Thought that may get some attention, As you know I have been posting on this forum for a couple of days, hopefully this review will help some of the people on here like myself that are sitting on the bench due to the cars perceived age image.
First up a little bit of details on myself, I do an 80 mile commute and currently drive a Clio 172(temp car whilst buying new house), My previous car's in order are a Citreon Saxo, Peugeot 206cc, BMW 325ci Sport convertible, MK V Golf GTi , MK V Golf GT TDi, Clio 172
, I've owned all of these cars from new apart from the clio so I like to think I have a good feel of different car and manufactures.
I'm in the market for a new car and looking to spend up to 25k, I've had 2 golf's so thats not an option, wanted an r32 but the cost of petrol is silly, likewise a TT was to expensive at 28K fully specced. Same for a BMW 320d M sport once I got it too a decent level. Given the way cars depreciate these days my days of spending 30K plus on a car is over.
Anyhow, on with the review - I always looked at the Honda Civic as an old mans car until I sat in this new on at the motorshow and was plesently surprised. The only thing that I didn't like about it was the backend but the right wheels and colour make all the difference. I think it needs the 18" even though the ride may be more harsh.
First of all the Interior is brilliant - I will be buying a car with leather so luckily I got to test one in that spec. The seats are really soft and comfy and support your back well, Arm rest is in a nice position unlike my old BMW. The head up display is both daring and useful, it beats plain old dials anyday. Storage compartments are great, defintely in line with the golf. It has loads of the little hidden cubby holes for putting mobile phones etc. Also the dash is really nice and long and feels more like a big car such as a BMW, this car is a pandora's box, outside it looks average size, Inside it's huge. Them rear folding seats are also amazing. Build quality seems to be on par with the Golf too.
Didn't get to test the stereo but I can't believe it could be any worse then the standard one in the new Golf Gti
Now the interesting bit, I took a 2.2 CDTi out. Everything about it felt very smooth i.e. changing gear, clutch etc and the steering was nice and light. It also has a lot more pull in 1st gear then a Golf GT TDi 140. Acceleration is very smooth and I hit 80 before I knew it. The engine is also very silent compared to the Golf's diesel.
All along the ride felt smooth, I accept on the 18" it will be more harsh but hey thats the price you pay for style
I took it round a few roundabouts at speed and it seemed to role a little bit but nothing too bad. Cornering was almost as good as my little clio 172 whihc is renowned for the ability to corner. Once again the seating position was perfect for me. Nice and low.
Turbo has quite a whine but I actually liked it, I can see how it could annoy some people though.
Thats about all I could fault it on for the money being spent on it
To sum up, I'm amazed at what a great package this is for the money, I would love a Golf R32 but in the days of fuel prices this car is amazing with a mix of economy and performance. It's also got practically - You can take it on trips to Ikea etc, this is a problem I had with my BMW convertible.
Build quality is defintely on par with VW along with the interior used if not slightly better, leather is good and the seating positon is fantastic. Honda's attitude was also brilliant compared to the like of VW and BMW.
Also 5 services for 500, thats amazing, this car is well above the likes of Vauxhall and Ford and sits quite comfortably with the Golf GT, Audi A3 and BMW 1 series. I've finally realised the germans are getting lazy and do not posses the perfect engineering and build quality they once did.
For me my next car will be a Honda Civic 2.2 CDTi Ex with Sunroof, Leather and 18"s, you can get this spec for 19K from a broker. Similar spec GT TDi would cost 23K
I may get the odd old man joke but hey who's the fool thats paid for an overpriced underspecced VW who are afraid to take any risk on deisgn.
Anyone who is even sittng on the bench I ask you just to take one for a test drive.