First of all, GREAT forum and thanks to those who replied and helped me choose CTS 2.2 over CTR!
Below are my first impressions. Also, please excuse my poor English! I would try as much as I can to give you my impressions, not from a "pro-driver" point of view (which I am not). Instead, I will share what I experienced as a normal, casual, mid aged guy...
My first sight of new Euro Civic was back in 2006 during a trip to one of the local beach resorts. I was shoked! Such brave design, ... so wedgy, so futuristic, and yet somehow definitely NOT weird or something. Back then I was driving Accord 2.0 automatic, model 2000 and I thought to my self - "Dude, perhaps you will never drive this little diamond" (married, 2 kids). Amazingly, 3 years later I am enjoying one -->
Two weeks ago, I was doing some final negotiations with the dealer and I opted for NHB Type S Advantage - same like GT, but w/o glass roof. I was told the glass roof itself weights like 100-120 kilograms and I somehow decided it will unnecessarily burden the car - plus I knew I won't miss it much.
When it finally arrived a week ago, and when I entered the car for the first time, I was .. well .. suddenly I realized I am in true love - what a feeling! The design of the car is really, really superb! Also, Honda somehow really achieved more sporty look for the Type S, with just few clever tocuhes here and there on both exterior and interior.
Well, when I think of it, before my CTS, I used to own Peugeot 405 1.8i, than Citroen Xantia 1.8i, than Honda Accord 2.0i. The Peugeot was sluggish, the Citroen was willing, but absolutely artificial to drive (but the ride was legendary!!!). When I got the Accord - I was really impressed of it and that was the car that converted me into Honda fan.
However, mine good old Accord is absolutely no match to CTS when it comes to driving feel. The civic is cornering very well, the driving position is very nice and the seats are very supportive (seats are may be a bit firm, but I found that's actually a good thing). I am really really enjoying driving it. It is as direct that some friends of mine was saying "damn, when you chance lanes I almost feel as if the car is just strafing (any gamers around?).
I found myself choosing longest route to work recently, just to enjoy the car more ... that's means a lot I think!
Amazingly, there is some kind of moto-mania developing in my office recently. People talking about cars, drifting, drag races etc. stuff, which I probably would never participate in. Apparently THE mania got me as well, hence the Type S instead of just 5 doors hatchback. I am often finding myself on the edge to the red zone taking smallest opportunities on the road to make my trip more .. erggh ... lively. I was even thinking seriously about CTR as well (more on that - later).
When it comes to looks, the Type S delivers! It looks sporty and I often see people turning heads and looking after it. The performance: well, this is my first diesel car - I was so much used to keeping the Accord into 3500+ rev range that it was a bit hard for me to really drive the diesel civic properly. After a week, I am getting used to it, and I found out that perhaps someone at Honda did think about gears, revs and city traffic pretty deeply - it is VERY easy to keep the car just below 2000 revs and have the turbo ready if you want to accelerate fast. And that on almost any gear up to 5th.
When you push it - it FEELS fast! It feels like there is tremedous power just waiting to be tapped. I have to say - the experience is addictive and ... well ... REALLY addictive!
After first few hours driving, I was wondering - how the heck, they did manage a whole 8.6secs for 0 - 100 kmh (0 - 60mph) with all that power. But, now I know - it has VERY short 1st gear (you have to change very early if you want the whole range of the 2nd gear - the most delivering of them all). 2nd gear gets you just below 100kmh and you need another change. When you do, you fall into mid-3rd which is not it's best I think. Also, 4th and 5th, while longer, are not as pulling as 2nd and 3rd. Still, the acceleration is very very good and in the mid range few cars in the usual "town-scape" could match it.
Did I say, the acceleration is addictive and exhilarating?
ALSO, I now really believe Pottsy that in 97% of the time, the diesel Type S will give you everything you need performancewise while driving in an overcrowded dirty city. BUT, it is so good, so lively, that you ask yourself, "Uhmm, what the heck the OTHER 3% would feel like - if THIS is so cool..."
Uhmm, let me put it that way - our roads sucks! I actually wanted CTR, but was pushed back mainly by Clarkson review (Top Gear dude) as he was bashing the CTR for being over-firm. Combine this with the fact that local roads are pretty post-apoccalyptic and ... here is the Type S. I even asked in the forum (thanks for the answers guys) if there is MUCH difference between CTS and CTR ride. It clear that CTR is firmer, but I was wondering HOW much firmer it is? Is it just a bit more firm? Is it a whole new dimension of firmness? To be honest I failed to make my mind about it - perhaps the question is so much matter of a subjective feel, that hardly can be answered really.
So, the ride is firm, but it feels solid and enjoyable. Combine this with the firmish seats and our roads and you get the picture - you feel them bumps very very well. BUT, again, it is much fun to drive that you do not even notice that! Seriously, it's NOT a problem!
Besides the raid quality, the rest is pretty okay. Dashboard is functional, equipment is pretty fine, driving weel is absolute gem, - interior feels solid (here and there some plastics feels inferior that mine old accord, but hey - they do not make cars like this anymore anyway
On my second day of ownage, there were sudden event that caused me to drive with 2 more people in the cart for nearly 1000km ... in the night.
I am not sure if I can't explain this correctly in English - but despite it may sound absurd here it is: the experience was BOTH totally exhausting and amazingly enjoyable. The car is so much involving that you hardly can just lean back and push ahead. Firm ride over long distance starts to get noticed (again, not superb roads!). Interestingly, the other two passangers didn't feel that smahed when we finally arrived, but I was pretty squeezed of. I was may be pushing the car a bit too much as well - but believe me - it is HARD no to
Forget about it!!!
Well, amongst other things I was doing some sound design for .. uhmm .. twelve years. So, forget about it or just face it - the audio quality is pretty poor! Get something heavier, like Rammstein or Metallica, and the only thing you will hear are the cymbals distorted by the poor high-freq speakers (if you have any at all - they are optional).
I personally hate installing one of these bass-detonators (hihihi) in the trunk, so may be I should read this nice forum for hints on changing the speakers with something more ... ergghh .. something real actually.
CLICKING CLUTCH PEDAL
I got that! So, I armed myself with a serious stone face and crawled under the dashboard trying to find out where it is exactly coming from. The click happens in the first centimeters while depressing the cluth pedal, and I found it comes from a little switch there. I tried to use WD-40 to grease the thing, and it had moderate improvements. But it still comes everynow and then. Can be annoying for some for sure!
Arrrrgh, the NHB gets dirty very easily. A little dust on the road is enough to make it look pretty tired. It's just that the dust really gets visible on this color. My Accord is alabaster silver and there IS huge difference.
3000 km and I also got 2-3 of the little peckers! I wonder - can I wash the car at automatic carwash? Can I? Ever?
GRIP AND STABILITY
It feels there is plenty of grip. However, it was 2-3 times alreay on a twisty roads for the VSA (vehicle stability assist) to intervene. My explanation is: 1) I drive too fast due to the sheer amounts of fun that this car delivers 2) There is someting wrong with the grip levels 3) The bodyroll is pretty low which creates a false sence of security. I am not complaining - it is indeed my fault - but just decided to metions this as part of my 1st week experience.
WHICH ONE: Type S or Type R?
I have no clue how Type S 1.8 petrol would feel to drive really. I suspect it will feel more sluggish than the diesel until it gets into 4000+ rev range and after it will be match if not better.
I considered Type R versus the 2.2 diesel. Uhmm .. after I bought the Type S I found out it also has torsion bar between the rear wheel. It actually has the very same chassis as Type R with the difference being only the dampers. At least that'w what I have been told. Is it true?
I found my CTS pretty firm and if the difference with the CTS is minimal than the choice is not that easy one (if you care about it really). In mid 2nd and 3rd I have the feeling that diesel would pull better than the CTR (whithout ever trying CTR to be honest), which should be sufficient for everyday city-driving.
WOULD I BUY IT AGAIN
So far, after a week with it - its easy and definity YES!
Guys, anyone knows why the Golf drivers are so keen to prove me something?? I am just mid-aged casual dude! Yet, everyday, on every traffic light, there is someone in a "People's Car" that appears to have a problem with me existing on the road?! Good thing is that with the CTS it's fairly trivial to remind them they are sitting behind the wrong badge
Thanks for reading, I hope you are not bored to death and again - please don't mind my English