As promised, I'm letting you know how I'm getting on with the car having taken delivery of it 2 weeks ago.
Thanks to those in this forum who gave me loads of useful into when speccing and ordering the car !
My first impression of the car was not a particularly good one, because due to work commitments I was unable to pick it up and it was driven to my office - filthy !
Anyway, after a quick visit to the local car wash and valet service, things were looking up. Was initially annoyed with the beeping from the seatbelt warning system, however thanks to this forum have now turned that off. I always jump into the seat and switch on the engine, then put the seatbelt on. The system should be re-designed to activate at speeds over 15 mph similar to other cars. Anyway, a simple mod under the drivers seat resolved the issue.
The seating position is comfortable and the seat itself very supportive. All the controls are within easy reach, and sensibly laid out. The only gripe I have is that at 6ft tall, the seat either needs to be lowered one position more than physically possible, or the steering wheel raised an inch (above its highest point). The net result is that I can't see the top of the rev counter no matter what I do - very annoying !! Dipping my head everytime I wish to see the revs is a pain in the @rse.
The other gripe about the comfort is the irritating position of the seatbelt - it is so far behind me that I have to perform a gymnastic move everytime I jump into the car to reach round and get it. Have somewhat found a temporary solution to this problem by making a point of draping it over the 'wing' of the recaro when I leave the vehicle, but it is somewhat annoying, and is obviously reset when someone climbs into the back. In my opinion, there should be a quick release clip on the upper right wing of the seat that holds the seatbelt in place to avoid this problem.
So onto the drive. First 500 miles saw some sensible driving with no v-tec or heavy braking. On the whole, coming from a 2-seater sports car, I found the whole experience fairly comfortable, cruising from A-B with little effort.
After running the car in, I then started to use v-tec which it has to be said changes the personality of the car somewhat. It transforms from comfortable cruiser to hardcore racer, and handles very well with the stiff suspension. Granted, there is no way that it can compete with a rear-wheel drive sports car, however it performs well for a front-wheel drive vehicle when driven hard. My only grip is that the power isn't overly accessible without changing down gears, often 2 at a time, i.e. 4th down to 2nd ! The Hondata is looking like a 'must-have' mod if it ensures the v-tec kics in a couple of thousand revs lower. If the power were more accessible, then the car would certainly be a better drive. I've noted that for most driving, you barely break 3,000 revs before changing up gear anyway, so bringing in the v-tec at something like 3,200 revs or so would make more sense.
From a practicality point of view, the back seats are pleasantly proportioned with plenty of legroom. WHY OH WHY did Honda not fit a central seat belt to make this a 5-seater ? Greatly reduced practicality for no good reason - nonsensical in my opinion !! The boot is certainly more than large enough, and the clever additional deep storage area an added bonus. There's plenty of storage within the vehicle, and its generously equipped with cup-holders, plenty of space for sunglasses, mobile phones etc. One touch that is nice is the passenger having their own control in the door panel for their aircon. Couple of passengers have been quite taken with this already, so thumbs up to Honda for that one
Economy is proving fairly good so far. Trip computer is claiming 24.6mpg but I don't believe it as the mileage I'm getting from a £50 full tank is suggesting I'm getting better than that. Not totally convinced it is calculating it correctly, it seems to be quite pessimistic. Speaking of the tank - bit small itsn't it ? £50 and its full ? Could be doing with being a little larger for longer journeys in my opinion. The cruise control is excellent by the way, very smooth on the motorway!
I'm looking forward to getting it on the track in the Spring, and will report back with how things go in the future, but first 1,000 miles have been good. A few irritating niggles but nothing that can't be sorted. The obvious mod for me has to be the Hondata based on my experience so far. I suspect that a visit or two to the track will highlight the lack of LSD as well, but we'll leave that till a later date.
So to summarise:
- Comfortable recaro seats
- Sharp handling at speed
- Cruise control is very smooth and unintrusive
- Dual personality of the car depending on your mood
- MP3 CD player, getting 160 tracks on 1 CD is rather nice
- Looks of the car (when clean)
- Access to v-tec power is at too higher revs (in my opinion)
- Driver's seat should either go an inch or two lower, or steering wheel slightly higher !
- Seatbelt pings back to default position about 18 inches behind your right shoulder, making it hard to retrieve
- Rear visibility on the part of the rear window BELOW the spoiler is atrocious, it gets dirty to the point where you can't see through it at all, and there is no rear wiper obviusly - not ideal.....
Thats about it.
Any solutions to any of the above problems would be helpful ! A Hondata will resolve issue number 1 certainly....
On the whole, enjoying the car thoroughly, and am going to get the LED footwell light kits installed over the holidays, and the rear brakelight sticker. Its in getting the bluetooth transferred over from my old car this afternoon, so I'll be fully comm'd shortly as well