Our cars: Honda Civic - June

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Honda Civic
Honda Civic
Honda Civic 2.2 i-DTEC ES

Week ending June 29
Mileage: 6460
Driven this week: 250 miles


Honda Civic review

One of the (many) quirks of the Civic's cabin is that the handbrake lever is on the wrong - left - side of the centre console, so you have to reach across to get to it.

It doesn't really bother me, partly because the action is so short and precise. It does, however, mean that when there's a front seat passenger in the car, I occasionally end up brushing their knee with my hand. Depending on who it is, this can be rather embarrassing.

I thought the lever's positioning could be to do with converting the car from left- to right-hand drive (although it is, of course, built in the UK). A quick bit of research, however, reveals that left-hand drive versions have the same layout, with the lever on the right side on the centre console.

Leo.Wilkinson@whatcar.com

Leo's Honda Civic on video




Week ending June 22
Mileage: 6210
Driven this week: 580 miles


Over time you get used to a car's foibles, often to the point where something that bothered you to begin with is barely noticeable after a few months.

Unfortunately, that's not proving to be the case with the Civic's unforgiving ride. If anything, it seems like even more of an issue now than when I took delivery of the car. In fairness, I have been struggling with a bad back of late, which might explain why the Civic's rather crashy low-speed ride has become more irritating.

The fact that I've done more town driving than usual has rammed the point home, and it has also highlighted the Civic's frustrating tendency to bottom out over speed bumps.

At higher speeds the ride improves, but it remains one of the Civic's weak points. A VW Golf, for example, is in a different league for composure and comfort.

Leo.Wilkinson@whatcar.com

Week ending June 15
Mileage: 5730
Driven this week: 94 miles


Refinement isn't one of the Civic's key strengths, because there's more engine- and road noise in the cabin than you get with many rivals.

Wind noise is much better suppressed, but I've recently noticed a whistle from the front driver's side window area at high speed, which I'm sure wasn't there when I took delivery of the car. A quick inspection hasn't revealed anything obvious, but I'm convinced a dodgy seal must be to blame.

Front passengers haven't noticed it, and you can't hear it when the stereo's on, but if it gets any worse I'll book the car in to a dealer for a proper investigation.

Leo.Wilkinson@whatcar.com

Week ending June 8
Mileage: 5636
Driven this week: 562 miles


The Civic's interior is wearing the miles particularly well.

I have to confess that over three months of ownership I've paid very little attention to keeping the cabin clean and tidy. I've given the dashboard display a brief wipe, but apart from that it hasn't seen a cleaning cloth or vacuum cleaner at all.

Despite that, it still looks smart, because the seat fabric and plastics resist marks and scrapes well. The Civic's interior styling isn't to all tastes, but I think the quality is hard to fault.

Leo.Wilkinson@whatcar.com

Week ending June 1
Mileage: 5074
Driven this week: 771 miles


The Civic's dashboard has a split personality . The centre console is simplicity itself, with big, bold buttons and dials and a fairly conventional look.

The digital display at the top of the dashboard looks like it's from a different car altogether. It has a pleasantly high-tech look, but it's hard to read in direct sunlight and reflects distractingly in the windscreen at night.

Accessing the various menus using the steering wheel-mounted controls is far too fiddly, too. Much of the interior is well thought out, but this smacks too much of form over function.

Leo.Wilkinson@whatcar.com

Our cars: Honda Civic - May

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