Join Date: 7th June 2007
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Driving around europe in Civic
Recently completed a 3 week driving holiday in my 2 month old 2.2ex from Birmingham to Slovenia and back - a round trip of about 2200miles.
The girlfriend is from a small town near Maribor in north-east Slovenia, and we thought this year, rather than fly over Europe, we'd actually try and see a bit of it. Plus, going by road meant that I could bring back lots of beer, wine and food that would otherwise have not been possible!
As soon as we'd arrived at Calais from Dover, I switched speedo over to km. Interestingly, the clock also sets itself to the new time zone automatically via the sat nav.
Once we hit the roads of mainland Europe, I did not see a single Honda Civic - until Slovenia anyway - and that was motorway driving through France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Austria.
One of the first things I noticed was just how good TMC information is in Europe. I was expecting it not to work at all. Far from it! On the screen came fully detailed explanations of any traffic problems, such as "A3 Frankfurt south, 2 lanes closed".
Once we got into Germany, I decided to really put the ictdi to the test.
I must admit, I found autobahns rather disappointing. I drove 400 miles through Germany mostly on the A3 and found it was mostly 2 lanes. This meant you could be stuck behing a 50mph dutch caravan whilst some BMW 4x4 was doing 150mph in the fast lane. Thank god for Honda brakes. Even more so, thank god for turbodiesel acceleration!
Speaking of which, many drivers tried to intimidate us by tailgating - thinking that this must be some kind of 1.3 shoppers runabout car. One blast of turbo and you leave them for dust. I don't think other drivers fully comprehend what they're dealing with when encountering Civics.
Speedwise, as it was legal, I took the spaceship up cruising speeds of about 185km (115mph) - it just seemed to purr effortlessly and felt as if it could give plenty more.
The sat nav guided us to our stopovers of Limburg und der Lahn and Koblenz beautifully - right up to the door of our hotels.
In terms of loading, those flip up seats are a bloody marvel! As well as our ample luggage for 2, we got 80 cans of Lasko beer, 16bottles of wines, 9litres of Cockta (excellent slovenian soft drink) and much more besides.
I didn't want to overload the car.
In Slovenia, we saw 1 black Civic in Ptuj, and one at a Honda garage in Koper. Other than that, we were turning heads wherever we went! (or rather the car was)
So overall, I recommend the Civic for continental cruising - comfortable, fast yet practical - well, nothing you didn't already know!
And I still feel more like a pilot than a driver when I get in the Civic!