Join Date: 12th January 2010
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Review: Week in with 2006 2.2 I-CTDI Civic
A few days into Civic ownership and a rather boring day at work I thought what better then to write up my views and to bore you with them.
So last week I sold my beloved EP3 Type R, this being my third one since 2005. I only purchased my third EP3 Type R because I found that after 4 months I couldnít live without one Ė how long will it be before I give in againÖ Anyway, I needed a practical and cheap to run car due to having a baby and needing to do long distances with work, the current shape Civic seemed the only choice for me, so this week I picked up a 2006 Albaster Silver 2.2 I-CTDI SE.
Below are my observations after just 1,000 miles, Iíve also made comparison to the Mk5 Golf as my wife has a TDI in SE trim.
What an incredible unit it is! I knew from the reviews it was good but oh my god Iím astounded. Itís very smooth, gives little suggestion that itís a diesel and is very flexible in virtually any gear at any speed. Most noticeable is 50 Ė 70, or I say noticeable but actually it should be hardly noticeable Ė in the blink of an eye itís doing 70(+)!
The Golf engine by comparison is worlds apart, youíre never in any doubt itís a diesel and even with 105bhp itís currently delivering less MPG then the Civic. That said it is quick when you consider the output, again very strong from 50 Ė 70.
My only criticism so far and itís a weird one which youíll have to bear with me on, but from the inside of the car at speed from the right hand side I can hear the sound of the diesel engine Ė and it almost sounds false or artificial. It sounds like the noise is coming through the right round air vent. I really canít describe it better than that, from the passenger side you canít hear anything? Itís not loud but itís really irritating once Iíve homed in on it.
Ride and Handling:
Coming from a Type R I can honestly say itís got a smooth ride, but I can already sense itís not perfect. At low speeds itís fairly firm and a little crashy, Iíve also got a slight knocking noise from the front over heavily broken surfaces. But as speed picks up so does the ride quality, on the motorway or a fast bumpy a road itís a very nice ride. Handling is very good and it feels more nimble then the EP3 Type R ever did, and I donít mind the lighter steering either. And speaking of the steering, certainly a lot more feel over the EP3, although thatís really not hard. A little lifeless compared to the Golf which I was surprised to find.
As for the Golf, very smooth ride at all speeds and all surfaces which I think has something to do with the Golf weighing as much as a small planet. But handling is also very good, tons of grip and as mentioned above great steering feel.
If Iím honest I prefer the Golfís ride and handling combination, itís good all of the time whereas the Civic seems to have its moments.
This is where the Civic excels, especially over the Golf. The engine with the exception of the irritating noise mentioned above is hardly audible and wind and tyre noise seem to be very isolated. I can see myself enjoying this over many miles.
Well the Golfís engine is very noisy and thereís a lot of tyre noise, although wind noise is absent.
The Civic seems a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to quality. Itís already covered 60,000 miles and Iím amazed thereís not any rattle in the cabin, and some of the materials feel top rate. Unfortunately it is let down by some cheap materials, the glovebox lid for example feels flimsy and about to fall off, the Golfís in comparison is like a safe vault and is lined with soft material. The sliding cover by the gear stick is stiff to open and squeaks, and some materials used seem to scratch easily.
I suppose Iím a bit of a sad person but I like the little details and this perhaps is for me where the Civic could do better. Like the lined glovebox lid, lumber support, wipers which disappear out of site when not in use, and little weights on the parcel shelf strings so they always look taught even when the boot is closed. I know itís sad, Iíll happily admit that, but these little things go a long way (at least with me).
The Golf is incredible bland inside, absolutely no emotion what so ever. But itís well made with the exception of the cheap feeling wiper/indicator stalks, only a slight rattle (its done 70,000 miles). Itís also very comfy and I liken it to my living room - so smooth and with seats so comfortable that you get off them feeling more relaxed, even after 200 miles (thatís the car doing 200 miles and not my lounge by the way).
Despite a few downsides I really like the Civic, what it does well at it does exceptionally well at and far beyond what I expected. Just a shame thereís a few flaws Ė if you took the good parts of the Golf and Civic youíd have the perfect car (for me anyway).
Iím looking forward to many miles of happy Civic ownership!