So I've just done my first 350 miles in my '06 plate 2.2 SE, an average week for me. I made the switch from a 2.0l petrol Accord saloon (7th gen), as I was doing more and more miles and felt diesel would be a better deal for me.
I have to say so far I'm impressed.
The increase in fuel economy is immediately noticeable. I used to get around 31mpg average in my Accord, certaintly never over 35mpg average over a month. I've left my trip computer on the whole 350ish miles I've done, and my average mpg reading is 50.7, a vast improvement. About 2/3 of my driving is motorway miles, so I think I'm probably getting the maximum benefit of the diesel over the Accord with that. Acceleration is punchy, and the car pulls in every gear. The Accord was no slouch, but I did feel it sometimes lacked a bit in 4th and 5th, especially when overtaking on the motorway. The Civic always seems like it's got a bit more to give, my very own toro nero on the rampage, lol. I have to say though, first gear is ridiculously short. Finding it easier setting off in 2nd and just giving it a few more revs
The ride is a lot firmer in the Civic, bordering on crashy at times. On the flipside though, the handling is much sharper, and seems to have bags of grip, even in the wet. There is quite a bit of cabin noise, and some wind noise at higher speeds, but I've read a little about that on this site, and ways to help combat it. Something I'll definitely be looking in to in the near future. Nothing too uncomfortable though, considering I have the CD player blasting out 95% of the time and don't even notice. There is a lot more engine noise, and the diesel can sound a bit clattery when it first starts up, but the Accord petrol engine was VERY quiet, so I've probably been a bit spoiled in that respect. Civic engine noise does quieten down once it's warmed up, and it's a diesel so it's never going to be silent.
Space... Oddly enough, there's more legroom in the back of my Civic than there was in my Accord. Boot seems bigger too, and with the seats folded down, I've easily got more carrying capacity now. I find there is plenty of room in the front for me, I'm 6'2" with long legs so space is always a factor with any car. I'm glad I got the 5 door, makes putting my son's car seat in the back so much easier (I've done it on the ex-in-law's 3-door type S many a time).
Looks, well, what can I say. I've loved the look of the new-shape Civic since it first came out. There's only 2 inches of the car that I'd change, and that's the ugly, faded plastic trim around the bottom of the car. What on Earth Honda were thinking when they left this unpainted is beyond me. In the 90's I would have expected painting the trim to be an optional extra, but nowadays it should come as standard. Not overly keen on the split rear window either, visibility is a bit of a pain. I'll be investing in a reversing camera as soon as I'm able. The previous gen of Civic was a massive difference in looks between the 3 and 5 door, I'm glad they closed the gap with the 8th gen. Not a fan of the grille, so I'll be switching for the type-S/R eventually too.
Overall, the ride was a little softer and quieter in my Accord, but my Civic puts a bigger smile on my face. Faster, more agile, more spacious, and more money in my wallet at the end of the month. Can't ask much more really.
Going to put it in for a service with the guys at Holdcroft soon, and I'll probaby add a bit more to this review once I've got a few months ownership under my belt.