another 1.8 review
Well, after 8 months and 7K Kms, I thinks itís time for a short review.
The car is a 1.8 iVTEC Type S, and the trim level is ..err something between the normal and the GT. In detail, it has all the GT add-ons except the panoramic glass roof.
Engine. The iVTEC is a nice engine, a bit rough at low revs, though. The power and torque seems low until you reach about 4 Ė 4.5K revs, but I like the concept of revving all the way up to 6.5 only when you need it. The sound is awesome and I also like the technology that lies beneath that engine. For sure, especially in the low range, is lacks some torque and power compared to its forced induction rivals, but then, itís all about reliability and risk free operation over the decades.. What surprises me the most is the fuel economy. Ok, I assume that the engine may not be totally run in, but how about 11-11,5 lt/100 km = 25-26 mpg (urban, many stops & go) and 8 lt/100 km = 35 mpg on country roads in legal speeds and while driving at a 3.5 Ė 4.5K rev range?
Gearbox. Absolutely no problem about it. Sometimes, it feels like the gearshift is sliding in the next gear only by thought.
Steering. Very fast with nice feel but not as informative as the Focus one. In small alleys, it feels like the car doesnít cut the corner as it should. I believe that the large wheelbase and also the large 225mm tyres are mainly those to blame for. At high speeds, the steering also feels weighty and precise. Even better it is, when driving reasonably fast in country roads.
Suspension. This is where the problems start. Whereas Iím one of the lucky ones, as except a bump stop failure (orange which then replaced by the white one), no other failure occurred, I strongly feel that a higher spec suspension should have transformed the whole driving experience. Itís not only about the rear single-beam axle, where most critics have focused. I think that suspension is a bit crashy, the suspension travel seems not enough at it hits the bump stops very often and the shocks seem that they donít cooperate with the springs. Spring setup is stiff, so the car feels parallel to the road in fast bends, but in order to keep acceptable levels of comfort, the shock absorbers seem a little soft. Car handles well, it does feel that by learning it, you also can turn in around corners faster, it is not as balanced as a BMW and not as joyfull as previous, independent suspension equipped civics. I therefore, declare my pure interest and hope as well, to those Koni FSDs for improving the situation. By the way, does anyone have fitted them ? Are they available in the UK ?
Looks. A total stunner. Every other car seems over-aged, especially in respect to the civís interior. I suspect that this is the major reason nowadays to buy one for most of the people. Type S interior, with the white stitched alcadara seats, looks great.
Quality. Overall, not bad. Cost cutting techniques have resulted to generic flaws and possible faults. Color quality is totally rubbish, the plastic trim seems that it wonít last long. Rattles are present and careless assembly is visible in some areas. In general every little bit seems that it is designed only to do the job for a certain amount of time, and not for a lifetime as it was with previous Hondas.
Driving experience. Whereas in urban environment it feels a bit out of its orientation, outside the city, it can move very fast and it seems that is really designed to do that. In big journeys, it doesnít feel comfortable as the road noise and the stiff suspension will finally cause fatigue and annoyance.
Likes: look, handling, performance, technology, usability, puts a big smile in your face.
Dislikes: suspension feel (not performance), weight, quality, Honda after-sales.
Any comments are welcome.