Car: Civic X 1.5 Sport SGP
Join Date: 20th June 2014
Thanked 30 Times in 20 Posts
...one year on in a 1.6 i-DTEC
I decided to wait till after the first annual service, at ~9K miles, to make a brief update on my ownership experience of this Civic. The car is an SE+ with 17" alloys. What follows is not so much a long term review as a set of notable points and now well qualified impressions.
The first 5K miles were a gentle but progressive running in avoiding labouring and over revving. It was a good learning curve for the very capable handling and road-holding. Interesting to note that this kind of driving caused the first and only DPF regeneration to occur at just less than 6K miles.
My usual route is a mixed ~31 mile run of dual carriageway and cross country roads. Sometimes with a little stop/go due to traffic at major junctions on say a third of the runs but the remainder more or less clear. There have been some longer trips of 100 miles plus and a few; literally a handful or maybe a dozen or so short runs.
The Civic has a comfortable cabin with a slightly high seating position which took some time to get used to but now feels quite natural. It has good ergonomics with acceptable steering feel and a really great gear change; with very well judged pedal positions, pressures and strokes. The clutch in particular being spot on.
Of course, taking time to get all the seat and steering wheel variables properly set up was well worth the effort because the designers got the dashboard instrumentation absolutely right. I now never want to get into another car that doesn't have the speedometer up near eye level in large illuminated digits.
As may be expected, the Civic has exhibited flawless reliability, negligible oil consumption, a quiet engine and well made mechanicals along with excellent adhesion to the road in all weather conditions. Excepting snow, which last winter, the South of England happily avoided.
Interestingly enough the engine's NVH is slightly higher post service oil change than it was beforehand. Exactly the opposite of what occurred with my partner's Focus, which went in clattering and came out far quieter. Not what I would have wished for at all. From this I conclude that all oils of the same viscosity from different manufacturers are definitely not created equal.
The sound system works well and is very usable. The cabin noise level is perhaps slightly higher than most due to the 17" rubber. But this is incredibly variable with the quality of road surfacing and still notably higher than I've experienced in a variety of similar cars from other manufacturers.
I really like the looks of the 14 MY front end, it is smooth and nicely integrated with out being fussy or overdone. The separate DRL's look classy. As for the rear end; from inside the car I have no difficulty seeing out and from the outside; well love it or loathe it, it is what it is and not so bad for being that i.e. interesting and unique.
Along with the otherwise improved but lower down in the cabin still scratchy plastics; one area of little consequence overall but jarring after repeated exposure is the edging of the door sides and hatch seams. These present themselves to the users hand as, if not actually unpleasant, then at least as definitely unsatisfactory. This unfortunate tactile impression abides and detracts somewhat from that otherwise indefinable 'pleasure of ownership'. The same applies for the very obviously soft and easily scratched glass of the windscreen etc.
I did however recently enjoy taxing the Civic. It was great fun to get to the end of the on-line process and see the £00.0 figure presented. Pushing that final button was indeed an immensely satisfying experience. Likewise seeing the summertime return trip fuel consumption sitting in the mid to high 60's is particularly pleasant. Average over the year being 62 MPG also leaves me feeling moderately pleased.
Is the 1.6 engine best in class? Probably. Could it do with just a little more power? Definitely. Does the Civics' overall level of driveability, fit and finish justify the asking price? Almost. But, and this is a big but. Will the famed Honda reliability ultimately close that gap? Quite possibly, only time will tell.
More in a year maybe?..
Last edited by logician; 6th July 2015 at 17:26.