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post #1 of (permalink) Old 26th November 2017, 22:02 Thread Starter
Mr Chips
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Car: 2017 1.5, Polished metal
Join Date: 11th March 2007
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne GB
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Impressions of a 1.5 Sport manual after 2,000 miles

I test drove the 1.0 and the 1.5 but decided on the 1.5 because it felt more flexible and more relaxing to drive - for example, you don’t have to think about whether third or fourth is the right gear for town driving, both are equally good.

Imo, this is a miles better car than the two enjoyable 1.8 8G’s (one the old-man’s version, the other the boy-racer) and the frugal, turbo-lag 1.6 9G I had before. And in many respects just as eye-catching as the 8G was when it first appeared. It holds the road brilliantly and accelerates effortlessly on open roads - and despite having lots of horsepower, is exceptionally well behaved at low speeds and in urban conditions. Things I particularly like are the brake hold, which is brilliant, the automatic high beam and dip function on the headlights, the speedometer, which is very clear, looks very good and incorporates lots of useful things like road sign recognition, fuel economy and turn-by-turn satnav instructions. It’s also much easier to programme than the awful (and unreliable) 9G system. The large tyres generate noise on all but super smooth road surfaces but otherwise the car is very quiet. The gearbox is exceptional and the frictionless engineering means you can take your foot off the accelerator or cancel cruise control even further away from a roundabout than with the 9G. Like the 9G, it has excellent progressive brakes and the LED headlights are a revelation. Even the paint is without any imperfections (as you’d expect, unless you’ve had a Honda before).

I read a road-test that says it has understeer, but if anything I think it oversteers, although I dont drive fast enough to really test this. As well as being great fun to drive, it’s also a car that encourages you to be a better driver: for example, the cruise control comes with (obligatory) speed adjustment relative to the car in front, which encourages you to drive more patiently (although the cruise control is much jerkier than on the 8G and 9G and the speed adjustment means that it’s more or less unusable in urban conditions or on busy roads); and with lane assist turned on, the car more or less steers itself, and in that mode indicates that I should be driving further to the left than I am doing in this wider-than-I’m-used-to car.

The instruments say that I’m typically getting mpg in the mid-50’s in mixed driving, but measuring at the pump suggests this is about 6% optimistic. I’ve high hopes of something genuinely close to 60 eventually, and so only about 10mpg less than the 1.6 DTEC was achieving at 30,000 miles.

Although it’s a brilliant drivers car, I also agree with several of the critical comments posted by other owners: it’s hard to find a comfortable driving position (the same could be said of the 9G, which was even worse); it’s gloomy in the backseat; it’s a big car with a big turning circle (although on the open road it doesn’t feel big and is significantly more relaxing to drive that the 8G and 9G); the absence of magic seats is a real loss; cleaning round the sills isn’t easy; there are too many warning devices that are a nuisance; on auto, which you have to use in daylight conditions unless you want side-lights on all the time, the headlights come on too readily; and although some owners are happy with a radio that operates principally by touchscreen, I side with those who prefer buttons, like my radio at home. In addition, the brakes squeal at low speeds. And the 753-page instruction book is far too long, very repetitive, and very confusing so that you can read several pages before realising they don't apply to your model - and most of the greyscale illustrations are useless.

A couple of other gripes which you might be able to avoid by checking your car before accepting it from the dealer: although the front-seat mats are perforated so as to lock-down as on previous models, there’s no lock nut in the carpet below; also bucket-loads of some horrible black gunge have been used to put the tyres on so it’s impossible to clean the wheels with smearing it everywhere and ruining sponge after sponge.

All in all, this is a really good car and a pleasure to drive in all conditions. And no doubt the faults listed above will be sorted out over the next few months. Shrink it 5%, bring back magic seats, and it would be perfect.

Last edited by Mr Chips; 26th November 2017 at 23:13.
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