2008 1.8 Exclusive review - Civinfo
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 1st September 2008, 23:24 Thread Starter
 
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2008 1.8 Exclusive review

First of all, hello to everyone here.
I'm a new member of this forum since I choose to buy a brand new Civic 1.8 Exclusive and I'm still waiting for it! Probably the new babe will be available mid of this week but neither I nor my wife could wait longer... let's cross our fingers!

Anyway, I decided to prepare a step by step review of my Civic experience as it progress, so I'll start with:

Step1: Making the choice.
As a disclaimer I'd like to say that I found Civinfo.com after buying the car, so I was not biased in the choice (every fault is my fault, so to speak).

I was attracted by Civic since the release of the current version for the Sci-Fi look of the whole car and the nice features it has. I also have a family with two childrens so the 3-door solution was not an option for my wife (even if looking at the Fireblade replica in the showroom...).
At the beginning of our search we took a look at various cars such as Ford Focus and Fiat Bravo. We also found a deal on a new Civic 1.4 but I was not sure of the size of the engine compared with the size of the car. After looking for a while we were quite puzzled and made no choice at all. Our second hand 10 years old Volvo S40 was still safe.
Then during our vacation we met with some parent with a brand new Civic 1.8 Executive Leather iPilot and we fell in love. We begun to search all around Italy and finally (two weeks after) we put the signature on the contract for a new Civic!
Here our thoughs on it:

Me:
Pros
  • Nice and personal look - It's easy to mod from elegant up to racing with good results
  • Good price/options ratio - Compared to other cars, I would have to spend a lot more to get the same amount of "goodies"
  • Good engine specs - 1.8 petrol engine sound as a good compromise
  • Very large loading capacity (for the class)
Cons
  • Seat textile not at top - It always shows alcantara "shades"
  • Radio CD plastic quite different from surrounding soft plastic but tries to mimic with bad results (IMHO)
  • Honda standard 17" alloys not very attractive (5-door)

My wife:
Pros
  • Very beautiful look in black (Personal taste, of course)
  • Once you get in love with it all the other cars looks "ancient"
  • A lot of available space compared to other cars in the segment, even if bigger
Cons
  • Clock panel not very attractive - Navigator screen is a lot better but now you have to buy leather seats to have it... too much
  • Bluetooth handsfree is a must
These are our initial thoughts on the car and we are very happy with our choice, even if some of the posts here let me sweat a little bit... Until I'll not have the car in my hands.

So, countdown for our new 2008 1.8 nighthawk black Exclusive Civic with additional Honda bluetooth handsfree is running...

Next - Step 2: First ride

Cheers
Faith
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 2nd September 2008, 08:40
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I believe this is going to be a good topic! way to go Faith!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 2nd September 2008, 08:53
 
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Well done, looking forward to the next installment!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 4th September 2008, 17:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faith View Post
My wife:
Pros
Very beautiful look in black (Personal taste, of course)
That will teach me not to speed reading posts
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 4th September 2008, 18:07
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Keep it coming - Fantastic
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 6th September 2008, 08:13 Thread Starter
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Post Part 2: First ride!

Hi folks,
it's here! It's in my house parking! And it looks really amazing!
But let's start from the beginning.

Part 2: First ride!

Yesterday, around 6 p.m., I brought the whole family (me, my wife and our two children) to the local Honda dealer to switch between our old Volvo and the new Civic. Clock ticks at 10 days of total wait... not bad at all, considering that the dealer hasn't the car available and they had to install the bluetooth handsfree unit.

As we entered the dealer I saw it ready at the parking door shining new in its nighthawk black finishing. I had to admit that my wife was right: it's really beautiful! Of course this is my taste.
One of the dealer's employee was showing the car to a wannabe buyer of a Civic showing the trunk and explaining this and that when I approached. "May I help you?" he told me.
"I'm here to pick up a car... THIS car!" I replied a little bit annoyed.

Let's quickly skip all the switching paperwork to finally get the car keys...

Before leaving the dealer I first have to load the child seats in the back. Using the 90 opening doors in the back the operation is really quick and easy. I'm still convinced that in a 3-door car it's even easier being in front of the seat instead of being on one side, but for a 4/5 door car, the back seat door is really good for doing such job! Full marks here.
Seat textile is far way better than the one that I remember and no marking was left on it so (probably) the one that the other dealer shown me was a different version or a old one. I don't know but I'm pleased both from the quality and the touch.
During my loading I performed some of the checks that are in the checklist (here) and everything seemed ok. I'll had a more detailed check later (I did not remember all the things to check, I must admit.. ).
What I noticed is that the BT handsfree unit is not the Honda one. The only external thing visible is a tiny microphone on the driver's side between the roof and the side airbag plastic cover. I discovered that is connected to the driving wheel controls instead of having the additional buttons. I was sure that the solution was cheaper than the Honda one, but having the driving wheel controls is not bad at all, so I decided not to complain.

Votes:
The car is exactly as I expected it to be, even better. The building quality seems very good and it has a lot of nice small details that you pleasantfully discover over time. Compared to my old Volvo I see no big differences for now, maybe better in some details. The space inside is really big compared with the overall car size and everything sound "stuffed" 5/5

The dealer was not so good, though. The car was delivered really fast but some of the items were not as agreed (BT handsfree) even if they are some way better (driving wheel controls). The car was not cleaned very well outside (some marks and drips) and inside (trunk glass really dirty in the corners). No red cover (Honda requires it to be uncovered in front of the buyer). Fortunately nothing impacting on my car, but given the dealer approach I have to double check everything to be on the safe side! 3/5

Ok, enough here, let's put this damn key in!

The dash lits up and it's gorgeus. Instrument color is bright and the viewing is sharp even in daylight. I did not drove with full sunlight on them so for now no major issues on them. I managed to set the driving wheel in order not to cover the lower and upper instruments with ease. Due to the dual link setting is not possible to have very broad settings in this field since the position is almost forced, but the setup fits nicely my height and the driving wheel position is confortable for now. 4/5

Seat position is good and the seats are also ok. I still to get acquainted to the headrest position, it's a little too leaned forward for my tastes, but I have to try it during a long trip to made a right evaluation. For now let's trust Honda. 4/5

The red ignition button is lovely! The car starts immediately and the 1.8 litres engine "purrs" quietly from inside (I was used to a 1.9 TD engine under the bonnet...). Gear shift (manual) works well and it's easy to operate. The first clutch release is easy also. I usually rent different cars when I travel for business and some of them have really nasty clutches. It takes some time to get used to them and not to "jump" too much.
This one (I can't speak for all Civics, of course) it's nicely set and it's possible to modulate it correctly. The car runs well and quiet and gears goes with no problems. Gear shift is smooth in its operations. 5/5

I left the city and head for the motorway. I played a little with the on board computer but without having the manual on my side I just set on the consumption monitoring screen. Noise is not that bad on my first impression. I did not run too much since the motorway is in a mountain range here and suggested speed is 80 km/h due to all the sharp turns, but it seems similar or even better to the old Volvo, even if the tyres are bigger. I want to do some more testing on this topic, but I need to do some measuring first.
I also had some countryside drive before reaching my home and the car behaves nicely on the turns. 5/5

The engine is far more quieter of the old diesel one I had but for now lacks the turbo boost I was used to. I also did not push it too hard and it was running pretty well without feeling any lack of power during drive. I guess it's also my fault. I need to loose the diesel driving style and let revs go up! I never hit the right half of my rev meter...
Anyway, when I drove with my 1.9 TD behind a 1.8 Civic, the Civic was far more better than me on mountain roads... so I expect a lot more from engine side as km will rise!
Right now: 4/5

I reached home at sunset, so no real check on lights side (I have xenon HIDs installed). I just saw the difference between low beam and "positional" lights. It's really ugly... I guess that I'll install some LED light in the near future!
However: n/a

Conclusions:
I just drove 40 km right now, so it's really not enough for a full evaluation. The general approach, look and feel is really good. The building quality seems very good also and all the "gadgets" also. Right now both the engine and the confort are ok.
I guess I'm biased because it's a new car and it's the car I like, but right now I'm really pleased with it. My wife said "You seem a child with his new toy!" and... well... SHE'S RIGHT!
So, for me it's an overall 4.3/5 for the experience of my first ride and a gorgeous 4.5/5 for the Civic itself (shame on the dealer).

More to come, of course in next Part 3: the first long trip.

Bye!
Faith
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 6th September 2008, 08:21
 
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Glad to hear all's going well.

Keep up the great reviews!!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 6th September 2008, 09:26
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Fantastic, Fantastic Review! Really glad to hear that you are happy with your Civic.

Please do keep the reviews coming

Have we posted photo's yet?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 6th September 2008, 21:58
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Great review! What was type was your Volvo? Mine was a 460 1.9TD i loved that car But I love the Civic more ^^
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