First drive impressions - Civinfo
 
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 28th July 2006, 14:47 Thread Starter
 
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First drive impressions

I have a CDTi demonstrator for the weekend to put through its paces and have just been out for a few miles. Generally like it a lot . In case anyone's interested in my first impressions:

Engine. Very strong pull, though with typical turbo lag. Slight delay on the throttle response which surprised me - not sure if this is right as I haven't heard anyone else mention this - perhaps a fault on this car? Otherwise, very impressed with the straight-line performance (worryingly so for my licence...), though I do miss the crescendo you get with a free-revving petrol engine - I imagine my Alfa Twin Spark engine is very similar in characteristics to the VTEC...all the way to the 7,000 rpm redline... . Not sure whether to get the CDTi or the VTEC - it's going to be a company car, so the deciding factors include company car tax (diesel better), fuel consumption (diesel better), rental cost (petrol better). Otherwise, diesel is a bit smelly I suppose! When I do the sums over 4 years there's nothing in it cost wise...any comments on that choice would be welcome.

Handling/ride. Generally good, though it does roll a bit on corners compared to my current Alfa 156 (to be expected I suppose). Rides quite well (better than 156, also to be expected) over most surfaces/speeds but perhaps not as well as I'd hoped..a bit jittery at times but the demo car has 18" Storms on which might be a factor.. Despite the body roll the cornering ability is excellent however - didn't reach any of its limits on one very tightly curved sliproad with my right foot edging downwards....

Quality. Generally very good quality materials and construction, though there are a few very small areas where it is let down: door handles outside and inside feel plasticky, the silver trim on the inside of the door likewise, and the way the inside of the door moves when you use the electric windows. On all these points my Alfa beats it hands down (which might surprise some people), and I think if Honda are aiming upmarket they need to sort a few of these little things out.

Design. Still not sure 100% about the looks from some angles but overall I like the exterior and think it's an effective, bold, design statement. The interior is a very successful attempt at a futuristic design that actually functions very well. Seems to divide opinion overall, I guess between those who think flat-sided minimalist German cars are the epitome of good taste and style, and those (and I think I reside here) who think cars like the Civic, the Alfa 156, the E-Type jag, the original Mini and Fiat 500 are what epitomise stylish motoring, rather than yet another slab of Audi A6.

My only real gripe is the visibility through the rear window with the spoiler chopping everything in two and seeming to coincide with where cars are typically behind you on a motorway. I guess this is something you get used to though.

So any comments welcomed to help me make my mind up. Then it's off home tonight to see if the missus is convinced, and perhaps place my order on Monday and join the queue!
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 28th July 2006, 14:53
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Handling is a LOT better on the 17s VS the 18s, as I've driven both.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 28th July 2006, 15:55
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You learn to live with the rear spoiler. You even begin to use it to your advantage, it helps block bright headlights of cars that are behind you.

That said I believe the most sensible option for this car are the rear parking sensors.

Haven't driven the diesel but based on reviews I'd go for the diesel version because of the massive extra torque you get. And economy too, I guess.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 28th July 2006, 16:01
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The rear visibility is an issue, but that spoiler is a blessing in the dark, sits right over the headlights of the car behind. I would agree with you on some of the more plasticky bits, but you soon see past those. As for VTEC or iCDTi, I went for the diesel as though its a private car funded by work I couldn't face the mpg of the petrol, having had diesels for ever. The torque of the diesel is something else, picks up and goes from nowhere, 3rd gear is good through the 40mph roadworks dotted around, floor it at then end and it will get you will in excess of the limit without changing gear, its a lot better than any other comparable diesel. Also, you can't get the petrol chipped.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 28th July 2006, 16:46 Thread Starter
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Cheers for comments so far (any more very welcome).

I can imagine the benefit of being able to block out lights from behind, though I can't help thinking there's something slightly dangerous about the practice (I suppose what you mean is block the bulk of the glare - perhaps this is why they don't have an auto-dimming rear view mirror on the Civic!).

I guess you end up relying more on the door mirrors, as you can see pretty much everything behind in them anyway!

Re parking sensors, have seen this comment a lot, but so far I've parked it a couple of times in the office car park and at the supermarket and found it OK to be honest - you can gauge where the back of the car is with the door mirrors fairly well, though I think it requires a greater element of caution than with some cars. Will try a few more times over the weekend to test further.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 28th July 2006, 16:47
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I agree with all of the comments everyone has made. I don't find the car has any noticeable turbo lag though, in fact I've driven a few cars from other manufacturers which are far worse. The torque from the diesel is great fun to use.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 28th July 2006, 16:57
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I go along with Hartside - in test drive mode you tend to test the power - but in real life mode you tend to remain at mid-revs, where the diesel smoothness and torque is just magic.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 28th July 2006, 17:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great Soprendo
Cheers for comments so far (any more very welcome).

I can imagine the benefit of being able to block out lights from behind, though I can't help thinking there's something slightly dangerous about the practice (I suppose what you mean is block the bulk of the glare - perhaps this is why they don't have an auto-dimming rear view mirror on the Civic!).

I guess you end up relying more on the door mirrors, as you can see pretty much everything behind in them anyway!

Re parking sensors, have seen this comment a lot, but so far I've parked it a couple of times in the office car park and at the supermarket and found it OK to be honest - you can gauge where the back of the car is with the door mirrors fairly well, though I think it requires a greater element of caution than with some cars. Will try a few more times over the weekend to test further.

Right.

The rear bar thing.. that's definitely great at night. I absolutely hated driving at night because glare, and it's a whole lot better now I'm driving the Civic.

Parking sensors are kinda handy, I've had little trouble parking the Civic... it's a little wider than most cars, but generally it's been okay. The sensors are good though, and a good thing to put on there I reckon.

The door mirrors are superb; adjusted correctly, you can see absolutely everything, even covering a couple of C pillar blindspots too.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 28th July 2006, 18:45
 
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I would definitely pick the diesel. I have criticised certain aspects of the Civic in the past, but I don't think its smelly at all. Its a bloody good motor. 8)
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 28th July 2006, 19:59
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I've always been a Petrol head and this Diesel was my first ever diesel car. I'm so impressed at how easy it is to drive (so lazy) no worries over down changing like normal Honda petrols, it did take a lot of getting used to though.
As for smelly, can't say I've noticed except on fill up (which you don't do many of ) 10,000 miles plus later it still puts a smile on my face.
Gonna try the Type S diesel soon to see if it's as good, and I might prefer the diesel to the Type R that's how good it is.
I've driven a 1.8 after the diesel and it doesn't impress me so much as you have to work it. It's really a personal thing so try both then decide.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 28th July 2006, 21:27
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I would have gone diesel had I-Shift been available but had a clutch to just to long now and need a rest (Ye Gods! I sound like an old man)
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 28th July 2006, 23:48
 
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How much are the rear parking sensors - I assume these are different to the camera?

B.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 28th July 2006, 23:50
 
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Parking Sensors are 390 Fitted, 215 Supply Only.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 29th July 2006, 12:39
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Work on the dealer for a discount on the Parking sensors - I got them for 150
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 29th July 2006, 12:48
 
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Another vote here for parking sensors. It's not like they park the car for you (anyone seen that optional extra on the Prius in Japan? - wow!) but as you don't have as much rear visability as on other cars it's great to have them as another source of information. If Hartside got them fitted and everything for 150 then why wouldn't you go for them!
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 2nd August 2006, 09:57 Thread Starter
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Just to update, the weekend test went very well, and the missus liked it too (found it a bit tricky to get comfortable behind the wheel at first, but eventually found a position she was happy with).

And this morning I have placed my order! CTDI SE with leather. Taking a bit of a gamble on the colour as I haven't seen one with this combination before either in flesh or in any pictures: royal blue pearl paint with ivory leather interior. It'll either look weird or incredibly stylish I've decided! I noticed in the brochure that the ivory leather can only be specified with certain exterior colours (royal blue, black, cosmic grey and silver, I think), so I'm sure they've thought through which colours go well with the ivory. I guess it'll be a bit of a rare beast anyway! No confirmation of delivery time yet as it's got to go via the lease company at work - hopefully this unusual colour scheme won't make for an unbearable wait!

Will be sure to add a photo to the gallery when it arrives.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 2nd August 2006, 13:20
 
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For style, the rear window looks great, but for everyday use I would rather do away with the spoiler, and have auto dimming mirrors like VAG cars. OK it blocks out the headlights but it also blocks out whether you've got the fuzz on your tail.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 2nd August 2006, 16:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfa7
but it also blocks out whether you've got the fuzz on your tail.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 2nd August 2006, 16:49
 
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