Ok, not sure I actually mentioned or reviewed my car when I got it so heres a quick filler:
About a year ago my girlfriend decided new car time. We looked around at all sorts but she fell in love with the space ship. I was already fondy of it so she got no rebutals from me. We bought from Grantham Honda and they found us a very tidy 06 reg, Cosmic Grey ES with the 1.8 petrol for less than £10k. The car was in very good condition and had only 19k on the clock! She traded in her Y reg 1.2 corsa and we paid cash for the remainder.
First off Grantham were very good and when we went back for the end of warranty check up they did a good job. We got a electric wing mirror replaced under warranty and free MOT to go along with the standard service which was reasonably priced might I add. Though we did have to pay £100 to replace a squeaky front suspension bush (despite this being there from the get go) and they simply said that noisy rear suspension is a standard feature
On to the car:
When we picked it up, it was pretty much immaculate. There was the odd thing like the previous owner using a pretty harsh cloth to clean the visor over the speedo, leaving some pretty unsightly scratches, but you cant see them from the driving seat.
Basically the cars been fine. It drives very well and I find that the odd tank of 98 or 99 RON keeps it feeling spritely. Sometimes a tank of 95 will not go down too well and the car will feel sluggish when trying to pick up from low speed. It handles very well too.
As for the spec, the ES really is a nice compromise between the SE and EX. I miss the HID's but the rest of the EX kit doesnt interest me. 17 inch wheels on the EX serve only to make a harsh, stiff ride, harder still and the sat nav is a bit rubbish. But to get the fogs, electric wing mirrors and glass roof is nice, along with the auto lights and wipers (which I find actually work as you expect!!!). I still maintain that even though the 16 inch rims looks like little caster wheels (especially under the rear arches) they offer the best ride comfort.
Fuel consumption seems to vary wildly, but then some months we do nothing more than town driving and others we might have some long trips. As a guide, I tend to swing between driving very efficiently and ragging the nuts off it. Lowest MPG I have from just town driving was about 28 and highest when cruising home to Middlesbrough of nearly 40 and for completeness I got around 35-36mpg when going to Wales (with a full car.. 4 people and lots of kit).
So certainly for a NA petrol engine, its really not bad. It'll drink fuel like nobodies business if you are silly, but it's very respectable when you try. Though having said that, my mate gets 38 out of his Golf GTI and thats got 60 more hp and 70 more torques.
So after a year, things I still like:
* The looks, you just cant argue with them. It still looks fresh, it still looks fantastic and they arent ten a penny like ford focii.
* The interior, is comfy and again, it looks like nothing else
* The free spinning nature of the engine
* The Handling when pushing on
* The running costs... Tax is £160, it'll do 35-40mpg driven properly and I have had to replace one part at cost to me and the tyre wear is just brilliant. The tyres were not new on when we got the car, we've done over 10k miles on them and theres still a ways to go until we reach the wear bar.
*Magic rear seats and hidden boot compartment. These have been a boon for load lugging and creatively packing 4 people plus a lot of kit into the car.
* Soft paint seems to scratch and chip easily... plenty of car park door dings from careless ***** in tesco and lots of fine scratches just from washing.
* The suspension, especially the rear, is just too uncouth. Its loud over anything but glass smooth road. Road noise can get quite bad. It crashes into pot holes and again the rear suspension just sounds very low rent over bumps, knocking and banging about.
* The ride, over rough roads can get very tiring.
* The engine. It sounds great when your giving it the beans, but its too prominent when you just want to relax. It sounds quite harsh... compared to say a golf, where the engine is whisper quiet or even a new ford fiesta where even at 4000rpm the engine is smooth and quiet and vibration free.
* The wing mirror mounted indicators..... Seriously, if you ever get chance just look at these things during the day, you cannot see them for toffee. 3 Piddly little LED's are simply not sufficient to make them noticable over and above a decent sunny day.
and finaly, and its a big finally, the interior quality:
I love the design, but I guess all that designing and then figuring how to actually make it, left about 50p in the budget to buy materials and actually, you know, manufacture it. Over the year, new rattles have begun to appear almost weekly. Theres a really annoying one where the drivers airbag cover vibrates against the steering wheel structure. Another where the drivers seat creaks very loudly under any kind of acceleration and various other rattles emanating from the dash board housing and the seat belt things in the Pillars. The plastic around the gear stick creaks and groans round corners and the whole center console has come loose and exposed itself to be very flimsy indeed, flexing easily under any kind of force. The drivers side door arm rest is also sagging from me resting my arm on it (and im not a fatty, im a mere 77kg at 6ft 3).
There is also a very wierd sounding squeal which I think is coming from where the two soft plastics that make up the rev counter housing over lap. You know where the see through window and black wrap around plastic meet? the two panels are rubbing together, excitied by standard vibration from the road. Its terribly annoying and only curable by pressing them together and holding them.
Its a combination really of the cheap materials and the fact that the dash had to be made from so many component parts. Add into the mix solid suspension and basically you've got a set up that allows the car to shake itself apart over time.
In short, I love the look of the car and love how it drives when you want to press on. But I wouldnt buy another one simply based on the interior refinement and quality. Theres too much road noise, theres too much engine noise at times, the suspension is loud and unsophisticated sounding and the interior is litterally coming apart at the seams while you drive.