I think this car is very good for couples and small families too.
I have owned a Civic 1.4 Vision since new and have been reasonably satisfied, although in my opinion the build quality and reliability does not meet that of Toyota. My four previous cars have all been Toyotas.
The good side is that the car is reasonably economical to drive, though for some reason the road fund licence is dearer than my son's 1996 1.4 VW Polo, and surely the car is cleaner than a ten-year old Polo. However, I can't blame Honda for government pricing policies.
With regard to reliability, I have had a couple of annoying faults which my Honda dealer has had to check out and has always fixed. One particular fault worth highlighting is the headlamp leveller motor. The left hand headlamp leveller failed within its warranty period, followed by the right headlamp leveller eight months outside its warranty period.
I complained to Honda, which first of all only offered a free headlamp unit, which would still have left me with a labour bill heading for £100. I pointed out the fault was known to both them and their dealers and should be the subject of a recall (which it is not) and was immediately given a totally free repair.
On the plus side, though, this car is a very easy car to drive, although not as nippy as other cars of this size. The driving position is good with excellent visibility. Overall, it is a well designed, practical car which lacks a little on lustre.
I got my diesel Civic three weeks ago and have just hit the 1000-mile point. Like the other diesel reviews, I am getting about 50mpg and so far, and as expected, there have been no problems.
The old-shape Civics are a great buy just now, as they are heavily discounted with the introduction of the new model. Although the dealer would not come any further down than the advertised sale price of £9995 (plus £295 for metallic paint), my September-registered 14-mile car was excellent value. It has sports seats and steering wheel with the discreet rear spoiler and side skirts.
Ride and handling is not amazing, but competent enough, with a relatively firm ride and sharpish steering.
The diesel is 100bhp but is enough for all but the bravest/daftest of manoeuvres. There is usually enough torque without the need to go above 3000rpm, however I do keep changing to fourth gear too early, as it seems to be a bit of a gap between it and third.
The Izuzu-sourced engine should be very reliable; Izuzu engines can be found on all sorts of construction equipment. The interior looks to be of a decent quality and the plastics are hardwearing. I commute up to 170 miles a day in comfort and the gear stick is handily placed. The practical interior is perhaps only let down by the access into the rear seats.
Altogether my £10,290 was well spent, as although I expect higher servicing costs, the car should be reliable and depreciate less than its competitors.
I've owned this car for a year now and it still puts a smile on my face. It's fairly economical below 5900rpm, but take it above that and expect to be on first-name terms with your local Optimax dealer!
I get under 20mpg when it's driven hard, and it chews front tyres. I get 6000miles from some budget tyres, or 7000miles from P-Zeros (£120 per tyre). I cannot recommend the P-Zeros highly enough. The rear tyres lasted 18,000 miles so far, though! I'm on my third set of brake pads, too (£60), and next is a new set of discs (£180).
Theoretically, this car is cheap to buy and run, but drive it how it was designed to be driven, and it's definitely not a cheap car to run.
Servicing is very reasonable (£200ish) - Darlingtons of Harlow have be awesome, and have always been very helpful.
Being 21 when I bought the car, insurance is high but reasonable - this year, aged 22, it was £1100 but I had one claim two years ago. Damned uninsured drivers!
18,000 miles under my belt now, and no points (touch wood)....
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