Honda Civic Road Test (2006)

Honda Civic

Honda Civic Review

Honda Civic ReviewHonda Civic Review  | Part Two

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 Melanie Carter
Honda Civic ReviewHonda Civic Review  | Part Two
Honda Civic Road Test Data
Model ReviewedHonda Civic 1.8i ES
Body Type3-Door Hatchback
ColourCosmic Grey Pearl
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph8.9 Seconds
Top Speed 127 mph
Transmission6-Speed Manual
Fuel TypeUnleaded Petrol
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban34.4 mpg
Extra Urban52.3 mpg
Combined44.1 mpg
Insurance Group9
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty3-Year/90,000 mile warranty
Price (when tested on the 30/08/06)£15,650

The information contained within this Honda Civic review may have changed since publication on the 30 August 2006. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Honda dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2019