The more I drive this car the more I like it and I'm frankly baffled by some of What Car's star scores, especially the 1 star awarded for 'Refinement'. This is my 5th Civic so I'm obviously a fan but for my last car I did sample the much praised Golf so I could compare. Downsizing to a 1.6 diesel engine was a mistake for my previous experience, supported by current one, is that it is easier to achieve realistic economy figures with a larger, less stressed engine whilst enjoying the more relaxing drive that it provides. My Civic is comfortable, roomy and good to drive. I find the controls come readily to hand although the tapering central console means that the lower buttons are smaller than they should be. The limited rear view does not worry me for it is mitigated by the reasr view camera and familiarity. The split rear window also helps to avoid dazzle at night and the addition of the rear wiper ensures that there is a clear view at the rear albeit over a small area. There are some areas that I am not pleased with -the ride is not up to the standard of my VW although it is a vast improvement over my previous Civic, some aspects the on-board information system are not easy to access and I think that Honda should provide a DAB radio and space saver spare as standard equipment. I'm pleased with my pruchase, sweetened by a £1000 discount from Honda,3 years 0% finance and complimentary servicing and top px allowance on my old car.
I've just purchased a 2.2 i-DTEC ES to replace my previous-shape 59-plate. The most noticeable difference is the vast improvement in ride quality, although handling does suffer slightly as a result. Although on paper the new i-DTEC diesel unit is marginally quicker than the old i-CDTI, I do not find the new Civic as responsive - though this seems largely to be down to alteration of the gearbox ratios. It now cruises at motorway pace much better, with no cap on top-end power delivery whatsoever.
I find the car particularly cheap to run, especially as road tax for the year is only £20- although there is little difference in terms of fuel economy, which is still good but no better than the previous unit at around 56mpg.
The interior retains its excellent balance of quirkiness and practicality and seems better constructed with higher quality materials. I do not endure any of the interior rattles found in my previous-shape car. I also feel that there are decidedly split opinions on the rear screen view which is obstructed by the repeater brake light unit. I find this a benefit rather than a hindrance, as headlights from the rear no longer dazzle. Parking is also not an issue as, even in lower-down ES trim, a parking camera is standard.
Overall a decent performer.
Test drove this car as a possible future replacement for my Honda Jazz. Personally I think the car looks good, especially in red, white or silver. The diesel engine I tried was a blast to drive with plenty of immediate power, however the engine noise even on idle was terrible (like a golf ball being shaken around in a tin can). The driving position was good and there was plenty of leg and bum room in the front and back. I would have like it if the driver’s seat could have been lowered even an extra 5cm, as when I leant forward my head would touch the roof of the car and I'm only 5'8!. The boot is massive and I had plenty of room left over after putting a buggy and shopping bags in the back. A lot has been made of the spoiler bar impairing the view out of the rear window however I didn't have a problem with this at all. Overall I was impressed with the Civic however if I do get one it will definitely be the 1.8 petrol engine.
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