The first time saw this car, I actually hated it. I thought that the rear was interesting but slightly ugly, I'd heard that the ride was questionable and the rear seats were cramped while visibility was poor.
So I looked at the BMW 1 series, the Focus, VW Golf and the Audi A3. But I kept coming back to the Civic. I looked at pictures, brochures and took it for test drive after test drive. Until I decided... despite all the possible faults... this was the car for me. I fell in love with it.
I've had it for a month now and it's wonderful (Cosmic Grey). I'm getting a steady 43mpg and it accelerates better than any car I've ever had. There's been no problems with rear visibility or with reverse parking. And, although the spoiler takes a bit of getting used too, it's not irritating and can be used to block unwanted glare from headlights.
The What Car? video review suggests that the dashboard reflection is problematic at night, but I have not found this to be the case. The rear seats provide ample room and the magic seats and boot space are a blessing. However, the ride is hard even with 16" alloys.
It looks beautiful on my driveway and would recommend it to anyone with an adventurous nature. I only wish I'd spent a bit more money on the sat nav and bluetooth car kit!
I wasn't too sure when I read What Car's three-star verdict, so I test drove the Honda along with the Focus and Golf. Yes, the Focus drives a bit better and has a softer ride over bumps, but it's very marginal, especially with the 16-inch wheels.
However, overall the Honda was my choice because it was a better overall package. The interior is a work of art and the seats are comfortable (especially in leather) and versatile. All the gadgets are logically placed, although I haven't worked out why Honda fitted a button on the door armrest which locks all the doors within six inches of another button that does the same job on the door handle.
Fuel consumption seems good at 41mpg overall (my last car was a diesel doing 50mpg but £1500 extra for the Civic diesel was a bit steep for the mileage I do).
However I have encountered a couple of problems. Because the speedo is digital, I expected it to be correct or at least close - it's not; mine is running approximately 8-12% out, depending on speed, over the actual speed according to two GPS systems. The accuracy limit legally allowed is 10% over-reading - I would have expected Honda to be more precise than this.
Also, there's a knocking from the rear suspension - the rear shock absorbers are going to be replaced under warranty (the car is two weeks old!). Time will tell whether more is going to go wrong, but overall I'm still happy with the car.
We first saw the New Honda Civic on TV's Fifth Gear. As we were thinking of changing our car, we took the car out for a test drive - it was love at first sight and first drive.
The Honda accelerates and performs as if it had a larger engine, but we are getting 44mpg. It is also very quiet - you cannot hear the engine on idle and is only a bit noisier at higher speeds. It is very comfortable and the six gears add to the efficiency.
Unfortunately, when you slow down and then touch the throttle to try to hold the car at a steady speed, the engine jerks forward. This happens on every gear change as well, which makes the whole driving experience of this car terrible. Also, if you use the criuse control, the engine gives the same jerky drive as it tries to hold the same speed.
When we took the car back to the dealer, they agreed that the car jerks, but as there were no other reports of this fault, they told us we would have to put up with it, because that's the way it is. We have driven other Civics at the dealer and they have the same jerky drive.
When we contacted Honda customer service got the same answer - put up with it. We will never buy another Honda.
There is a waiting list until June for this model, but I picked my new car up on Saturday after waiting just a wee, because I bought the demonstrator. From the moment I test-drove it, it felt right and that hasn't lessened now that I own it.
It looks stunning in black, although the back end does provoke mixed reactions. Rear visibility is okay and parking is easy because there is no overhang at the back (unlike my old Seat Leon). The interior is very high tech but works beautifully. Everything is to just where you want it, and the seating configurations give you everything you'd need to bring home the DIY at the weekend.
With the new i-VTEC engine, it has a lot of go and forget the reviews you may have read about it being unrefined or noisy. It's made that way and feels and sounds very sporty. The only downside is that all your friends will want to crawl all over it the moment they see it - don't expect to get away very quickly!
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