Our cars: Honda Civic - July

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Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC ES-T

Week ending July 26
Mileage 6344
Driven this week 394 miles

Read the full Honda Civic review

Two things struck me when I borrowed the Civic this week; one was odd and the other was irritating.

It’s odd that despite there being more than enough headroom for me up front (I’m 5ft 11, so hardly a giant), it doesn’t actually feel that roomy. The top of the door is pretty low and the driver’s seat is mounted higher than I’d like, so you feel a little hemmed in, even when you’re not.

It didn’t irritate me, though, unlike when I tried to play music via the USB lead. The stereo could read my iPhone 4 and even went as far as displaying the track details on the dashboard display. Sadly not a sound could be heard from the speakers, and after all manner of button pressing, lead unplugging and volume tweaking, I gave up and listened to the music via Bluetooth.

Fearing that I’d come over all techno dud in my 30s, I enlisted the help of regular Civic keeper Rob Keenan, but try as we might, we couldn’t get the USB connection to work with my phone. The Civic won’t even read Rob’s Android Nexus 4, so he can’t use the USB lead, either. Most irritating.


Week ending July 19
Mileage 5950
Driven this week 520 miles

I had a rather annoying experience with the Honda Civic's sat-nav this week, where it refused to recognise a postcode. I had entered the details for a hotel near Stansted Airport, but the only response from the system was: 'Data does not exist for this location'.

Like most built-in sat-navs, the Civic's has a function where you can place a marker on a map, and get it to take you there. So I got out my smartphone, checked Google Maps (which recognised the postcode straight away) and started going through the tedious process of scrolling and zooming in and out of the car's map.

It was so clunky I gave up, deciding instead to switch to my phone's (free) navigation feature once I'd got a little closer to the airport.

I fail to understand why whoever makes in-car sat-navs can't take a leaf out of smartphone app makers' books and allow the hardware to update the mapping software over the air. Our Civic is only a few months old and the hotel has been there for almost 10 years, so there's no excuse, especially when it costs a grand to upgrade to nav trim.

I'd be interested to hear if your car's sat-nav recognises CM24 1PP. Give it a go and fling me an email with the result.

By Rob Keenan

Week ending July 12
Mileage 5430
Driven this week 280 miles

Have you ever driven into a petrol station, pulled up to the pump and wondered what sort of buffoon has managed to leave a puddle of fuel on the ground? I know I have.

It seems that Honda Civic drivers might have to share the blame. Usually, brimming a car's fuel tank involves a fair amount of click-click-clicking from the pump as you try to squeeze in every last drop. Go beyond the first click with the Civic, however, and fuel will quickly start pouring out of a hole at the base of the filler neck.

It's pretty alarming – and embarrassing – when it happens, which is why I beat a hasty retreat from the petrol station the first (and only) time I 'overfilled' the Civic.

By Rob Keenan

Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC ES-T

Week ending July 5
Mileage 5150
Driven this week 200 miles

Last week I mentioned how our Honda Civic's engine stop-start system was all-too willing to operate when it probably shouldn't (shortly after coming to a halt from speed on the motorway).

The stop-start does as it should in town, though, cutting the engine and restarting it smartly. I was going to add 'without fuss', but the 1.6-litre engine’s refinement issues are well documented by What Car? – you certainly know when the diesel unit has kicked back into life.

I've noticed what seems to be a bit of a stop-start gremlin. If you sit at a standstill with the engine running and your foot on the clutch pedal, you sometimes get a little 'hiccough' from under the bonnet. It's almost as if the engine is about to cut but catches itself before doing so.

It doesn't do it every time you come to a halt, but I notice it on every journey. I suspect it's a case of 'they all do that, sir', so won't be heading for the dealer any time soon. It's something to keep an eye on, though.

By Rob Keenan

Our cars: Honda Civic - June


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