tyres there's not a mark on any of the alloy wheels, while the rear-view camera has helped to keep the rear bumper free from scuffs.

It's a similar story inside, and even the boot floor and tailgate opening - which often get scruffy fairly quickly - look as good as new.

By Leo Wilkinson
Leo Wilkinson@whatcar.com

Leo's Honda Civic on video

Week ending August 24
Mileage 9782
Driven this week: 731 miles

Another trip to Devon in the Civic this week, and yet again I enjoyed driving it on twisty country roads.

The Civic's steering reacts quickly, and there's enough resistance at B-road speeds to give you a sense of what's going on and make you feel involved. It's a similar story around town, where the Civic changes direction quickly and feels usefully nimble.

The steering is less reassuring on the motorway. At higher speeds, it feels very light and numb around the straight-ahead position.

This makes it a very relaxing cruiser, but it also means that when you turn the wheel only slightly there's very little sensation through your palms. This can be a bit disconcerting when there are strong side winds, and on sweeping high-speed curves.

By Leo Wilkinson

Week ending August 17
Mileage 9,051
Driven this week: 165 miles

The Civic's first service isn't due for another 3449 miles - at 12,500 miles. There are a couple of issues that might need attention before then.

Firstly, the whistle that I noticed from the driver's side front window a few weeks after getting the car seems to be getting worse. It's still pretty quiet, but on a motorway trip this week - without loud music - it started to annoy me. I've checked the window seal and can't see any problem, but it's something I'd like to get a professional to investigate.

I'm also a little concerned that the Civic's gearshift isn't quite as precise as it was. It's still slicker than most, but it sometimes feels a little hesitant, especially at low speed.


Week ending August 10
Mileage 8886
Driven this week: 58 miles

Unusually, the Civic has spent this week on purely urban roads, travelling short distances around south and west London.

In many ways, it's well suited to the task. The steering is responsive, the gearshift is precise and the clutch has a light, progressive action. The short, sharp handbrake action is another bonus, and the strong engine means that exiting a junction or grabbing a gap in traffic is never a problem.

The rear-view camera is a god-send when parking on tight city streets, too, while the comparatively small alloy wheels and high-profile tyres are remarkably kerb-friendly. To top it all, a second plip on the key fob when you've parked folds the door mirrors neatly out of harm's way.

There are a couple of downsides, however. The engine stop/start system is slower to react than some, which can be frustrating when the traffic lights turn green. The Civic's suspension doesn't cope particularly well with speed bumps, either, making it too easy to ground the front of the car.


Week ending August 3
Mileage 8828
Driven this week: 407 miles

Of all the Civic's features, the one I probably use most often is its two-stage boot floor.

In standard mode the boot is massive; so large, in fact, that bags tend to roll and slide around whenever you turn a corner. Pull a handle, however, and a large part of the floor drops downward to leave a recessed area that's a perfect, snug fit for a just a few bags .This is mostly how I use the Civic's boot.

Alternatively, you can lift the panel and store a decent amount of stuff under the floor. It's hidden away, so provides a greater feeling of security, but it's easy to access, as long as there aren't a load of heavy bags on top.

Either way, the Civic has one of the largest and most practical boots in its class.


Our cars: Honda Civic - July


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