While I am impressed by the new look Civic and loved the panoramic roof, I was a little disappointed with some of the materials used.
The new Civic has five trim levels; S, SE, Sport, ES and EX. These are available with a choice of three engines; a 2.2 i-CTDi, a 1.8 i-VTEC and a 1.4 i-DSI, which comes in S and SE trims only.
The test car was the 1.8 SE costing £15,650. This unit produces 140PS (138bhp) at 6300rpm and 174Nm of torque at 4,300rpm. It takes 8.9 seconds for the 0-62mph dash and the top speed is 127mph.
Although, the performance is good and the engine willing enough, there is a distinct lack of feeling from the tyres through the steering wheel. The drive-by-wire throttle doesn’t help matters as occasionally, there is a noticeable delay before the input is acted upon.
Unusually, the new Civic is smaller than its predecessor - 30mm shorter and 37mm lower but it is 45mm wider, which means extra stability. The car is agile, remains flat on fast bends and copes very well with swift changes in direction although the suspension is quite firm with a tendency to ‘tramp’ on uneven surfaces, which is very entertaining and forgivable.
The safety list comprises the usual ABS with EBD and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) as well as Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) that is de-activated via a button on the lower instrument console.
The 1.8 ES, was mated to a 6-speed manual box. Although i-SHIFT automatic transmission is an option with some of the engine choices, it takes careful consideration to work out the mix and match specification list. Anyway, in the test car’s format, the fuel consumption figures read as 34.4mpg and 52.3mpg for the urban and extra-urban cycles with the combined working out as 44.1mpg.
While I am impressed by the new look Civic and loved the panoramic roof, I was a little disappointed with some of the materials used. For instance, the metallic-effect interior trims are made of plastic, which looks and feels cheap - even the ‘aircraft-style’ filler cap is plastic and frankly, spoils the effect. Moreover, taking into account that these press cars have a hard life, the optional metallic paint (£375) finish on the test car didn’t seem to be wearing too well.
Sadly, there seems to be an element of, ‘never mind the quality, feel the difference’, about the new Civic I tested, which is unusual for Honda. Having said that, I still think the design is stunning.30 August 2006
Honda Civic Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Honda Civic 1.8i ES|
|Body Type||3-Door Hatchback|
|Colour||Cosmic Grey Pearl|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.9 Seconds|
|Top Speed||127 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||52.3 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-Year/90,000 mile warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 30/08/06)||£15,650|