first impressions of my new civic
I've had my new 2.2 IDTEC es-t for a few weeks now, and thought I would provide a bit of an update on how its going!!
First things first - the looks. to be honest i became a bit concerned after i'd ordered it, mainly because of the polarised view about the looks, and especially the rear end. I guess what matters most though was that i wasnt bothered about that. So, appreciating the 'marmite factor', I was prepared to live with the rear end. I have to say though when it turned up outside my house on the back of a transporter my fears were instantly allayed! It looks so much better in real life than it does in the pictures. Having spent a couple of weeks looking at it from different angles, I absolutely love it. I got the polished metal metallic, which I think looks fantastic particularly at the moment when the sun is shining. It looks particulaly good in this colour (i would say that!) from the front end as the Y shape on the front grill, which i dont really like, isnt as apparent - but thats just me. Everything about its design makes sense to me, it flows really well. I appreciate it wont be for everyone, but.......I think its a fantastic looking car and turns heads no matter where I go. I love it!
Second thing i'd like to comment on is the interior. I have the es-t so have the integrated touchscreen sat nav. The functionality is fantastic, it does pretty much everything I need, its simple and easy to use. I connected my iphone to it in about 5 seconds, it was so easy. The clarity/resolution is absolutely brilliant, considering it is SD, the HDD version must be awesome!! I'm still working through the different settings and learning how they all work but so far have set mine up so that it automatically changes to 'night mode' whenever my auto headlights come on, and so that it also alerts me when i enter into a 30 zone as this isnt always obvious (to me anyway!) It's a brilliant system, and Im so pleased with it. The sound system is also really, really good. In the menu you can access different settings (impact, deep etc), and can also manually change the graphic equaliser if you understand stuff like that, which i dont!! Also, when the car is switched off, I havent yet seen any grubby finger marks, which I was always wiping off from my tom tom. Love it! The IMiD is also really really useful. It displays everything you need in what I think is a perfect position, just to the left of the speedo, including your audio source, fuel economy, climate control settings (temperature, fan speed) etc. You can also change the colour from blue to either red, gold or grey, which is a nice little touch. The IMiD screen also doubles as the rear reversing camera screen. This is a brilliant feature!! it comes on automatically as soon as you go into reverse, and provides a really clear view of where you are, as well as where you'll end up by way of a set of yellow lines. Again, the clarity is excellent, I havent had to clean it yet either which is a bonus. It's hidden under the boot lip so potentially could get covered in mud etc from the roads. I havent encountered this yet though! It works equally well at night time for me, so no problems there either.
Third thing is the overall quality in the cabin. It definately has a real premium feel about it. The main console (where the sat nav/CD player is) has the bmw-esque tilt towards the driver. The materials have a soft, high quality feel to them, and everything has been really well bolt together. I really like the steering wheel. For me, it's a perfect size, not too big, the stalks have a chunky, high quality feel about them, and I really like the positioning of the phone controls which you can access very easily with your left thumb. The bluetooth phone system is excellent, all of my contacts from my iphone now appear on the sat nav screen, I just touch whichever one i need, and press dial. Crystal clear clarity, which is all linked through the sound system. Fantastic. The cruise control and speed limter buttons on the right of the steering wheel are very convenient also. Theyre really easy to access and use, as are the controls for the ImID and audio, which are mirrored on the left hand section of the steering wheel. The speedo is fantastic!! This is my first civic (it wont be my last!) and i just love the digital speedo. I have had it in eco mode, and love the way it goes from blue to green to encourage better fuel efficiency. The climate control system is also excellent, and works really well. The es models have the digital dual zone climate control. Again, it is simple to use, it looks very smart, and most importantly it works properly! my wife likes it warm, I like it cool, you can definitely feel the difference! There's other little touches like the shift indicator light, the quality of the glovebox, the centre armrest, the seat belt information system, internal door/window control locks, the button to fold in the wing mirrors, I could go on......they all stack up to make this a brilliant place to be, and I know its sad, but i really look forward to my 22 mile daily commute to and from Manchester now! Overall for me the cabin has a bit of a spaceship feel about it! very futuristic, especially at night time. Everything (for me anyway) is perfectly laid out, it's all well balanced and high quality and most importantly it looks amazing - again, I'm delighted with this.
Next - the way it handles. I can only say one thing - WOW!! The IDTEC is amazing. it's very quick and the torque is very noticeable in pretty much every gear. I drove a Saab 93 2.0 turbo before my civic, and the civic would easily give it a run for its money in a drag race! The gear box is slick and smooth, and shifts really easily. There is hardly any road noise or wind noise, and it is a very assured, competent cruiser on the motorway, especially when using the cruise control. At 70 mph on the motorway, in 6th gear the engine spins at about 2000 rpm. So its very quiet and calm. It's very, very comfortable (especially compared to the Saab which was sometimes a bit of a back breaker) it eats up uneven road surfaces. There is a particularly bumpy section of the M62 near Manchester which I've always dreaded before, but I was amazed when I went over it in the civic, I barely noticed it! Off the motorway it's even better!! It doesnt have a specific sporty set up as such but you cant half chuck it into corners!! it handles superbly well on windy roads and I love whipping it round the country lanes of Cheshire!! With all the torque it has (and the constant temptation to use it - which I do!) you'd think it wouldnt be terribly efficient, but Im getting 62 mpg at the moment, which is brilliant considering its only a few weeks old. My weekly mileage is about 280, last week i used just over a third of a tank of diesel, and when I filled it up to the top on Monday morning of this week it cost me £24!! compare that to the Saab, which was costing £80 per week - no contest!!
Overall, i cant tell you how pleased I am with this car. I spent weeks test driving every car in the 'small family class' - focus, CMAX, megane, Golf (which I hated), Audi A3, volvo S40, Seat Leon, Hyundai 130 etc etc, but nothing for me came even close to the civic. It really is in a different class. The boot space is excellent, the sub boot, retractable wing mirrors and magic seats are quirky little touches that just make it even better.
This is a brilliant car. If youre humming and haa-ing (or whatever the phrase is!!) about whether or not to get one, then I hope my little review helps!!
Photo's to follow.