Car: 2014 1.8 SR Auto
Join Date: 3rd May 2012
Thanked 8 Times in 4 Posts
8g ES i-Shift vs 9g SR Auto
So, on Friday, I said a fond goodbye to Connie, my 2007 8g ES i-Shift (in Champagne Silver no less) that had been my chariot for nearly the last three years and took delivery of Emma, a 2014 9g SR Auto in Crystal Black. So now I thought I'd share a few thoughts on the new machine as compared to the old.
On the face of it, both cars represent the exact same offering by Honda in that:
- They are both one down from the top of their range.
- They both represent the automatic offering when new.
So, on that basis is the 9g any better?
Now, obviously, technology has come on a bit since 2007 so it is no surprise that the owner's manual for just the stereo of the 9g is larger than the one for the whole 8g car.
There are a dazzling array of electronic features about the 9g which I'm sure I haven't fully worked out yet. I have managed to connect an iPod, connect a telephone and make the SatNav work which will do for now. The fact that I was able to do all this without actually opening the big scary manual is testament to the intuitive way that the system is designed.
Obviously the 8g didn't have any of this (SatNav was only available at the top of the range and I had to fit a third party iPod line myself) but that did give the 8g a slight edge in respect of bigger and easier to find buttons - the 9g obviously has many more buttons and therefore each individual one is smaller. Having said that, the 9g can be operated by shouting at it so no buttons need actually be pressed. (Although I am still learning the language - at present I only speak schoolboy Honda with an terrible English accent and very poor grammar, but I'll get there).
Additionally the addition of the sub in the boot corrects a niggling problem I had withe 8g which was, whilst the stereo was very good, bass tended to drain away at motorway speeds. This is no longer the case and for that - as I'm quite particular about music - I am grateful.
Cabin technology aside, the 9g looks a little less like what 1950's Sci-Fi comics thought cars would look like in the "Year Nineteen Ninety Nine" and now looks more like a 21st century car designed in the 21st century, certainly more streamlined and more focused in its appearance. Mine (because it's black) also has a passing resemblance to Knight Rider, which amuses me slightly.
Certainly, as also seen in technology and the raised boot lip, Honda has made between 8g and 9g absolutely no concessions whatsoever in the appearance or operation of this car to the older generation that bought Civics back in the pre-8g days.
Inside it is just as comfortable to sit in as the 8g, decent quality leather and less brittle plastics about. It's much easier to see out the back (not that you need to because of the cameras) and much easier to see out the sides.
If we're being really REALLY picky, I have one complaint about the look of the dashboard - on the automatic versions the engine starts with a key turn rather than a button (why?) and where the button would be is blanked off with a rather plain piece of mat plastic. I would have preferred something sculpted like the button, but in plain black.
On to ride, performance and handling. Ride is better, there's no two ways about it. Despite bigger wheels and thinner tyres, this car does not crash over every pot-hole like an 8g. It is smoother and quieter and generally a nice place to be.
Performance is largely the same - a handful of extra horsepower from the 1.8 since 8g and certainly lower emissions (tax is £35 cheaper) but there's no real difference - the 8g was no slouch and neither is this. The proper automatic box is however, after i-Shift a godsend. Gear changes are smooth, there's no two second lag while it decides what gear to put itself in at a roundabout, and it doesn't shred it back breaks every time I stop. (There are flappy paddles fitted to my 9g, but I have yet to work out what they are for). Still gear change is smooth and the eager, and putting it in S mode allows for a little fun at high speeds and overtaking.
Handling is a little better. Again the 8g was not bad at this, but the 9g is better, the power steering a little more responsive and so the car able to move about a little more easily.
In summary then; the 9g does not come across as a whole new car, in the way that the transformation from 7g to 8g must have been, but rather one that Honda have taken the criticisms of the previous version and then worked on to make the new one better.
I think they've done it rather well.
Last edited by Penguin; 25th January 2015 at 13:49.