Honda Civic IMA Review
Honda's 1.3 litre i-DSI petrol engine is ingeniously coupled to an electric motor which engages as you accelerate or as you go up hill.24 February 2004
How It Drove - Performance
Honda's 1.3 litre i-DSI petrol engine is ingeniously coupled to an electric motor which engages as you accelerate or as you go up hill. The electric motor boosts the engine power until you reach cruising speed and then turns itself off. As you slow down or brake the electric motor acts as a generator recharging the battery which is stored out of sight behind the rear seats.
Town driving is the perfect environment for the Civic IMA which has been awarded may accolades for its fuel economy and green credentials. Honda asked the question 'what if things knew when they weren't being used and switched themselves off' and the Civic IMA does just that. When you come to a complete stop for example at traffic lights the car will switch itself off and when you depress the clutch and engage first gear it will automatically restart itself. This was a bit unnerving to begin with but you soon get used to it and you find yourself feeling smug in queues because you're not emitting unnecessary exhaust fumes. Around town the Civic IMA drives like any ordinary car, the 5 speed gearbox is light resulting in smooth easy gear changes. The engine is extremely quiet and refined, the urban fuel consumption is equally as impressive returning approximately 47.1 mpg.
The Civic IMA's 1339cc engine produces 89 bhp which enables it to accelerate from 0-62 mph in a respectable 12.8 seconds and continue to a top speed of 111 mph. However, on 'A' and 'B' roads the IMA did feel slightly underpowered and you have to work through the gear box to maintain a constant speed uphill. On the Motorway it cruised comfortably in 5th gear at 70 mph but again we found ourselves changing down into 4th regularly to maintain a constant speed uphill.
Honda Civic Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Honda Civic IMA Executive|
|Colour||Satin Silver Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||12.8 seconds|
|Top Speed||111 mph|
|Fuel Type||Petrol - Unleaded|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||65.7 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-year/90,000 mile (whichever comes first) mechanical warranty|
3-year paint surface warranty
6-year rust through warranty
8-year/100,000 mile warranty for the IMA components
|Price (when tested on the 24/02/04)||£ 15,000|