15 months and 34000 miles in a 2.2 SE - Civinfo
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 19th September 2008, 08:38 Thread Starter
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15 months and 34000 miles in a 2.2 SE

As I have now done over 34000 miles in about 15 months here is my experience of my ex Honda UK Civic 2.2 SE. The car had just over 7000 miles on it when I bought it when it was just under 10 months old. This morning it just clicked over to 42000 miles.

I am sorry this review is a bit lengthy, so I’ll sum up here…4/5

To start with, and to show how picky I am, I quickly get bored with my cars (a post elsewhere 'Rate my Car History' shows this!!). Only a couple of cars over the last 15 years have lasted over 15 months!

The main comparisons are to a 05 Scenic 1.9 DCi (previous car), Octavia 2.0 TDi (140 hp Elegance and 170 hp vRS) and Seat Altea XL 2.0 Tdi (140). Anyone who thinks that the comparison with a Scenic is unfair, the interior / boot space really is that close.


Performance: The mid range urge still feels fantastic and the cruising ability at speeds above 100 mph on Autobahns is excellent. Care has to be taken to keep the car at 70-75 as the slightest brush of the throttle in 6th will send the speed surging up.
The power band is very wide and linear compared to VW group 2.0 TDi (PD) cars, especially the 170 hp TDi, I also test drove when choosing the car. Because of this, I find the Civic much easier to drive quickly than any of the above cars. The abruptness of the turbo in the Altea especially made my wife almost car sick on the test drive.
Even when towing a 1250 kg Caravan with 3 bikes on the roof of the car has ample power.

Running Costs: The economy that is achievable by such a powerful engine is amazing. My non towing average is around 53-54 mpg, but mid 60’s MPG is achievable without too much hardship. The lure of the turbocharger does limit the economy though!!
Servicing costs are high compared to Renaults and Vauxhalls I have owned before. Each service is not necessarily more expensive, but the intervals are shorter than I am used to.
Perhaps the power and torque going through the front wheels are a contributing factor, but tyre wear has been higher than I hoped, I only got about 19000 miles out of the original fit Bridgestone tyres and that was after a front rear swap and mainly motorway / dual carriageway driving. 4/5

Refinement: The engine is also much more refined and less gruff than the above cars. However I will state that there is more road noise than my previous car, an 05 Renault Scenic 1.9 DCi, but no worse than the Octavia or the Altea. Perhaps the quietness of the engine amplifies this, but on anything but new tarmac, the noise can be annoying.
On cold mornings the suspension is also quite noisy on rough roads. 4/5

Roadholding / Handling: The Civic will follow your chosen line very faithfully with very little body roll and is only upset by quite severe mid corner bumps. The VSA feels very well programmed only intervening when necessary while still allowing for some fun. I feel the steering is better on the 2.2 than on 1.8 loan cars I have had. Mixed with the performance serious fun can be had on back roads as long as they are not too bumpy!! 4/5

Ride: There is no getting away from the fact that the ride is firm. While the car does not wollow, it can be jiggly. I will say it is quite a change from a French MPV!!! It is not all bad news, I get complained at less driving ‘spiritedly’ on A & B roads than I used to!! As my Civic ‘only’ has 16” wheels I do not find the ride unacceptable. 3/5

Exterior: IMO, this has not dated as some doom monger journalists said it would. It still looks (for the right reasons) like nothing else on the road, except for the increasing number of Civics of course! The hidden rear door handles and the inherently sporty design, rather than just a Eurobox with a spoiler kit, elevate the car especially compared to the rest of the family hatches.
My bootlid needs a good slam for it to shut properly, but after 3 visits to the dealer, it is a bit better and it looks like I am going to have to live with it. Considering the mileage and the way I drive the car, stone chipping was been less than expected and much better than previous cars.
However, I do find it a fiddly car to clean with water catching and then dripping from some of the fussier parts of the design (e.g. spoiler and rear lights). By far the worst part to keep clean is the alloy wheels. I have had numerous cars with alloy wheels and non have attracted so much stubborn brake dust.
Literally if they are not cleaned every 500 or so miles then it is an arduous job to remove the spots. Comments from my dealer ‘all cars are like it now’ do not wash – no previous cars nor any of my families cars need any more then sponge and water even if left for much longer.
The effort to clean it is worthwhile, however, I am not sure the wife agrees though!! 4/5

Interior: The Civic’s trump card. Honda have squeezed more space into a small body than any other manufacturer (excluding vans with windows), a true tardis!
The ‘compact’ rear suspension may impair the ride quality, but it sure helps out when you are filling the boot with holiday gear or LCD TVs!!!
As well as the futuristic look, the dashboard is very easy to use and everything is close at hand. The steering wheel is especially attractive compared to the dull monotone items fitted to rival cars.
All switches (especially the rotary heating knob) have a quality feel, at odds to the dashboard plastics they are housed on.
For a low spec model, the SE is very well equipped having Climate Control and all-round electric windows absent on even mid spec European rivals.
I have a couple of rattles, but they always stay silent when ever I am at the dealers.
After about 14000 miles, the interior looked like it was wearing prematurely with thinning pile on the door armrest and flat pile on the right hand driver’s seat bolster, but after 42000 miles it appears no worse. Later service loan cars I have drive appear more solid. 4/5

Overall: I am more than happy with my Civic and I am glad that Honda have had the guts to actually build a car that is recognisable to the concept car apart than just the badge. The car has its faults for sure, but I still look back at it whenever I leave it.
If it was built with better plastics and had more complex rear suspension then the car would have been more expensive and had a smaller boot. Both these points would have removed the car from the list of possible cars so for me I have to live with them. Long may my ownership continue.


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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 19th September 2008, 08:42
 
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Excellent review.

You are spot on, the interior is the best out there and the SE spec is more than generous. Its nice that Honda built the car they showed as a concept, no-one else has been so bold.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 19th September 2008, 08:43 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wheelchair View Post
Excellent review.

You are spot on, the interior is the best out there and the SE spec is more than generous. Its nice that Honda built the car they showed as a concept, no-one else has been so bold.
Blimey you are a fast reader!!!
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 19th September 2008, 08:45
 
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The fastest wheelchair in the west!

BTW there is a solution to alloy wheel cleaning, its the 1.4 steel wheels and covers!
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 19th September 2008, 08:46 Thread Starter
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The fastest wheelchair in the west!

BTW there is a solution to alloy wheel cleaning, its the 1.4 steel wheels and covers!
Sorry, but I'll live with the cleaning
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 19th September 2008, 08:52
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Nice review , spoiled by admiting to towing a caravan . lol
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 19th September 2008, 08:54
 
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Yes, we'd better report that to Top Gear!
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 19th September 2008, 09:07 Thread Starter
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Nice review , spoiled by admiting to towing a caravan . lol
Yeah, but at least I don't tow with a 1980's Pajero!!!!
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 19th September 2008, 12:06
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Excellent Review Alan

Balanced and Fair
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 19th September 2008, 12:38
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Great review Alan, thanks for that.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 19th September 2008, 18:15
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Brilliant review, agree with the vast majority of your points. I chose the 1.8 petrol rather than the diesel, drove both versions and both were really, really good, but in the end I only do about 5-6000 miles per year (I have a Vespa for knocking around the doors and for going to work). The additional purchase price and, in my case, insurance tipped the petrol version in my favour.
I too had a mini MPV, a Toyota Corolla Verso 05 reg, and was initially a bit concerned regarding downsizing. In fact I have found the Civic to have more space as it doesn't have two seats folded in the boot, and as a driving experience the Civic wins hands down.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 19th September 2008, 23:25 Thread Starter
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Brilliant review, agree with the vast majority of your points. I chose the 1.8 petrol rather than the diesel, drove both versions and both were really, really good, but in the end I only do about 5-6000 miles per year (I have a Vespa for knocking around the doors and for going to work). The additional purchase price and, in my case, insurance tipped the petrol version in my favour.
I too had a mini MPV, a Toyota Corolla Verso 05 reg, and was initially a bit concerned regarding downsizing. In fact I have found the Civic to have more space as it doesn't have two seats folded in the boot, and as a driving experience the Civic wins hands down.
From your sig, you drive a self shifter, and Honda do not drive a self shift diesel Civic - I don't know if that also swayed you towards the petrol. If I didn't tow (nor did I do 25000+ miles a year), perhaps I would have chosen the 1.8 as well, but it was not just the cost saving, I also prefer the drive of the diesel, however if I was only doing your mileage I too would find the diesel hard to justify.
Honda have the best of both worlds, the best diesel small hatch engine and a pretty good petrol as well. I was really impressed with the economy of the petrol loan cars I have driven, I just missed the low down grunt I am used to.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 20th September 2008, 08:29
 
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I just missed the low down grunt I am used to.
Too many beans!!!
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 20th September 2008, 09:45
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I too have the 2.2 SE and i can't believe i'm not bored of driving it yet. Most of my other cars have only lasted 8 to 12 months whereas i've had mine for 15 months as well. Excellent review Alan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanwalne View Post
From your sig, you drive a self shifter, and Honda do not drive a self shift diesel Civic - I don't know if that also swayed you towards the petrol. If I didn't tow (nor did I do 25000+ miles a year), perhaps I would have chosen the 1.8 as well, but it was not just the cost saving, I also prefer the drive of the diesel, however if I was only doing your mileage I too would find the diesel hard to justify.
Honda have the best of both worlds, the best diesel small hatch engine and a pretty good petrol as well. I was really impressed with the economy of the petrol loan cars I have driven, I just missed the low down grunt I am used to.
I didn't initially go out and look for the i-shift, drove a manual Civic first and then noticed the i-shift on the forecourt so asked for a spin in it, to be honest, just so I could say I had drove one. Against all expectations I really, really enjoyed it. Went on to test drive a auto Focus and DSG Golf but neither could prove the level of fun I had in the Civic. Had a look on this forum before I purchased and noted some of the concerns regarding the i-shift 'box, but went ahead of the deal anyway and I honestly have had absolutely NO problems with it. The package as a whole is brilliant, far better in my humble opinion than either the Focus or Golf.
I did have a test drive at the beginning of the year in the diesel and it was very good, but as I said in my initial post the figures just didn't work out.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 22nd September 2008, 07:09 Thread Starter
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I too have the 2.2 SE and i can't believe i'm not bored of driving it yet. Most of my other cars have only lasted 8 to 12 months whereas i've had mine for 15 months as well. Excellent review Alan
Same here - I had a think what I would replace the Civic with if I changed it and all if one was available, I would get a Milano Sport CTDi!! For the difference, I may as well keep what I have got!
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 22nd September 2008, 07:35
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Fantastic review, and thanks for taking the time to write it. As a point of interest, I too have the Cosmic Grey, and stone chipping is minimum.
Was this a tougher paint?
Who else has this colour and how are your paint chips?
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 22nd September 2008, 07:56 Thread Starter
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Fantastic review, and thanks for taking the time to write it. As a point of interest, I too have the Cosmic Grey, and stone chipping is minimum.
Was this a tougher paint?
Who else has this colour and how are your paint chips?
Wizking

There is a thread elsewhere called stonechip survey or something. The greys definitely faired better than black and red.
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 22nd September 2008, 08:28
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Could do with a review on the CTR like that, well done
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Could do with a review on the CTR like that, well done
If you lend me yours for a year, I'll gladly oblige
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