What is with the scratchy hard plastics Honda? - Civinfo
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 9th December 2015, 16:27 Thread Starter
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What is with the scratchy hard plastics Honda?

While my 2 year old civic was at the dealer having photos taken of the alloy wheels which are sadly all deteriorating fast (black and silver 'diamond cut' alloys) as evidence in a bid to get them replaced by HUK, I had a look at all the brand new offerings, HRV, CRV, new Jazz, Civic in the showroom, and couldn't believe Honda is still fitting that hard, scratchy brittle plastic not just on the door cards, B pillar bits etc but all over the TOP of the dash on HRV, new Jazz, even CRV. The civic was the only one with the soft feel dashboard, and the plastics elsewhere on these are decidedly scratchy and cheap. These cars ain't cheap brand new. Sure the Honda purists will say the engineering makes up for it, but really, in this day and age shouldn't we expect a decent interior as well? I don't look at new cars very often but is this still the standard?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 9th December 2015, 16:55
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Cars are slowly changing from simple A to B modes of transport to being things to show off. They are getting bigger, fancier and more expensive as a result. I think it is a shame that many manufacturers favour look and feel over engineering and reliability. You can't have it all unless you want to pay through the nose for it. Personally I think the 8G Civic was perhaps a bit too basic with its trim but I think the 9G is a good.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 10th December 2015, 11:27
 
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Are the brittle feel plastic panels lighter than the soft feel equivalent?

So weight saving overall, as this seems to be one of the objectives higher in the list for manufacturers to achieve when making new models?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 11th December 2015, 00:45
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Originally Posted by v201511 View Post
Are the brittle feel plastic panels lighter than the soft feel equivalent?

So weight saving overall, as this seems to be one of the objectives higher in the list for manufacturers to achieve when making new models?
It probably comes down to cost.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 11th December 2015, 00:48
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Originally Posted by kphonda View Post
Cars are slowly changing from simple A to B modes of transport to being things to show off. They are getting bigger, fancier and more expensive as a result. I think it is a shame that many manufacturers favour look and feel over engineering and reliability. You can't have it all unless you want to pay through the nose for it. Personally I think the 8G Civic was perhaps a bit too basic with its trim but I think the 9G is a good.
Cars have always been a thing to show off.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 11th December 2015, 09:10
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Honda isn't a premium brand.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 11th December 2015, 11:48
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I think the problem with cars is they are getting more and more expensive. Buying a brand new car is an impossible dream for most people. The more manufacturers add to the cars, the more expensive they will be and the more people that will find the cost is out of their reach. Like was said, Honda is not a premium brand. I think they should stick with what they are good at by making cars that are rock solid reliable and well engineered. The finish inside needs to be somewhere between budget and premium. Honda cars are often quoted in the press for being more expensive than rivals. They can't afford to make them more expensive.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 14th January 2016, 10:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickolodeon View Post
While my 2 year old civic was at the dealer having photos taken of the alloy wheels which are sadly all deteriorating fast (black and silver 'diamond cut' alloys) as evidence in a bid to get them replaced by HUK, I had a look at all the brand new offerings, HRV, CRV, new Jazz, Civic in the showroom, and couldn't believe Honda is still fitting that hard, scratchy brittle plastic not just on the door cards, B pillar bits etc but all over the TOP of the dash on HRV, new Jazz, even CRV. The civic was the only one with the soft feel dashboard, and the plastics elsewhere on these are decidedly scratchy and cheap. These cars ain't cheap brand new. Sure the Honda purists will say the engineering makes up for it, but really, in this day and age shouldn't we expect a decent interior as well? I don't look at new cars very often but is this still the standard?
HRV dash doesn't look hard in the most of the pictures as it's usually shown to the press with full leather. However, I have turned this pic up which appears to confirm what you say and show what looks like hard looking plastics with cloth:



However, that being the case, I think Honda will pay the price for it, at least in the crossover section of the market. The HRV starts at 18.5K. and goes up to 26K without options. That's firmly in Quashquai territory which also starts at 18.5K and goes up to 26K for the 2wd models.

The trouble for Honda is the Quashquai as the UK's best selling crossover commands a premium and has a very very high quality interior - I sat in one only last week and the dash was lovely and soft touch. This was the best cloth interior pic I could find of the Quashqui:



Pictures bely the quality. Equally, even the cheap little Nissan Juke, has a real quality dashboard - soft plastics and even a leather instrument dial shield to keep the sun off the dials. Interiors of both were top notch (Jukes a little bit down to personal taste with the painted panels, not my thing but otherwise very nice) and walking away I even felt the Jukes dash was better than the Quashquai's for quality.

Where this leaves Honda as I see it is with a car they're trying to sell against a top quality market leader at the same premium as the market leader. A tough call in any event. However, if the HRV has hard scratchy plastics, personally I can't see it taking Quashquai sales. Nor can I see the Jazz taking Juke sales for the same reason, as again the material used are very high quality.


Last edited by RA108; 14th January 2016 at 10:54.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 14th January 2016, 11:47
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Are people really so shallow that they will choose a car on looks above everything else? What about how the car drives and how reliable it is?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 14th January 2016, 13:48
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Originally Posted by kphonda View Post
Are people really so shallow that they will choose a car on looks above everything else? What about how the car drives and how reliable it is?
people do yes - just look at all those that buy on the basis of a badge rather than how a car drives...
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 15th January 2016, 11:55
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Originally Posted by kphonda View Post
Are people really so shallow that they will choose a car on looks above everything else? What about how the car drives and how reliable it is?
The Qashquai has been car of the Year with multiple big reviewers for several years running so it's probably quite safe to say it drives well and is reliable.

What that probably means for Honda is the HRV needs to be something special to take sales from the Qashquai if pricing is very similar.

Last edited by RA108; 15th January 2016 at 11:57.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 15th January 2016, 13:41
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Originally Posted by kphonda View Post
Are people really so shallow that they will choose a car on looks above everything else? What about how the car drives and how reliable it is?
I'd rather buy a car I like the look of with some reliability than a munter there's no need to tinker with.
Generally the faster for exciting cars are less reliable, but I'd rather pass someone in a car that's got problems than one that's got an engine made of unicorns fluff that wouldn't get a second glimpse.
The civic in my opinion (8th gen) still looks like nothing else on the road. The old 7th gen looks a bit like a toyota corolla

I agree with the OP though, Honda should up their game, at least throw some synthetic leather at the thing!
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 15th January 2016, 14:47
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Whilst I agree that for most people, the look of a car is important, I don't personally feel it is THE most important factor. It is one of many factors that influences a buying decision.

To be honest I have no idea on the difference of cost for the cheap scratchy plastics compared to the soft touch plastics. The cost difference is presumably very little if you produce as many cars as VW and Toyota do. Honda, and other smaller manufacturers may struggle to compete due to economies of scale. Honda sell half as many cars as VW, but unlike BMW (who sell less than Honda) Honda are not a premium band so will have less profit on each sale.

Honda are on par with Fiat for market share:

Automobile market share worldwide: key manufacturers 2014 | Statistic
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 15th January 2016, 15:03
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I dont care how nice the quality of the interior is... I wouldn't be seen dead in a Nissan Joke!

God knows why they sell so well?? I see people laughing at them...
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 15th January 2016, 15:17
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The diesel Qashqai has a Renault engine in it. That is reason enough for me not to want it!
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 15th January 2016, 15:26
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The Juke appearance (subjective, I realise) and the Renault engines suddenly make the Honda's an attractive proposition.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 21st January 2016, 15:56 Thread Starter
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The diesel Qashqai has a Renault engine in it. That is reason enough for me not to want it!
I agree with what you're saying here. The tech spec of the Qashqai particularly the low powered and fairly antiquated Renault engine certainly doesn't appeal. In fact it put me off so much I didn't choose one as a company car and chose the Civic instead. All those colleagues who have the 1.5 Dci complain about just how slow these things are. I am going to be a passenger in a 65 plate 1.5 DCI 110 Qashqai ( 5 up) on a road trip up to Leeds next week and I'm not expecting the thing to remove the skin off a rice pudding in terms of performance, I will however have plenty of time to admire the superb high quality dense interior plastic!
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 22nd January 2016, 18:20
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Originally Posted by Nickolodeon View Post
I agree with what you're saying here. The tech spec of the Qashqai particularly the low powered and fairly antiquated Renault engine certainly doesn't appeal. In fact it put me off so much I didn't choose one as a company car and chose the Civic instead. All those colleagues who have the 1.5 Dci complain about just how slow these things are. I am going to be a passenger in a 65 plate 1.5 DCI 110 Qashqai ( 5 up) on a road trip up to Leeds next week and I'm not expecting the thing to remove the skin off a rice pudding in terms of performance, I will however have plenty of time to admire the superb high quality dense interior plastic!
In fairness to Nissan, that's the bottom of the range engine.

The Quashquai also has 2 other engines a 163 bhp petrol and a 130 bhp diesel, both 1.6l.

Engine & Performance - Nissan Qashqai - Best Small SUV Nissan

The petrol has a 0-60 of 8.9 secs and the diesel 9.9 secs. Not sure on Euro compliance as unsure when 6 comes in.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 22nd January 2016, 19:18 Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, my employer is a bit tight and the bottom of the range is all we can get. Being a bit of a middle aged speed freak I found that the Civic 1.6 dtec, whilst no sports car, was still a lot more fleet of foot than the base Qashqai.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 22nd January 2016, 19:36
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Just be grateful you have a choice. My employer offers only a 1.6 ford focus estate. If you want something else you have to take the car allowance and buy your own. The car allowance is not enough to buy a similar car and replace it every 4 years. But if you keep it 8 years it's fine.
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