* Prices may differ from that shown
I hate this car - why?
No spare wheel to cut down on space/weight - so if your wheel blows out doing 70 on the motorway, you are not going to fix it with the foam spray pump supplied, because the old wheel will be in a million bits all over the road.
Suspension is awful - you feel every single bump and lump in the road and going over speedhumps are a nightmare
Brakes wear out very quickly - I am no mouse on the road, but I'm no Nigel Mansell either - and I have to change the brake pads every 6 months. It's very annoying and expensive!
My windscreen wiper makes a 'cracking; noise everytime it reaches the right hand side of my windscreen despite replacing it several times- what is that about?
Radio - in built and costly to add an MP3 connection - we were quoted about £200 to be done at the factory before the car arrived. In other cars it costs around £15 at a local car audio speciallist - we took this car and they quoted us £315 - for an mp3 connection!!
Petrol cap broken and wouldn't open - this made refuelling quite tricky
I've had my Honda Civic since May 2010. It is a 57 plate, so i bought it used. I had gone wanting a Type R, brand new car. I left with a 2.2 used Civic. Mine is black. It is stunning. It looks lovely. I've seen a few others around, mostly in that brown colour, but i'm glad mine is black. Have also seen a few red ones. It does turn heads. I live in a poor, rural area, so my car really stands out. I drive regularly down the A38 and A30, for the Westcountry they are as close as we get to Motorways. I also drive every day down very narrow one track roads. Performance wise, this car goes some. My exit from work is straight onto the A30, so i have to have some power to get going up the hill out of harm's way. It does it effortlessly. I power along. The first week i had this car, my sister had her baby, and i left the hospital at 3am. I got followed by the police, who i assume expected me to hurtle off, so just be warned - you're noticeable!! Braking is effortless, and i have always felt very safe in a Honda. Airbags etc. are all standard. Tank takes about £55 in diesel at the current rates, and i get about 500 miles out of that. I don't drive economically. The dash has a display of lights which tells you how economically you asre driving, i could pay more attention. The speedo is digital, massive and right above the steering wheel. I had to sign a disclaimer to say that Honda didn't have to pay if i left the handbrake off - i thought this was weird at the time, but actually, the handbrake is in a funny place, so i think people just forget about it. Mine has parking sensors, new to me, but well worth the extra. Am listening to Persuasion on audio cd, and that sounds great. Radio is very easxy to use. I like the window clear blower button, when it gets a bit misty, i just press and the mist is cleared. AC is lovely also. All in all a lovely car. Still want an R Type, but planning to trade this in next time and get my fancy new car!!
Can beauty really drive this well? Apparently it can. This car looks modern and sleek, and gives the impression of being a small car. Inside its like the tardis, and the 2.2 CTDi is decked out luxuriously. The driving position is excellent, close to the road and tucked behind a starship enterprise style control panel!
Its a comfortable ride for all its passengers with suede like luxurious upholstery and a bump free ride even in the back. The front seats are slightly bucketed giving that sporty feel. And despite the low profile of this sporty little number, its a pretty smooth drive.
The dashboard can be personalised to show what you wish, it has big numbers to show your speed so no excuses for speeding. You can personalise the display to show what you prefer e.g. how many miles until refuelling or MPG. There is an indicator to show the level of economy while you drive and the built in sat nav is easy to programme and use. This model comes with a built in CD player and programmable radio, which is simple to use and can be programmed without the need to read a huge instruction booklet!
This car feels solid on the road, and I drive with my children in the back comfortable in the knowledge that the 4 star ENCAP safety rating makes it super safe. I'm ashamed to say I left the handbrake off when I parked this in the drive recently - it rolled out across the road and demolished my neighbours wall. Not a scratch on the car! Solid car with style and economy rolled into one.
The car itself is a little piece of luxury, comfortable and deceptively large. Its design is sleek and its probably the most economic "sporty" car we have every owned!
WHAT IS IT?
It's a Honda Jim, but not as we know it
welcome, to the Star Ship Civic!
The Honda Civic, since launch back in the annals of history, ok I was 11 years old at the time, has consistently been one of the world's biggest selling cars. When originally launched it proved to be a phenomenal "from nothing" hit for the Japanese manufacturer, only at that stage renowned for motor bikes and cars with tiny 600cc engines.
Honda got it right first time with the Civic, peppy engines, neat contemporary, if rather Japanese, styling, and, as was the norm for far eastern cars - only Japanese then - it was far better equipped than its cheap and not so cheerful British competitors, such as the Austin Allegro. That car, you may remember, had no hatchback but a square steering wheel as novelty compensation.
The small "supermini" sized Honda Civic was a phenomenal success worldwide, and, during the thirty years that followed evolved very much in line with current trends - Honda played safe, gave their ageing customers what they expected and watched the profits roll in. That was until the end of 2005 when THIS broke cover.
In all honesty, seeing the press debut photographs of this car I was thinking that April Fools Day fell somewhere else in the Japanese calendar, Honda couldn't possibly be serious?
They were, and deadly so!
Mrs R and I just happened to be at Honda Chiswick on the Saturday that the new Civic was launched there. Those photographs were no lie, love it or hate it, this car has jaw dropping styling, both inside and out. Spending an hour sitting in, poking and prodding at it, I had come to the "showroom" conclusion that, beautifully well built as it is, the Civic just had to be compromised by that styling.
The evidence now tells me that Honda's styling was a risk worth taking. Just look at how many of these radically shaped new Civic models you are seeing on the road, less than a year after launch. Next month (October 2006) they are adding three door models to the range also.
Are Civics being bought for their obvious style, the Starship Enterprise interior, the Honda badge, or because they are a cracking good drive? Hopefully the review that follows may enlighten you - driving these cars certainly enlightened me!
WHICH SPECIFIC MODEL?
As the category says, I'm reviewing the (138bhp) 2.2 litre diesel EX here, although this is another two for the price of one review I am pleased to say. As a valuable comparison at the same time, I was also able to drive the (138bhp) 1.8 litre petrol, in ES trim. The diesel shares its now familiar engine with my very own Honda Accord. There is also, at the bottom of the range, a 1.4 petrol powered Civic.
With two cars of identical power output, fuelled by petrol and diesel, in a sense this review could be setting out to prove the worth of diesel over petrol - or vice-versa. In truth, as it turned out, there is far more to it than that, my conclusion was not what I expected it to be either.
IN WHAT CAPACITY AM I REVIEWING THIS CAR?
I am reviewing the new Honda Civic, in two different versions, primarily as a curious Honda Accord diesel owner and secondarily as my company's fleet manager.
The driving was carried out at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire - the occasion at which it took place being the annual Company Car in Action event, sponsored by the trade magazine of the same name.
Honda are expecting private buyers to take the petrol option, whilst company car drivers, such as myself, plump for the diesel.
Since launching their renowned 2.2 litre diesel engine, just over two years ago, Honda have made big inroads into the company, or "fleet" car market. Popular with drivers due to it having a very low 143 Co2 rating and at the same time being a peach to drive, it has also in my own experience proven to be 100% reliable and relatively inexpensive to maintain
Neither Civic model should cost a fortune to insure. The petrol Civic is in group 9, the diesel group 10, that is of 20 insurance groups in total. The petrol version has a Co2 rating of 152, the diesel 140. Choosing the diesel Civic in order to save money, even as a company car driver is going to be a bit of a false hope!
This is one of the most interesting areas of the diesel v petrol debate, up until very recently, nobody purchased a diesel powered car for its' superior driving characteristics. The choice of diesel was made purely for financial reasons.
In my case, the larger Accord, with this same diesel engine, over the last 60,000 miles has provided a "have my cake and eat it" satisfaction - it has saved me a fortune in tax, at the same time (in my opinion) providing a superior drive to its 2.0 petrol counterpart.
Why then test the petrol engine Civic at all? Read on and all will be revealed!
PURCHASE COST 8 / 10
No Civic is cheap to buy new. But then, it is a new design, it is trendy and the market is not (yet) awash with them, Honda can price the car strongly and afford not to offer you much in the way of a discount.
The basic 1.4 i-DSi S costs £12,950 on the road. With the 82bhp engine in this heavy and technology laden car, it could only be described as underpowered, certainly Honda did not let anyone test drive a 1.4 on the day!
The two cars that I drove were higher up the range, the 1.8 petrol was in i-VTEC ES trim, available at £15,650, whilst the 2.2i-CDTi was a totally equipped, top of the range, EX model retailing for £18,095.
Model for model there is a £1245 price difference in favour of the petrol engined car. Nobody could persuade me that it costs Honda over £1200 more to build a mass produced diesel engine!
The 1.8 petrol models therefore look something of a bargain.
THE OPTIONS GAME: 8 / 10 or "How much do I need to spend to make it habitable?"
In truth, all of the Civics are very "habitable" in standard trim. It is not hard to spend further cash on extras such as leather upholstery, although in both models driven here I did not see the need to.
There are curious differences in equipment between the two models, the EX, being the most expensive, you would expect to have the panoramic roof, this unusual feature is actually standard on the ES, only available as a £1200 linked option (with a leather interior) on the EX.
On all counts though both models are very well equipped.
DEPRECIATION 9 / 10 - Always the biggest running cost.
Another good solid score on this count. Hondas are not big depreciators and unless the Civics' radical shape ages badly it should be a safer bet financially than its mainstream competitors.
Expect a three year old, 30,000 mile £16,000 Civic to still be worth 58% of its original cost (£9280) - that compares to an Alfa 147 at 44% (£7040), an Audi A3 or BMW 116i, also 58%, a Ford Focus 39% (£6240). Even a £16,000 Mercedes A Class will be worth only 52% - or £8320 - of its original value after three years and 30,000 miles use.
According to my comparative figures - all thanks to Autocar magazine - the new Civic very much sits at the top of its class in terms of depreciation.
FUEL ECONOMY 7 / 10 Ahem. There are lies, damned lies and statistics
It is not that the Civic is a thirsty car, indeed the 1.8 litre petrol engine has in the hands of road testers been proven to be a very economical power unit, however Honda's claims for the diesel have also proven to be so optimistic as to be lies!
My own experience of this engine is that, in the Accord, you will be at least 12mpg overall short of the claimed average fuel consumption. I have read several "long term test" results in magazines backing this up - both in the Accord and even more so the smaller Civic. The reality appears to be that there is hardly any difference in fuel consumption between the two engines, expect about 38mpg on average for either - that's very good indeed for a swift 1.8 petrol, pretty disappointing for a lazy 2.2 diesel.
I am sorry to bore you all with this AGAIN, but I really do feel that something should be done about a manufacturer claiming their car to be 25% more economical than it is. Hondas published fuel consumption data really is grossly misleading.
SERVICE & MAINTENANCE COSTS 7 / 10: are you going to make the dealer rich?
My own experiences with Honda dealers - a diesel Civic has identical servicing requirements to my own car - are inclined to make me say here that Hondas are not the cheapest car to run as far as servicing is concerned.
Most Honda dealers (excepting my local one) are apparently excellent, certainly Honda Chiswick who handle my requirements have always offered exemplary servicing and customer care. Each time your Honda is serviced it will be valeted - supposedly for free, included in the service.
In practice I am paying around £40 to £50 more to service the Honda than I was the Vauxhall that went before it, that is a fairly expensive wash and vacuum!
Let the "fun" begin! You want to know what this car is like to live with and to drive and be driven in .
STYLING 8 / 10: A very subjective category here.
It is one of those designs that you will either love or hate. I happen to love it!
Full of interesting details, never seen before on a production car, the Civic is a car that I could never grow tired of looking at. Two of my favourite features are the triangular twin exhaust pipes set into the rear bumpers, and the easy to clean Perspex panel that runs the width of the front of the car.
OVERALL BUILD QUALITY AND FINISH 9 / 10 Does it look as though it was slung together?
If you have read my Accord review, you will know that I had some real issues with its build quality during my first months of ownership. It probably is not fair to say that I was gutted to see that the cheaper, smaller Civic is built to noticeably better standards than my own Japanese built Honda - but we should all be proud that a car of such quality can be produced in this country.
SAFETY 9 /10 If it comes to the worst, how well are you and your family going to come out of it.
Being a newly designed car, you expect to be, and are, supplied with all of the airbags currently available. ABS (anti-lock brakes) are a legal requirement on any car now, the Civic also has electronic brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) as well as VSA (vehicle safety assist). As they stand, all of those initials mean very little - in an emergency they are all designed to steer you out of trouble.
Sitting in, and indeed driving, this car, I have to say that Honda have built in a high degree of safety, you feel cocooned from the outside world, surrounded by a substantially well built car.
ERGONOMICS 6 / 10 Before I can start the engine and drive away I need to feel at home in the "working environment". The relationship between the controls and how I, the driver, am able to instinctively operate those controls is, all important. This for me is make or break, before I drive a car, if it does not instinctively "feel" right in this department then I will never like it or ultimately buy it.
Unlike the interior of my instantly more friendly (and conventional) Accord, the Civic's "Buck Rogers" dashboard is going to take some learning. The general layout is intrinsically good, there are however so many knobs and buttons, controlling many state of the art features, that the Civic is a car that benefits from an evening's reading of the handbook prior to driving for the first time.
The main controls fall naturally to hand and are light and have a well oiled precision feel to them. My favourite cars have a well matched fluidity to the operation of the clutch, brake accelerator and gear lever, the Civic is now among my favourites.
The driving position is good and the seats are very comfortable, front and rear.
VISIBILITY: 5 / 10
Woops! Here we find the compromise! The rear view - directly to the rear through the split level rear window, is on a clear day just about acceptable. However, Honda fit no wiper to the rear window of the Civic and I can only imagine this car being a real handful to reverse park in the rain.
Rear parking radar is an almost essential option, Honda also offer you the option (for £350) of a rear camera too. We played with this in Honda Chiswick's showroom and were impressed with its' usefulness - I have previously viewed such devices as a gimmick - on the Civic it is a near necessity!
Those members amongst you of smaller stature may well not like the new Civic, the reason being that the window line is high and gets higher towards the rear. Shorter drivers may well find this an intimidating car to drive around town. I did not have a problem with this, many of you may have.
Before deciding on the purchase of a new Honda Civic, I would recommend even more strongly than usual a full and varied test drive.
Due to the immense size of the windscreen, Honda has fitted excellent "clap-hands" windscreen wipers, which clear almost the entire screen area of rain.
SPACE: 9 / 10:
There is an amazing amount of room inside the new Civic, unusually it is overall (on the outside) smaller than the model that it replaces. Inside there is little reduction in space when compared to my much larger Accord Saloon.
The boot is huge, even bigger than it looks when you open the tailgate - some owners have yet to discover that it actually has a false floor in there with a near boot size space beneath it.
STYLE 7 / 10:
Here we go again, you're either going to love it or ..
This car is so totally different to anything else on the market inside, that for me, its interior styling would be a major factor in my decision to purchase it. References to Starship Enterprise are inevitable, so many digital luminous read outs - what Honda describe as a "dual zone" dashboard layout, which flows into the door panels, yes indeed the new Civic certainly offers something way, way out of the norm here.
MATERIALS, FIT & FINISH 9 / 10: Aspreys or Ratners?
Model for model, the Civic is around £2500 less expensive than the Accord. Imagine my surprise then to discover that, even in the cheapest Civic versions, the materials used and the general fit and finish are of a higher standard than in my own top of the range Accord!
AUDIO & CLIMATE CONTROL SYSTEMS 8 / 10: Strange grouping?
You are not going to be able to operate these "instinctively" without instruction from a salesman (in our case) or studying the huge Honda Instruction Manual. The controls are part of the extraordinary dashboard styling, the functions that they do operate however are top-notch in this class of car though.
The top of the range EX models equipment level stretches to standard satellite navigation which shares its large central display screen with the audio display (and reverse park camera - if fitted). Importantly "voice command" function is also included, along with an integrated Bluetooth phone system. This, once you acclimatise to it, shortcuts all of the secondary controls - you do not need to touch the radio or heater buttons, just tell the civic that you want the interior at twenty degrees and the radio volume to be louder!
ON THE ROAD ..
Time to start it up and to offer you a driving assessment.
NOISE, VIBRATION & HARSHNESS 7 / 10 Silk purse or sow's ear?
(It starts by pressing a red "START" button, just in case you think there's a malfunction!)
Now a confession. I would previously never have bought a petrol powered Honda; I am simply not a fan of their high revving VTEC engines. I am a Honda owner only due to the superb 2.2 diesel engine.
HOWEVER, in the Civic, I had a really hard time making a decision as to which I preferred. The diesel is definitely less refined in this car, the petrol engine, whilst requiring far more gear-changing, is undoubtedly the smoother, quieter and more refined power unit.
I would not describe the diesel as a sow's ear here, but on balance the petrol wins the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) competition and suits the Civics looks and character rather better.
PERFORMANCE 9 / 10 Sh*t off a shovel or a constipated tortoise?
Another oddity here. The driving styles may be different, but in pure performance terms the results are incredibly similar. If you do a lot of motorway driving, then the huge amount of extra torque (flexibility) produced by the diesel would probably be an asset. Otherwise the 1.8 petrol is a very good all round performer. This is the first petrol engined Honda that I would actually seriously consider buying.
RIDE & HANDLING 8 / 10
Here was my biggest surprise of all! I have read much in the press about this car, from way back before it was launched. Word had filtered out that Honda had dropped their much famed multi-link independent rear suspension, in favour of a much simpler, smaller, lighter and cheaper to build torsion beam set up. They took a lot of stick over this, the press condemning the car before they had even driven it!
Personally I have always preferred to trust my own judgement over the way a car drives - neither am I a technical specification snob. As an engineer, I look for the simplest, cheapest and most space efficient solution to a problem - providing it works of course! That, when you drive the new Civic, is exactly what Honda have achieved.
It is not the smoothest riding car that I have ever driven, however the ride is well damped and certainly well up to the class average. The handling on the other hand is well above it, this is a car that if you are in the mood, you will have fun in driving quickly down a twisty country road.
CONCLUSION - Would I buy one myself and would we want to drive it to Poland in a day?
Yes, either privately, or as a company car, I would have no hesitation in choosing a Honda Civic. Amazingly, having said that I am unlikely ever to own another petrol engined car - thanks to Honda's own superb 2.2 diesel engine in my Accord, here in the Civic I am going to recommend, and would buy myself, the 1.8 petrol version!
The Honda Civic genuinely drives every bit as well as it looks, is spacious, relaxing to drive and has that very genuine "I want one" factor. If only Honda had managed to inject some of the panache into the more expensive and really less desirable Accord!
Yes, we could happily drive a 2.2i CTDi EX Civic to Poland in a day - a relaxed and economical choice of car for that particular journey.
FINAL SCORE: 133 / 170 - 78.2%
Cast your mind back to several months ago to that bizarre advert on television of a group of people making various noises to simulate the experience of the new Honda Civic to me the advert was annoying but 6 months later we had the brand new civic so it definitely got our attention and into the showroom we went to place our order and had the 8 week wait.
The Honda Civic has always been a popular car and this model definitely will not disappoint any owner and is quickly becoming one of the most popular cars on the road.
Opinions tend to vary but I guarantee after being in the vehicle a few times your opinion will change as you see the space aged dash which is definitely Out of This World.
The model we have purchased is the 2.2 CTDi EX version which is currently the top spec model and retails in at £18,100.
Our previous car was the Ford Focus ST 170 which had given us very high expectations when it came to looking for a replacement car that still offered great power and performance, of course we knew that the Civic would not be as competitive in the performance area but the other features more than made up for that.
The EX is packed with standard features and definitely leaves competitors far behind in terms of features.
*~*~*Costs and Depreciation*~*~*
Cost of the car and depreciation £18100, the cost that we paid was infact £18475 as we opted for Nighthawk Black which was not standard, however it is rumoured that Honda are thinking about increasing the cost of the civic in general within the next 6 months.
When we purchased the car we were told that there would be a guaranteed trade in value which is approximately £9420 based on the mileage that we have stated the car will do which isnt too bad for 3 years time and compared to other cars depreciation isnt normally poor on Hondas in general so this also swayed our decision to purchase the Honda in the first instance.
This model is in insurance Group 11 and for us it cost just over £400 for fully comprehensive insurance which for a couple in their mid twenties with some speeding points isnt too bad and out of 20 categories of insurance levels this is not bad meeting just over halfway and a vast improvement on the Focus ST.
Fuel Costs stated by Honda at 55.4 mpg but I would say it would be more like 45mpg and currently is the output we have been getting on average, as with most car manufacturers they do tend to exaggerate on certain items to generate more sales but here Honda would be better to be more honest with the fuel consumption figures as the cars literally sell themselves on the features alone.
Love it or hate it this car has pizzazz and the design definitely works and although there are people out there with reservations I urge you to think twice this is one of the best cars on the market.
The car has excellent styling with its smooth corners, dual triangular exhaust and the front of the car is not all that different from the focus with its honeycomb front styling and triangular front fog lights this car is definitely not one to snub.
Despite my reservations of the rear spoiler it looks fantastic although the downside is the restriction to the rear-view as previously mentioned.
The indicators in the rear view mirrors is a feature I love on vehicles as it makes it impossible to miss them however the rear of the vehicle is another story as in the sunlight the indicators are easy to miss and can received some abusive reactions from drivers who are unable to see the indicators clearly.
The main attraction in the interior is the sci-fi appearance dash. Backlit in green for the general controls where as the driver gets the fantastic ultraviolet interior lighting for the dash the interior lighting can be controlled for brightness which often comes in handy for the satellite navigation during the evening as this can be really bright inside the car.
Called the Dual Zone this is the main Cockpit of the vehicle and give the driver full control of all the gadgets the car has to offer.
The Upper lever is furthest from the driver and contains the digital speedometer which is in a retro 80s style very simple and easy to read so there will be no excuse for speeding as the speed is very bold and clear to see, you can configure this to have either MPH or KPH. To the left is the screen showing the satellite navigation and the audio and temperature controls so all details can be monitored closely so your eyes are not scanning the vast dashboard constantly.
On either side of the digital speedometer are two helpful functions to the right is the economy gauge the more green lights that are illuminated the less fuel you consume.
To the left is a similar display whereby the more lights that are lit the closer you are to red lining the vehicle, very useful if you drive like a mad man like my partner does.
The lower zone controls the minor controls such as a large analogue tachometer. In the centre of the instrument panel is a 3-dimensional image which displays the fuel consumption data and is only visible when the engine in use.
The car also has Bluetooth facility for mobile phones to enable hands-free usage, this is a good feature to have and not something I have come across in a car before but then many things in this car I have not come across before! I have not used the Bluetooth facility as it is paired to my partners phone but have been in the car when it has been used and it is temperamental you have to pre-programme the telephone numbers into the memory to enable to say Call Home it will then cleverly repeat what you have said and begin to dial. The conversation can be muffled from the recipients point of view as the noise of the road can be clearly heard during the conversation, however I have to state that the microphone could be in a better position, currently Honda Position it in closer to the passenger side rather than the driver so the conversation can be slightly distorted but we have been advised by Honda this can be improved with a quick visit to the dealership.
The seats are extremely comfortable, although I do wonder how long the upholstery will last the fabric is similar to velour and seems to gather all the bits of fabric and dust making them impossible to keep clean even the dyson cant grab all the bits!! The seats are a black with silver mesh to the side and they are extremely comfortable and very supportive as they are not to dissimilar to the bucket seats found in sports cars. One key factor for me is that the seats are extremely comfortable to sit in and the lumbar support is adjustable on the drivers side but not on the passengers and after quite a long journey you can feel a little discomfort however I tend to over come this by adjusting the position of the seat slightly.
The foot well contains metal drilled pedals giving it that sporty interior appearance and there is a large footrest to the left to give the left leg a break from the controls and of course with cruise control you literally can leave your feet with nothing to do!!
The pedals feel well weighted although the bite on the clutch is not as easy to find as I wouldve thought having nearly stalled the car 3 times!
The steering wheel is definitely one of the most comfortable and is jam packed with buttons and controls. This car is amazing when it comes to features and just being able to ask What time is it? and have the car respond is fantastic. By the press of the voice activation button you can set the temperature in the car, change radio station, and select a track on a CD or mp3 loaded into the CD player.
The Satellite Navigation is fantastic as you really can never get lost it has an automated memory of the route and works in tunnels so if the connection does temporarily get lost then the satellite navigation will remember the route and continue to direct you.
The interior of the car is fantastic and my only disappointment with the interior is the plastic on the doors which looks cheap compared to the rest of the car, but I do hate the cheapness of plastic used in cars anyway, hence my review on the Vauxhalls as they love plastic!!
The glove box is refrigerated and very deep so offers plenty of storage options in there.
Adjustable drinks holder in between the two front seats makes taking a Super size drink from McDonalds into the car possible!
One major disappointment for this car is the split rear window which greatly restricts the view from the rear window, you do adjust to the screen being split in two quite easily but all the same it can be fairly distracting when reverse parking.
The pillars on either side of the front windscreen are also a major distraction when it comes to turning corners and parking but again is something you adjust to quite easily and should certainly not deter you from purchasing this car as these could possible be the only disadvantages to owning the new civic.
When you look at the civic you will see that there is no rear view windscreen wiper and would be led to believe that this would be a disadvantage but as Honda promised the design of the rear window does not require a rear wiper and so far we have not noticed a problem with this at all as the rain runs clear from the rear window not posing a problem.
The front wipers are big and chunky and definitely clear the drivers side of the window but for me this is one factor I am not too impressed with as the way that the windscreen wipers work is that the move outwards rather than to the left like most wipers do so the centre of the windscreen does not really clear that well from the passengers perspective but again it is not a major problem.
As a lady of just 5ft 3 in height the car does tend to surround you quite high up so to fully ensure that your driving position does not restrict you in anyway ensure that you use the adjustable height for the drivers seat and the steering column to obtain the optimum driving position and this should not cause any problems for the shortest of drivers.
The Civic has great space in the front and the rear with plenty of leg room for the tallest of passengers.
The rear seats have plenty of legroom and there is even storage space under the front and rear seats, if it is space you are looking for the civic has a wonderful feature of the magic seats which simply lift up and by depressing the handle they stay upright giving enough room for a bike! We attempted to use this feature once for one half of a double divan but it was just too high and we couldnt fit it in, so we collapsed the seats in the rear and it fitted in neatly in the rear through the boot so you really cannot grumble when it comes to space.
Even the boot is full of surprises in this car with a false floor to the centre of the boot to provide extra storage and with a total capacity of 485 litres.
The Civic is jam packed with safety features with VSA Vehicle Stability Assist, ABS Anti Lock Brakes, EBD Electronic Brake force Distribution.
The handling on the Civic is pretty impressive as it does perform well on the open road, on corners however I was not impressed with the sharp corners as handling was not the best and it did feel as if the car could get out of control if I had not been familiar with the road.
The Civic has drive-by-wire throttle and electric steering which basically means it is controlled by computer systems as opposed to mechanical systems making it light and direct when it comes to controlling the car.
A major feature on this model is the cruise control which certainly helps on motorway journeys as I for one find I get awful cramp from keeping my foot on the accelerator for the whole duration.
The cruise control maintains the speed even uphill and you can speed up and down at the press of the button it makes it a pleasure to drive this car as do many of the options on the EX do.
This specific model has a manual 6 speed gearbox with a top speed of 127mph and boasts 8.6 seconds to sprint from 0-60 mph.
The red starter button contributes to the sporty appearance of the civic and is operated by the turn of the key in which the dash will illuminate and then the button can be pressed to start the engine.
I do think that one feature that lets the Civic down is the long chunky outdated key which would be vastly improved with a compact key or keyless ignition and I am surprised that this feature is not provided on the car with so many modern features but I suppose there is always one feature that gets over looked.
The diesel performance is pretty quick and almost as quick as the Focus ST170 2.0 petrol engine so the performance did surprise us both, having now experienced this car we would be very difficult to be swayed back to a petrol engine, when we first discussed getting the diesel version I was off put by the loud noise that a diesel engine generates, however Civic have proved me wrong with this quiet engine which provides a very quiet drive even the occasional turbo charger can barely be heard, well not loud enough to present a problem anyway.
This is the best value car out there if you certainly do a lot of driving, we did a trip to Cumbria this weekend and completed it on 53.4mpg which is really good as previously it had taken a full tank of petrol to get us there and back and now we were doing in in just under half.
The comfort of the car is exceptional and can only be highly recommended.