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Onto my second Civic
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Following earlier examples, I thought I'd offer a report on how my Alabaster Silver 1.8 SE and I are getting along after four weeks together.

One month on and I’m pleased to say that I'm still captivated by the exterior styling; I've always looked for something different in the outward appearance of a car, nothing outrageous but something enough to set it apart, and I think the 2006 Civic delivers handsomely on this point. I find that it any car park, be it at the gym, the local train station or the wasteland where I pay £4 a day to park in central Leeds, the Civic stands out where most other cars fade into the background. I don't have an ounce of regret as far as the image and styling goes and I think it’s the major selling point of the car. One thing I didn't notice about the car at purchase time was just how big it is…particularly at the rear. It does seem to stick out like the suspiciously big kid at a nursery!

Initially I had some difficulty driving the car. As an earlier post of mine details, I found the organ type gas pedal unusual and the clutch liable to push unless each gear was hit at precisely the right speed. I'm pleased to say that I'm now finding the pedals a little easier, and the gears have loosened off a little. There's still a slight drag when moving from second to third but it's nothing major. I have found the lower gears a bit shallow though: the car will comfortably sit in fourth at 30mph. I just adore how the 1.8 pulls in the higher revs and the car definitely feels smoother with Super Unleaded in the tank. There can be a slight lag but the car sure can punch forward on demand. It’s still a little early to comment on the economy as I’m only on my third tank but 35mpg isn’t bad when I think about how many times I’ve booted it along the local dual carriageway. I do think the ride is a little firm but feel it's probably best with such an eager engine at the head. One month in though and I’m still getting excited each time I turn the key: it is that much fun to drive.

As others have mentioned, the pillars either side of the massive windscreen can be a little intrusive but I haven't found this as much of a problem as the compromised view through the rear window. In short I've found myself relying on the wing mirrors to compensate for the disrupted view through the back. It just doesn't feel right how the spoiler cuts the window in two just in line with my vision, and I do find myself peering above and below to try and make out what's behind me. It has proved useful for blotting out grim faced tailgaters though. If I haven't bashed the rear window enough already, it also takes forever to de-mist and the lack of a rear wiper means that in heavy rain the view is next to useless. I think this'll have to go down as a mild dislike. The boot is far bigger than I need it to be and the lack of a spare doesn't concern me at all, the space beneath the carpet has sure stopped my groceries rolling around. I have received an unexpected shower or two when raising the tailgate after heavy rain though. Interior space is good, no, make that very good. It really is a four adult car.

I opted for the leather trim in my SE as I thought the standard seat fabric atrocious: there's nothing I dislike more than fabric that accumulates every speck of dust and clothing fibre within ten metres. As I'm sure I've mentioned in every other post, the leather is alluring and looks pristine: do not buy your Civic without it! Beyond the leather though things ain't so good, the dashboard on my car is being replaced tomorrow due to a number of scratches that were there from day one, I'm pleased to say that the dealer offered to do this as soon as I pointed out that the marks were indeed scratches, and not the greasy marks I initially thought them to be. Though the new dash will be scratch free (hopefully) the issue of the material attracting dust like sweeties attract my 3 year old nephew is bound to remain. It's well document on the forum that the material is highly prone to scratches; the dealer has urged me to use nothing more than a micro fibre duster and I intend to do just that. On the appearance front the dash simply can't be faulted; in line with the exterior the appearance is a step forward without going too far. The controls are laid out beautifully and, hey, if that red button doesn't brighten up your day, I ain't sure what will. Beyond the dash the interior is reasonable without being impressive. I have noted how the plastic around the seats and doors has a cheap, recycled feel to it and seems to mark very easily. I expected more from a Honda. I also wish I had some "follow me home" headlights and I do think Honda is being miserly by not providing front fogs as standard. I'm also unimpressed by the lack of side protectors: I'm none too keen on the way car manufacturers seem to be providing less and less as standard by simply moving things to the options list at extra cost. Though not a great user of the stereo I eagerly rushed a handful of CDs into the car as soon as I got it home. I was to be disappointed though, and would describe the sound quality as thin; again I expected more. Yes, the interior is good Honda, but it could have been better.

Anyhow, to summarise:

Good:

Near perfect exterior styling
Keen and beefy 1.8
Sturdy handling
Gorgeous leather seats
That indescribably fantastic red button
A reassuring feel of mechanical quality
Generous interior space
A pleasure to pilot

Not so good:

Intrusive front pillars
Tinny stereo
Cheap looking plastic in the interior
Honda skimping on what other manufacturers provide as standard
Compromised rear view

Downright bad:

The dusty, scratch prone, P45 deserving dashboard

And to conclude...

:D :D :D
 

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Nice write up JB75. I agree with the rear view. Others like the spoiler positioned as it is because it stops dazzle at night. Personally, I'd rather have a better view out back, and auto dimming mirrors.
Apart from that, it's a cracking car.
 

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I would add to the 'good':

Quality door shut 'clunk'
Wonderful diesel engine
Well laid out controls


And I would add to the 'bad':

Dreadful imitation aluminium trim
Road noise
Insensitive radio
Poor 'hands free' (as standard)
 
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