Car: 2008 1.8 GT Type S
Join Date: 14th May 2010
Thanked 306 Times in 271 Posts
9th Gen Aesthic Review & Warning!
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.
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!
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.