9th Gen Aesthic Review & Warning! - Civinfo
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post #1 of 90 (permalink) Old 18th February 2012, 10:33 Thread Starter
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9th Gen Aesthic Review & Warning!

Hi,

I saw the new 9th Gen Civic in the flesh today at my local showroom so have out here a detailed review of the car from what I saw.

There's also a warning to be had, don't buy this car on a showroom viewing alone as it looks very different on the road! Make sure you like it on the road before purchasing. Why will become apparent below.

Exterior

In the showroom I felt I was going to be forced to eat my words on my previous dislike of this model. When I saw it, it looked all Civic. The front end in the showroom looked nice and definitely Civic. From the side it looked like the current model and from the rear it also looked nice. In fact close up standing just off the rear corner, the new spoiler actually looked better integrated and seemed to flow into the rear which looked smoother but still Civic. Overall I was thinking better than the current model!!!

OK here's the caveat and WARNING:

The car looks very different when you see it outside.

In the car park I noticed another 9th gen on the way out in the same colour as the one in the showroom.

The nose on the road looks like a hybrid marriage between the Integra and Insight Hybrid. Definitely still Civic, and some might say more mature but to me that was its problem. It looked well a little bit too grown up for a sporty car. For me the car had lost all of its excitement and looked very staid and old person-ish. Like I say an Integra / Insight cross breed. If you love the Insight you'll love the 9th gen Civic!

The side view was very much the current base Civic in appearance. Flat sides no kit but definitely 8th gen Civic.

The rear view was definitely Prius!!!

Would I buy one? No!

..and that's where the Caveat really kicks home. If you go to view this car in the showroom alone, then you could thoroughly come unstuck. In a showroom environment it looks very nice. Outside it looks altogether different. So a purchase on a showroom viewing alone could lead to regret later.

Why some cars look so different outside to inside, I don't know but in my opinion, the Civic 9th gen is definitely one of them. So if buying view outside before signing!

Words definitely not eaten after all!


Interior


OK I'm also very unimpressed here and fail to see what some people are raving on about quality wise.

1st thing that struck me sitting in the new Civic was how dark everything was. The dashboard is jet black. The steering wheel is jet black. Everything is black!

To my eyes I struggled to see any difference in quality of materials used on the dash. A feel of the dash showed a slight increase in quality in that it was slightly softer and more rubbery to touch than the current hard plastic of the 8th gen. So credit there, but the difference seemed slight.

The instruments seemed better than I expected from photos and the pods not as intrusive as I previously thought so I'll eat my words on that one although not seeing it key in, I couldn't get a true impression of what they're like when fully illuminated.

On the down side, the new steering wheel left me unimpressed. From memory, I'm sure it was made of a similar material to the dash. Gone is the leather and in its place is a black tactile rubbery finish. Straight away I didn't like this. My previous experience of these finishes in other cars is that sweat from your hands attacks this type of finish and can lead to fading over time and also fingernails can take chunks out of the material. Whether or not the Civic will suffer these problems is yet to be seen but to me I preferred the leather.

Also, although its well laid out and not dissimilar to the old wheel, again I found the wheel dull. The black made it dark and in anything less than perfect light ie dim showroom lighting (also presumably read dim outdoor day or dusk or night) it was difficult to see the buttons for the controls which were also black. ie black on black. I also found it contributed to the overall darkness of the interior being yet more black and the wheel didn't stand out from the background dash leaving you purposefully looking down for it in less than perfect light rather than knowing exactly where it was.

Overall I found the steering wheel dark, difficult to operate from the pov in that it didn't stand out in poor light against the dash when getting in and in that the control buttons were black on a black wheel so didn't stand out either. I also really missed the aluminium inserts - note to Honda - why didn't you put real alloy inserts as a quality improvement rather than taking the inserts out altogether?

Another negative for me was the new wrap around dash. Let me explain - it wraps around you far more than in the old Civic. The door card with the electric window switches on it now slopes right up the door until it meets the dash coming down forming one unit. The position of the switches etc is much higher than on the current Civic. This means the cabin feels more closed in. Some might find it more homely. I though it felt less spacious.

Also, I found a fundamental problem with the new high door card - it gets in the way of your legs getting in and out! Getting in and I banged my knee quite hard on the raised door card. Not only did it hurt but it also raised another issue - it felt hard and plasticky on the side - at least to my knee! Whatever happened to soft and tactile? Also ? longetivity of door card and knee!

Overall, would I buy the new Civic? No!!!

On the road, the looks leave me cold. Too Insight / Prius not enough Civic. As for the interior, I fail to see any real improvements. Slightly more tactile dash but this is countered by the jet black interior, the steering wheel changes and the high door card that would be broken in no time if I were driving along with most probably my knee!! (I'm 5'11" btw so not out of the ordinary size wise.

Just my 2 cents. Others may disagree.

Last edited by RA108; 18th February 2012 at 10:46.
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post #2 of 90 (permalink) Old 18th February 2012, 10:42
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ive never understood why people and the press discuss the feel of the dash tbh. i never touch mine apart from to clean it and couldnt care less what it feels like? not having a pop at you buddy its a good write up and thanks for taking the time to do it

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post #3 of 90 (permalink) Old 18th February 2012, 10:54
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Is really interesting to hear from people who have seen these cars in the flesh, i must admit that the new body shape is actually growing on me more every time i see it but i also have to agree that the new steering wheel lets down the whole interior.
Still looking forward to actually seeing one and seeing if the dash is as bad as it looks in the pictures, it seems so cluttered after the simple but highly effective spaceship interior we all know and love.
I also wait with baited breath (like many others) to see what the sportier versions will look like, compare a type R to a 2006 se 5dr and they are mile apart visually.
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post #4 of 90 (permalink) Old 18th February 2012, 10:56
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Your the same as me, I had a showroom play. I also saw one going out on demo and it looked OK.
I agree with the dash, I also don't care whether it's softer because I tend to hold the wheel not the dash.
I never took much notice of the black on black thing but now you mention it ...

Subject to final pricing though I probably will get one based on the lack of competition.

What does come across though is that Honda have a professional design team but a few of us who care could have given them some very useful advice along the way to make this new model a bit more appealing. Let's see how sales go.
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post #5 of 90 (permalink) Old 18th February 2012, 11:19 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mryanski View Post
Still looking forward to actually seeing one and seeing if the dash is as bad as it looks in the pictures, it seems so cluttered after the simple but highly effective spaceship interior we all know and love.
The instrument pods seemed much better and more logically laid out than I expected.

The down side was the "invisible" steering wheel and buttons (nothing worse than getting in a car and having to search for the wheel!), the less spacious feel, the dark dingy dash and interior, the non leather steering wheel materials and the door card that savaged your legs on the way in!
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post #6 of 90 (permalink) Old 18th February 2012, 11:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alsone View Post
Hi,


Interior

OK I'm also very unimpressed here and fail to see what some people are raving on about quality wise.

1st thing that struck me sitting in the new Civic was how dark everything was. The dashboard is jet black. The steering wheel is jet black. Everything is black!

To my eyes I struggled to see any difference in quality of materials used on the dash. A feel of the dash showed a slight increase in quality in that it was slightly softer and more rubbery to touch than the current hard plastic of the 8th gen. So credit there, but the difference seemed slight.

The instruments seemed better than I expected from photos and the pods not as intrusive as I previously thought so I'll eat my words on that one although not seeing it key in, I couldn't get a true impression of what they're like when fully illuminated.

On the down side, the new steering wheel left me unimpressed. From memory, I'm sure it was made of a similar material to the dash. Gone is the leather and in its place is a black tactile rubbery finish. Straight away I didn't like this. My previous experience of these finishes in other cars is that sweat from your hands attacks this type of finish and can lead to fading over time and also fingernails can take chunks out of the material. Whether or not the Civic will suffer these problems is yet to be seen but to me I preferred the leather.

Also, although its well laid out and not dissimilar to the old wheel, again I found the wheel dull. The black made it dark and in anything less than perfect light ie dim showroom lighting (also presumably read dim outdoor day or dusk or night) it was difficult to see the buttons for the controls which were also black. ie black on black. I also found it contributed to the overall darkness of the interior being yet more black and the wheel didn't stand out from the background dash leaving you purposefully looking down for it in less than perfect light rather than knowing exactly where it was.

Overall I found the steering wheel dark, difficult to operate from the pov in that it didn't stand out in poor light against the dash when getting in and in that the control buttons were black on a black wheel so didn't stand out either. I also really missed the aluminium inserts - note to Honda - why didn't you put real alloy inserts as a quality improvement rather than taking the inserts out altogether?

Another negative for me was the new wrap around dash. Let me explain - it wraps around you far more than in the old Civic. The door card with the electric window switches on it now slopes right up the door until it meets the dash coming down forming one unit. The position of the switches etc is much higher than on the current Civic. This means the cabin feels more closed in. Some might find it more homely. I though it felt less spacious.

Also, I found a fundamental problem with the new high door card - it gets in the way of your legs getting in and out! Getting in and I banged my knee quite hard on the raised door card. Not only did it hurt but it also raised another issue - it felt hard and plasticky on the side - at least to my knee! Whatever happened to soft and tactile? Also ? longetivity of door card and knee!

Overall, would I buy the new Civic? No!!!

On the road, the looks leave me cold. Too Insight / Prius not enough Civic. As for the interior, I fail to see any real improvements. Slightly more tactile dash but this is countered by the jet black interior, the steering wheel changes and the high door card that would be broken in no time if I were driving along with most probably my knee!! (I'm 5'11" btw so not out of the ordinary size wise.

Just my 2 cents. Others may disagree.
So you didn't like the black/dark dash then...
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post #7 of 90 (permalink) Old 18th February 2012, 11:50
 
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My Civic was serviced on Monday so had plenty of time to look at the new one in the showroom. First of all, it looked very plain in white. I know it's the 'in' colour but our other car, a white Citroen DS3 looks anything but plain - it just doesn't go well with the Civic. The black one outside however looked pretty good.

I don't mind the shape, the interior etc. as it's all a variation on the same theme started with the 8th gen car. But I have two gripes:

1) Even if tilted up fully, the steering wheel is too low for my liking. Yes I could put the seats down but in my Civic the seat is up, as is the steering wheel, just how I like it. I imagine they did this so the wheel doesn't obscure the displays but I'm not keen. The Citroen DS4 I tried was identical.

2) The load sill in the boot - seems a fair bit hire than the 8th Gen, which I have found to be a god send when loading.

So in short, I didn't even bother to ask to drive it. However, when a Type S style of model comes out I might change my mind!

Darren
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post #8 of 90 (permalink) Old 18th February 2012, 15:28
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Im quite happy that people don't like it.... Won't have to wait to long for mine
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post #9 of 90 (permalink) Old 18th February 2012, 16:16
 
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I found a hardcover book on the new Civic on my doormat and it says that the Sport and Executive version have a leather wrapped steering wheel.
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post #10 of 90 (permalink) Old 18th February 2012, 17:44
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Originally Posted by Dutch_Civic View Post
I found a hardcover book on the new Civic on my doormat and it says that the Sport and Executive version have a leather wrapped steering wheel.
They do, its just very smooth and feels a little odd at first when comparing the 8th gen.
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post #11 of 90 (permalink) Old 19th February 2012, 22:43
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as far as I am aware all dealers have the ES for display. all models ES and above have leather steering wheel(not black plastic)So many of the negative comments are from members who have just looked and are bemoanong the loss of quirky exhausts,door handles etc.In my opinion Honda made a brave decision to move forward with the design and not keep tweeking(as in Golf & focus) The review by pottsy was spot on.For all the doubters go and drive it and then comment.they all sound like the people who dont like France,and when asked where in france they have been you discover they had a day trip to Calais.I have driven the car and the experience makes you realise what a vast improvement it is over the 8G.
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post #12 of 90 (permalink) Old 19th February 2012, 23:26 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixer View Post
I have driven the car and the experience makes you realise what a vast improvement it is over the 8G.
TBH personally I'm not interested in the way it drives.

I have no doubt over what's been said, that the way it drives is an improvement over the 8th gen for ride comfort.

However, I can live with the ride of the 8th gen.

I can't live with the Insight / Prius looks of 9th gen.

I wouldn't buy it on aesthetics alone. Looks great in the showroom, looks different on the road - It's too old fogey and Pruis on the outside, and on the inside I don't like the dark staid interior.

Just my 2 cents.
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post #13 of 90 (permalink) Old 19th February 2012, 23:36 Thread Starter
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Found a pic of the interior on the web:





Even in this pic taken in very bright light you can see how the steering wheel buttons fail to stand out. In fact the info switches under the bottom left of the wheel can barely be seen at all.

You can also see how high the door card comes up so can see how you can hit your knees on the way out / in and how the cabin space around the driver is reduced by the new even more wrap round style.

Believe me in dim lighting this cabin is dark!

This is obviously an EX spec judging from the sat nav and leather.
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post #14 of 90 (permalink) Old 20th February 2012, 01:18
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That steering wheel is nasty.
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post #15 of 90 (permalink) Old 20th February 2012, 01:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alsone View Post
Even in this pic taken in very bright light you can see how the steering wheel buttons fail to stand out. In fact the info switches under the bottom left of the wheel can barely be seen at all.
Those are the hands-free bluetooth phone option buttons. Which failed to pick up my iPhone.
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post #16 of 90 (permalink) Old 20th February 2012, 07:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alsone View Post
Found a pic of the interior on the web:





Even in this pic taken in very bright light you can see how the steering wheel buttons fail to stand out. In fact the info switches under the bottom left of the wheel can barely be seen at all.

You can also see how high the door card comes up so can see how you can hit your knees on the way out / in and how the cabin space around the driver is reduced by the new even more wrap round style.

Believe me in dim lighting this cabin is dark!

This is obviously an EX spec judging from the sat nav and leather.
Nice

What these pictures fail to show is that the SatNav is not actually central in the dash but is nearer the driver. being as it's touchscreen it needs to be. Makes it look narrower than it actually is.

I'm not too sure about the outer face level air vents. They are the type that is a solid slab. I prefer to have the permanently open grille style that is controlled by the CC.You need to make an advance decision about the passenger one because you can't reach it once you're on the move.

Wonder if they will offer privacy glass as an option at some time in the future ? Restricting it to standard kit on the EX GT seems a waste.
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post #17 of 90 (permalink) Old 20th February 2012, 10:59
 
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Originally Posted by mixer View Post
as far as I am aware all dealers have the ES for display. all models ES and above have leather steering wheel(not black plastic)So many of the negative comments are from members who have just looked and are bemoanong the loss of quirky exhausts,door handles etc.In my opinion Honda made a brave decision to move forward with the design and not keep tweeking(as in Golf & focus) The review by pottsy was spot on.For all the doubters go and drive it and then comment.they all sound like the people who dont like France,and when asked where in france they have been you discover they had a day trip to Calais.I have driven the car and the experience makes you realise what a vast improvement it is over the 8G.
Maybe those who adore France have only ever been to France!
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post #18 of 90 (permalink) Old 20th February 2012, 11:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syx View Post
Those are the hands-free bluetooth phone option buttons. Which failed to pick up my iPhone.
Must be YOUR phone, all the iphones i've seen on site here are working fine.
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post #19 of 90 (permalink) Old 20th February 2012, 16:12
 
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Love it with the people here quibbling about silly little things that don't really matter e.g. the look of the steering wheel, the info. button not showing up sufficiently, the construction of the air vents etc etc!

Guess not many of you have actually sat in the car, let alone driven one.

I've sat in the EX GT and driven an ES for about an hour or so. IMHO, the overall package is a step up from the 8th Gen.

Mind you, it would be a very boring world if everbody was of the same opinion. One mans meat and all that! You can't satisfy all the people all of the time.

Anyway, as somebody else said with all these haters around hopefully my lead time will shorten!

Steve
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post #20 of 90 (permalink) Old 20th February 2012, 16:16
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Originally Posted by kenP View Post
That steering wheel is nasty.
+1
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