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Honda Civic 1.4i S 5dr

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      08.09.2013 18:50
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      Great car to drive and own if you don't do a lot of motorway miles, cheap to maintain.

      During the 8 months I owned this car in 2012, I found it a pleasure to drive and own. The engines are bullet proof and the car accelerates pretty well for a small engine in a large car. Parts are cheap and servicing is easy to do yourself. I changed 2 brake discs and both sets of pads myself, with no problems apart from one stubborn nut which needed a little WD40 and a lot of persuasion to move.

      Practicality is great - there's loads of space in the back and the boot is large. The back seats also fold down to create a space almost as big as some estate cars, and I was able to get many pieces of large furniture in the back which some people and even I did not expect to fit in.

      This car is great for in and around town, the gear ratios are so low that it's possible to move off in third. However, when on the motorway the gear ratios are a big drawback, having to do 4-5k revs in 5th to get to 65-70mph. This means the car goes through petrol very quickly, and when I did a stint working 40 miles away from where I lived it was costing £20 a day in petrol to get there and back.

      Another drawback is that the driver's side window often comes loose from the housing it's supposed to sit in (I have spoken to other people who were owners of these cars) and thus when you hold the button to put the window up, it goes up outside the housing, creating a gap in between the rubber seal and the edge of the window, which lets rain/wind in and is very noisy on the motorway, not to mention insecure (all doors can be unlocked simply by pushing down the small stick on the driver's door).

      The other thing I would say to anyone looking at buying one of these is be very careful with the battery - they go flat very easily. In winter, if I didn't take the car out for 2 days the battery would go flat and I'd have to take it out and recharge it. It also went flat a couple of times when I had the radio/heated rear window (not both) on without the engine on, for 15-20 minutes.

      So in summary, it's a great car for nipping around town, handles and accelerates well, and is very spacious because the floor is so low. Driver visibility is also great and it's easy to park. But don't get one if you do a lot of motorway miles.

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