Owning a 1.8 SE manual from 4-year used - Civinfo
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 17th October 2016, 23:29 Thread Starter
 
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Owning a 1.8 SE manual from 4-year used

I've had about a week with my 9G 1.8 SE 6MT, and thought I would share my impressions so far, and provide a perspective from someone who bought a 4 year old used Civic rather than a new or nearly new one. Since I've not even gone through one tank of petrol, I can't comment on fuel economy right now.

Brief background for setting context for my opinions:
My previous car was a Toyota Yaris 1.3. Before that I drove a Perodua Kelisa in Malaysia for a few years (first car after learning to drive), and occasionally drove my parents' cars, a 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe and a 2007 Mercedes C180K. I am about 5'8" in height.

Condition:
My car's condition is generally good, and after getting valeted by the dealer looks almost like a new car inside and out. It is in silver, so the few scratches the car does have are not that easy to spot. Cosmetic impression I have when I walk up to it in the parking lot is "Why would I spend twice as much money for a new one?".

Delights:

This is the most spacious car I've owned. It feels very big inside even though it is technically a compact car. Certainly plenty of room in the driver and front passenger seat. Boot is a match for my parents' C180K and that's a saloon.

Everything feels very solid in the car, for example the sound made when the doors or tailgate close.

I find it very comfortable. If I want a lazy, comfortable drive, I move through the gears at low revs when the car tells me to and I barely hear more than a low rumble from the engine but there's a sense that there's enough power available in reserve. I haven't done a long journey yet but I get the sense that I'll be able to have a nice comfortable cruise when I'm on the motorway. 70mph at under 3000rpm in 6th? Yes please.

And yet, if I decide to have a bit of fun, I can put a heavier foot on the pedal and howl up to motorway speed in 2nd or 3rd, and this 1.8 serves up the acceleration and still sounds smooth. It's the closest I've come to driving a sports car.

Shifting gears is a delight. My Yaris had a good positive gearshift, and the SEAT Leon I test drove does as well, but there's a slight metallic/mechanical feel to the shifting on my Civic that makes it feel more sporty without making the actual shifting difficult.

Handling is great. Then again, my driving experience doesn't have any great handling cars to compare with(based on online reviews of those cars). Coming from the Yaris which has a fair bit of roll in corners, I probably take bends a little slower still than most people on this forum and the Civic feels well planted and stable, and I haven't tried cornering fast enough to understeer or invite the VSC's intervention.

Climate control. I've never driven a car that has climate control. And I love the idea of not having to fiddle the ventilation settings as I drive.

I love the dash as well. It feels a bit more like a cockpit than a car and I love the red, blue and white colour scheme of the instruments. Also I'm very used to line of sight mounted digital speedos as my Yaris had them too. Finding a comfortable driving position was a cinch and the steering wheel doesn't block any instruments from view. I had some problems initially with my knee banging the underside of the steering column when my right leg moved from the accelerator to the brake pedal, but I've managed to adjust that problem away.

The brakes seem easy to control and fairly linear without an obvious 'grab point'.

Reading about how reliable the R18 engine seems to be, looking forward to many good years with this car.

Disappointments:

The legroom for rear passengers isn't great. There's no gap under the front seats which makes the rear legroom feel even smaller.

It doesn't have as many cup holders, and there are no pockets on the back of the front seats.

The car is quite wide and I can no longer easily negotiate some of the pinch-point traffic calming installations in my town.

The interior colour scheme is very black if you're not the driver.

Not being able to find a newer/higher trim version of the car that fit my budget.

Don't Cares (neither positive nor negative):

The rear windscreen design means visibility out the back isn't as good as more conventional shaped hatchbacks. However, it is about the same or better than most saloon cars. I drove a C180K saloon with atrocious rear visibility (its rear windscreen is about the same size as the upper half of the Civic's) and no parking sensors and still managed to reverse park it well enough for my parents to not complain, and I'm sure I'll learn reversing on this one in time (SE trim has no reversing camera or sensors). The Civic also has good sized side mirrors which help a lot.

I've started to use Bluetooth audio a lot this year, but my Civic doesn't have it built in. I admit I had second thoughts about buying the car because of no Bluetooth, but as it now happens a £12 receiver from Amazon remedied that - I connect it to AUX and power it off the USB port. On my Yaris I was using a Bluetooth FM transmitter so this is definitely a step up.

No satnav built in, but I actually prefer my phone for this purpose - it is considerably cheaper to keep my phone up to date.

At SE trim I get a plastic/rubber rather than leather steering wheel, which is a consequence of my decision to stick hard to my budget and also choosing SE for slightly lower road tax and emissions.

I still have mixed feelings about the exterior looks sometimes. Also I would have liked the blue colour better which I think is absolutely gorgeous. But I bought the car not to stand outside looking at it but to be inside driving it
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 18th October 2016, 08:53
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Good to hear that you are enjoying your new (to you) ride. It should serve you well.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 24th October 2016, 21:50 Thread Starter
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Thought I'd add a note here since I couldn't find information about this while searching myself: the USB connection still works with the latest iPhones and appears to work quite well. I had found many reports online about the Honda Civic not interfacing with the iPhone 5 and didn't have any expectation of it working with my iPhone 6S (hence using a BT receiver). However, not only does it work for playing music, including some playback control (I can use my steering wheel buttons to skip tracks) but the navigation audio (through the Google Maps app) works as well.
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