Civic 5D Test Drive - Civinfo
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 13th April 2008, 20:00 Thread Starter
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Civic 5D Test Drive

Hey guys.

I was thinking of buying a 5D Civic with the 1.8 petrol engine so today i went to the dealer for a test drive.
Overall the car was ok (i couldn't say it was great) but the big dissapointment was ... the engine!

I felt the engine like it had no torque at all, even in the higher revs. Took the car all the way to 7000rpm in 1st and second gear but i was not impressed by far. I was expecting a rocket and it seemed all i got was a carriage.

I tried some regular day driving as well - kept the car in the lower ranges ( 2000-3000rpm) and then pushed the pedal to the metal. The response in speed gain i felt it was slow and i couldn't get a good sensation of acceleration.

In case you were wondering i am not currently driving a turbo-diesel , in fact i'm driving a 1.6 16V 106CP and, to be honest, in the 2000 - 3000rpm range my current engine feels torquier than the Civic 1.8!

I know ... you're probably saying that under 3500rpm the ivtec isn't in it's thing but as i said, i took the engine all the way to the rev limit. It revs ok but it doesn't give me a feeling of good acceleration. As a matter of fact i was especially focused in sensing a difference in acceleration over the 3500rpm range but it seemed to accelerate exactly the same - no "ivtec" sensation what so ever.

I was quite fond of this car but today's driving experience set me back a long way.

Except for the engine the rest of the car felt ok.
CONS:
- the PLASTIC on the doors that imitates aluminium felt really crapy
- being 1.92m tall i felt i couldn't quite see the rev clock very well because of the steering wheel
- the steering wheel felt a little bit too small in diameter and the turning circle of the car felt very large!
- there was a little noise from the AC unit when engaged (i belive the fans from the engine were to blaim)
- the material covering the seats felt low-quality
- POOR sound quality!!! those standard speakers need to go

PROS:
- the suspension was just fine (i thought it would be stiffer but it was ok)
- good stability
- good AC unit
- very roomy in front and in the back as well
- unique rear seats folding method - GREAT!
- great dashboard - very gadgety
- did not find the car to be as low as i expected it to be
- the test drive car had a 12.6L/100km average - ok, giving the fact that everyone was pushing it like crazy
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 13th April 2008, 20:05
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Go for the diesel. You will be impressed then.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 13th April 2008, 20:09
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1,8 is not a rocket.
I bought it because it is quite easy on fuel and license.
The vtec in the 1,8 is designed for fuel economy not performace.

Think you summed the car up quite well.



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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 13th April 2008, 20:41 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Type S Bournemouth View Post
Go for the diesel. You will be impressed then.
The diesel is out of the question. Diesel is more and more expensive here in Romania and the large 2.2L engine means high taxes and insurances.
Also from what i've read, the diesel is very "thirsty"
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 14th April 2008, 08:27
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Originally Posted by LYM View Post
...Also from what i've read, the diesel is very "thirsty"
Well mine just needed 4,9 litres/100 km average during last week (no Autobahn trips though), with Autobahn trips it would be around 7,5. If this is "thirsty"? - perhaps not if you compare like with like. But the taxes do spoil the diesel, that's for sure
BTW: if you're tall you might look at the Accord, the outgoing model will have interesting pricing I guess
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 14th April 2008, 10:56
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I must admit you may be right about the engine, although it will learn your driving style (it takes a few miles to get out of fuel saver mode (my name for my OAP style driving ) to get back to race-car mode), and although the engine doesn't differ between 5 & 3, I can't say I worry for power in mine, and it may be the way I drive or the way it has been run in, but it seems fine to me for annihilating quite a few cars out there (especially older Golf GTI's Especially if they arn't expecting you ). Remember the car, if it's a tester is constantly trying to adapt to different driving styles and will consequently not respond as quickly as it should.

ATB,
Tom
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 14th April 2008, 11:09
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This thing about the engine adapting to driving stlye. That's what I thought but can't say I have never noticed it doing anything. Is there a way to demonstrate it adapts ?

I also think the engine is plenty powerful enough, thought not at low revs especially when pulling away from stopped.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 14th April 2008, 11:16
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I agree, thats why I turn off the VSA and do a quick slip change, (move from brake to accelerator rev it and then bring the clutch up quickly), that gives me enough power (you can have all the BHP you want but if you don't anticipate the road it ain't gonna help you none, I beat cars far more powerful than mine by reading the road ahead and using it to my advantage ).

The easiest way to demonstrate the memory ECU bit is to drive like a granny from a full tank, for say 50-100 miles, then drop a gear and stamp on the accelerator, the ECU won't know whats happening and will go sluggishly forward, as it tries to maintain fuel economy and it's usual driving style, then drive it as you usually would and notice the difference until the car re-learns your driving style.

I have also heard you can drive a car from new however you want and it won't hurt it because it has been programmed to drive under it's limits, therefore whne you go in for your service they bott it up and do the checks and at the same time it automatically 're-tunes' the cars setup and afterwards will drive differently (it also deletes your driving style from it's memory), my mates car went in sluggish as anything from new, when it came out went like a rocket.....................

Tom
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 14th April 2008, 12:53 Thread Starter
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Come on guys ... this "engine learning driver's style" is quite science-fiction.
The ECO mode (if we can call it that) is under 3500rpm, when the short cams are in action. I don't think there's anything else that "learns" your driving style.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 14th April 2008, 13:05
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Seriously, it learns whether you like to drive fast or slow and re-jigs the DBW to accomodate this.

Tom
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 14th April 2008, 13:13 Thread Starter
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I am not convinced
Can you provide some Honda specifications for this "feature" ?
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 14th April 2008, 13:17
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Never seen nothing like that (sure Pottsy has a wiring diagram ), but it is generally accepted that all, DBW cars learn to a degree.

Tom
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 14th April 2008, 17:13 Thread Starter
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DBW systems have nothing to do with engine performance. An engine cannot "learn" it's driver's driving style!

Example: i am an old lady driving 99% of the time focused on fuel consumption, max 3000 rpm. During a risky overtake i am forced to put the pedal to the metal - the engine must react instantly to deliver maximum power. It cannot hang around analysing ... "hmm, this driver usually does not run over 3000rpm, it's doing 6000rpm right now. Hmm, i think i'm gonna` wait a little longer, i'll be checking up again in 5 minutes to see what's what. If 5 minutes from now this driver continues to apply full throttle prehaps i'm going to be kind and deliver full power". Of course, 5 minutes from now the old lady might as well be dead

That doesn't make any sense now, does it?
I've heard what you are saying from others as well but never have i seen actual facts that an engine is capable of learning it's driver's style.

In fact, if Honda had been smart enough to implement such a thing, don't you think the marketing department would have put it on the front page of the car's specs?
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 15th April 2008, 14:27
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LYM has made a very good summary of the car. However, I have to disagree with comments about the 1.8 been slow & "unsporty" (although, I admit it is lacking in torque). Just compare the 8.9 0-60mph time with similar 1.8 litre cars. Quoting from Top Gear magazine; Ford Focus- 10.3 seconds; Vauxhall Astra- 10.0; Chevy Lacetti- 9.5; Volvo C30- 10.2. It seems there aren't that many manufacturers putting 1.8s in this class of car but quite a few of the 2 litres look poor against the Civic.
My last car was a 2 litre 03-plate type-s & that feels very similar to the 1.8. To get the best out of both you really need to be mindful of the revs & be prepared to change down when you slow to compensate for the lack of "torque pulling ability".
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 15th April 2008, 14:37
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With Honda V-Tecs if you want performance then you use revs, if you want economy at fair speeds then it will oblige as well with much lower revs, you takes your pick as the torque comes in at higher up the rev scale
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post #16 of 37 (permalink) Old 15th April 2008, 15:52
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LYM View Post
I felt the engine like it had no torque at all, even in the higher revs. Took the car all the way to 7000rpm in 1st and second gear but i was not impressed by far. I was expecting a rocket and it seemed all i got was a carriage.

I tried some regular day driving as well - kept the car in the lower ranges ( 2000-3000rpm) and then pushed the pedal to the metal. The response in speed gain i felt it was slow and i couldn't get a good sensation of acceleration.

In case you were wondering i am not currently driving a turbo-diesel , in fact i'm driving a 1.6 16V 106CP and, to be honest, in the 2000 - 3000rpm range my current engine feels torquier than the Civic 1.8!

I know ... you're probably saying that under 3500rpm the ivtec isn't in it's thing but as i said, i took the engine all the way to the rev limit. It revs ok but it doesn't give me a feeling of good acceleration. As a matter of fact i was especially focused in sensing a difference in acceleration over the 3500rpm range but it seemed to accelerate exactly the same - no "ivtec" sensation what so ever.
Can I suggest a few things:

1. Using the gears is really important in a VTEC, you want to be looking at 4.5-5k at a minimum for decent acceleration. People not used to it think, "wow, that's high!" but when you get used to it it comes naturally and you get rewarded with a very smooth and responsive power delivery that is a joy to drive (and not immediately obvious on first acquaintance). I'd go as far as saying that Honda VTEC engines are really the best petrol engines around.

2. The issue with "acceleration" might be more to do with "perception of acceleration" than actual "acceleration". In that, the one thing you don't get in a VTEC is a kick in the back with a torque surge. A slight "whoosh" maybe, but no kick! Two facts remain, the torque curve is very flat and peak power (the best measure of all out speed) is relatively high for engines in this class. Actually performance figures for the car back this up.

Give it another go, VTEC engines really are great but slightly different.

Courant
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post #17 of 37 (permalink) Old 15th April 2008, 16:15
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I had some guy berate me today for speeding, he waved and shouted, so I pulled up, wound my window down slightly and got a generic "boy racer blah blah, speeding up here where children play", I pointed out that the road was fairly empty, I was doing under the limit, 28 (by my speedo) in a 30 limit and that it just sounds fast, and then after more thats rubbish etc. I told him to erm "go away" and drove off. This is just showing you really do need to revv it to get some decent acceleration out of it (not stupidly fast, just enough to 'nip'), I have even been told by a Canadian of all people (she is at the moment on telly on BBC 4 I think Alex Bovie ) that she'd tell me when to change gear as I obviously didn't know, I did try to explain a Vtec, but to no avail, she may have a doctorate, but she knows nothing bout' Hondas .

Try revving the car a bit, and use the full rev limit, you'll soon see it goes.

ATB,
Tom
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post #18 of 37 (permalink) Old 15th April 2008, 19:31 Thread Starter
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RobSp8 - i think the fact that you can reach 100 km/h in 2nd gear has a thing to say about the 0-100km/h time. Most of the petrol engines i drove toped out at ~ 80-90 km/h in 2nd => 3rd gear was needed in order to reach 100 => gear change => time loss.

I agree with you guys, the specs on the engine look great! I had those specs in mind when i went for a test drive but it never lived up to the expectations although i revved the engine throughout the rev range - 7000rpm max.

Let me give you an example - my current engine (1.6 16V 106CP) still lets me feel a little torque when you are in the 2000 - 3000rpm range and lets loose over 3500rpm (has a max of 150Nm at 3800rpm). The torque it develops isn't much, but it's ok, it tells me it's accelerating. With the Honda i could hardly feel any pull at all - it was just ... flat.

Looking at the dyno graph for the 1.8 I-vtec i can see that in the 2000 - 3000 rpm range there should be about 150 Nm of torque (as much as my 1.6's MAX torque) before rising suddenly when above 4000. Where is all that torque and why couldn't i feel it?
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post #19 of 37 (permalink) Old 15th April 2008, 19:33
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I've been out and tested the the speed/gears, and so far have approx 34-6 in 1st, 60-64 in second and can't do third

Tom
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post #20 of 37 (permalink) Old 15th April 2008, 20:46
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" GO POWER "

Well - having driven my (Oct. '07) Civic in Norway (mostly) and in the UK (over Easter) - I have to say that there are very many 'hot' cars that can't keep up. Yes, there is no acceleration 'kick' - in fact, when the revs are low you might momentarily lag behind - BUT, once the revs pile on - ho, ho, ho - another story indeed.

As many have pointed out, you need to hold the revs up a LOT more than with 'normal' petrol engines - and glory be to the "Great God Honda" for it - what a wonderful engine note !!!

Haven't had so much fun in a car for many years. This is my very first Japanese car - never been tempted before - but my test drive seduced me completely - blew away the other car on my short-list (an Alfa).

Now - who can point me to where I can have my 1.8 i-VTEC ECU upgraded ?

p.s. - not wanting to gloat - but do I have the only fault-free Civic ever made ? - I did think that I had a right-side 'clunking', but it was only a flashlight sliding around in the door pocket !

Last edited by J. Derek Riddell; 15th April 2008 at 20:53.
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