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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I've got a petrol 1.4 SE (only 83bhp) and the engine and everything is in great shape, but it's always at the back of my mind what a 1.8 litre one or even a 2L type R would feel like regarding acceleration compared to mine.

For city driving mine is perfect, but only starts pulling stronger over 2500 rpm. Sometimes I miss that power without having to rev the engine higher.

Has anyone got experience driving a 1.4 and a stronger one to tell the difference?
 

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The 1.8 is slow below 2.5k rpm... So for city driving you might not actually notice much difference.

It's "ok" higher up in the rev range but I'm spent the last few years driving something with a lot more power so to me the 1.8 still isn't a fast car, it's fine enough for all roads you might drive on including motorways.
 

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i-Vtec
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The 1.8 has 138bhp so straight off the bat has over 50% more power than the 1.4 so will feel quicker instantly. The 1.8 always surprises, In fact just this week I realised it does over 60 in 2nd. Can't say I never noticed that before.
 

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The 1.8 is a great engine. The only time I found it lacking power was when fully laden with some big guys (inc myself) and trying to overtake on the motorway. Even then, for normal driving it never felt like it struggled at all. My daily now has ~300bhp but driving the wife’s 1.8si still feels great
 

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It's geared quite tall for what it has IMO. Although I don't know if giving it 6 speeds was for marketing or economy. It's got a fairly high top speed (almost 130mph) for a mundane hatchback.

If you can keep it on its peak torque or above its fast enough. Just suffers from the typical NA small capacity 4 cylinder issue, a bit lacking low down.

Has good power for the mpg and low maintenance costs. It won't burn clutches and turbos unlike the newer breed of small turbo petrols.
 

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2007 2.2 Cdti Civic
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Had a test drive in the 1.4 a couple of years ago when I was considering a newer car and going from the 1.8 civic it was one hell of a difference, felt absolutely gutless. Granted I used to be a contractor so that may reveal something of my driving style but wouldn’t have had confidence with overtaking and roundabouts without serious ragging.
Now on the 2.2 diesel which has some decent ooff.
 

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2013 MK9 pre facelift 1.8 TI. Eibach springs and spacers. Michelin PS4’s. Always run on VPower fuel
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Hills are where you'll mainly notice the difference plus the lower overtaking grunt.

I never found the 1.8 short of power in any situation.
The 1.8 has never pretended to be a “performance” car and was never marketed as such. For a small, light hatchback it does what it says on the tin. I have never understood the criticism of something that is what it is. I have had mine for coming up 5 years and it does everything I need it to. I came from a 260+ BHP Lexus turbo so of course it feels slower and I would be stunned if it wasn’t. 35 in 1st, 65 in 2nd and 95 in 3rd (allegedly) is more than enough for todays roads with endless traffic and speed cams and dash cams. I do feel the 1.4 would be very much a town car rather than long distances so like everything, it’s whatever suits your needs. Once you understand the engine and which gear you need to be in it’s a great car and I will be keeping mine for many years to come.
 

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My criticism of the 1.8 is unfair and yeah I'm used to cruising around in something far more powerful. For what I use the car for it's never wanting for power and yes modern roads means that any more power is excessive.

What I'll say is the 1.8 is a step up above lesser cars that need to be driven with your foot flat to the pedal as it moves around with little effort, just no huge urgency. It's a well balanced engine when running costs and power are all weighed up.

Even the FN2 will likely feel like it's lacking in regular driving as it's heavily weighted for top end punch.

Note that the 2.2D and 1.8 are equally fast against the clock. It's just the way they reach that power that is the main difference.
 

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2010 Milano Red FN2 Type R GT #R22063
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That "only starts pulling over 2,500" is common for all Honda petrol engines that aren't turbocharged. My FN2 is a quick car, but you won't really be impressed until you hit Vtec. My partner keeps up with much more potent stuff in her 1.4 Type S, to the point where she took it out on the track at Mimms Honda Day last year. After blasting round the circuit for her lap slot, we were stood talking to FN Lew (youtuber) and one of his friends came up and asked if it was her in the Silver Type S. She of course was, and he wanted to know what she'd got, a 1.8 or a 2.2 as he was struggling to out pace her. His face when she told him she only had the stock 1.4 was a look of pure disbelief.

My point I guess, is that you're driving a petrol Honda. Even that little 1.4 is built to rev, you're missing all the fun (and the point of Honda hatchbacks in general) if you're looking for low rev pull. That's more what your Fiesta Ecoboost is built towards. If you've learnt the way the car drives (it takes a recalibration of style if like me you've never had a Honda before) and want more power, then really only a Type R is going to turn your head. The 1.8 is a great engine, but even that isn't a "performance" hatch engine.
 

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From my dyno run the FN2 produces the same HP just before VTEC as the Max that the 1.8 does, only after VTEC cuts in do you get the other 60+ HP
 

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I've had an old MB6 1.8 VTi, I believe it's engine is a detuned one of what went into the legendary Integra Type R...

Problem with high revving stuff is they're hard to enjoy on public roads without appearing like an utter idiot or risking your licence/the car itself. Something with decent low end torque can be enjoyed more of the time.

But on the flip side, modern turbo petrol engines do suck somewhat for throttle response and driveability. They're a bit turbo diesel like and simply aren't as pure as NA.

To have both worlds as in nice throttle response and low down power you need larger CC and more cylinders. That costs money in every way and simply isn't popular anymore.

As much as I enjoyed my old MB6 I got bored as it wasn't accessable. This was 15 odd years ago when I was younger and more willing to drive faster too...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That "only starts pulling over 2,500" is common for all Honda petrol engines that aren't turbocharged. My FN2 is a quick car, but you won't really be impressed until you hit Vtec. My partner keeps up with much more potent stuff in her 1.4 Type S, to the point where she took it out on the track at Mimms Honda Day last year. After blasting round the circuit for her lap slot, we were stood talking to FN Lew (youtuber) and one of his friends came up and asked if it was her in the Silver Type S. She of course was, and he wanted to know what she'd got, a 1.8 or a 2.2 as he was struggling to out pace her. His face when she told him she only had the stock 1.4 was a look of pure disbelief.

My point I guess, is that you're driving a petrol Honda. Even that little 1.4 is built to rev, you're missing all the fun (and the point of Honda hatchbacks in general) if you're looking for low rev pull. That's more what your Fiesta Ecoboost is built towards. If you've learnt the way the car drives (it takes a recalibration of style if like me you've never had a Honda before) and want more power, then really only a Type R is going to turn your head. The 1.8 is a great engine, but even that isn't a "performance" hatch engine.
What I noticed is, that when I rev the engine and changing gear accordingly, I can accelerate pretty fast and had no issue joining motorways uphill or taking over others. I just use higher rev and lower gear. After all these comments (thanks for all by the way!), it looks like I'll be fine even with my 1.4 for now as I kinda enjoy revving the engine. Not sure what others think around me, but doesn't even bother, I'm just hoping the police won't stop me when see me getting up to speed really quick and with some noise. Which is not speeding, but it might seem to be 'dangerous driving' for them with all that sound :)
 

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2010 Milano Red FN2 Type R GT #R22063
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What I noticed is, that when I rev the engine and changing gear accordingly, I can accelerate pretty fast and had no issue joining motorways uphill or taking over others. I just use higher rev and lower gear. After all these comments (thanks for all by the way!), it looks like I'll be fine even with my 1.4 for now as I kinda enjoy revving the engine. Not sure what others think around me, but doesn't even bother, I'm just hoping the police won't stop me when see me getting up to speed really quick and with some noise. Which is not speeding, but it might seem to be 'dangerous driving' for them with all that sound :)
That's the way! Honda made these things with one eye on motorbike engine philosophy, build it with fine tolerances and let it rev to give you the power. The 1.4 and 1.8 has a similar VTEC system to the type R but only acting on half the valves (can't remember, might be the exhaust side?) The difference being the cam profile at off cam is one tuned for economy (hence the little economy lights on the top left). On cam its much more aggressive, and opens up all that power it was holding back to save your fuel. Don't worry about noise, most of it is induction roar from airbox, and doesn't sound uncivilised from the outside. Just remember to keep it serviced well, good oil is a must for something like our cars. That addictive muffled snarl relies on you to do your part, looking after it to keep everything right. Oh and let the oil warm up if you're going to hoof it haha.

Also, there's no law that says how quickly you're allowed to accelerate, only reckless driving and speeding, so as long as you're in full control with no wheel spin and in safe surroundings, the police won't have anything to say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's the way! Honda made these things with one eye on motorbike engine philosophy, build it with fine tolerances and let it rev to give you the power. The 1.4 and 1.8 has a similar VTEC system to the type R but only acting on half the valves (can't remember, might be the exhaust side?) The difference being the cam profile at off cam is one tuned for economy (hence the little economy lights on the top left). On cam its much more aggressive, and opens up all that power it was holding back to save your fuel. Don't worry about noise, most of it is induction roar from airbox, and doesn't sound uncivilised from the outside. Just remember to keep it serviced well, good oil is a must for something like our cars. That addictive muffled snarl relies on you to do your part, looking after it to keep everything right. Oh and let the oil warm up if you're going to hoof it haha.

Also, there's no law that says how quickly you're allowed to accelerate, only reckless driving and speeding, so as long as you're in full control with no wheel spin and in safe surroundings, the police won't have anything to say.
Yes, the car has been maintained pretty well. For the MOT the only issue was the rubber on the track-rod-end ball joint. Had a full service too and they replaced oil with Mobil Super Formula X1 FE 5W-30. I took it to Honda as well and put new iridium plugs in, also changed transmission fluid, flushed and replaced brake fluid and coolant. Always warming up engine before setting off.

So after reading your comment I feel like this 1.4 is just fine for my everyday commute and maybe a few trips abroad next summer.

I'm excited to drive it 'properly' now. ;)
 

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My 1.8 is surprising nippy when it’s just me in the car… with a family of 4 you can forget trying to over take anything. On the other hand my 2.2 could be towing my 1.8 and still have a load of grunt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My 1.8 is surprising nippy when it’s just me in the car… with a family of 4 you can forget trying to over take anything. On the other hand my 2.2 could be towing my 1.8 and still have a load of grunt!
What's the average mpg of your 2.2?
 

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2010 Milano Red FN2 Type R GT #R22063
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Yes, the car has been maintained pretty well. For the MOT the only issue was the rubber on the track-rod-end ball joint. Had a full service too and they replaced oil with Mobil Super Formula X1 FE 5W-30. I took it to Honda as well and put new iridium plugs in, also changed transmission fluid, flushed and replaced brake fluid and coolant. Always warming up engine before setting off.

So after reading your comment I feel like this 1.4 is just fine for my everyday commute and maybe a few trips abroad next summer.

I'm excited to drive it 'properly' now. ;)
Sounds like you have not only have a good example but are also doing exactly the right thing for it going forward. As I write this, Pitlane and I have just driven up from Essex to King's Lynn in her 1.4 Type S. She had a bit of fun on the fenland roads, and was chill the rest of the time. Its parked up now with 44mpg on the dial. The perfect car for our little adventures, as its has the economy to get us around without stopping at the pumps, but the sportiness to be fun when the roads are safe to do so. I do feel though at some point she'll upgrade to a Type R ;)
 
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