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Review: Driven: 2012 Honda Civic i-DTEC review and pictures | evo

Well the first thing to say is that – if you’re keen on the idea of a Civic - you should buy the 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel. That might sound like sacrilege when you have the alternative option of an petrol engine with the letters VTEC in its name, but sadly the thrashy 148bhp 1.8-litre petrol is just too gutless to make driving it enjoyable. The diesel isn’t a corker in terms of refinement, but it will at least get you up a mild incline without multiple downshifts, and throttle response is good.

As you’d expect, a standard chassis Civic is not going to set the performance world on fire. Having said that, the ride is pleasingly supple without feeling wallowy (although it struggles slightly through bigger suspension movements at speed), the steering is engagingly direct and overall it feels nicely judged. The pedals are well spaced too and the manual gearshift is relatively close across the gate, so if you found yourself on a decent bit of road it certainly wouldn’t be horribly frustrating. Most importantly, it should ride well on British roads too.
 

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9G. EVO review of 2012 Civic

9G. EVO review of 2012 Civic

Driven: 2012 Honda Civic i-DTEC review and pictures | evo


EVO conclusions consistent with Pottsy's review.


I doubt the fluid filled bushes will be enought to deal with the big holes in our roads. They only smooth out the small stuff. IRS and plenty of well controlled suspension travel is needed for the bigger holes.
 

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For a magazine that is supposed to be aimed at the enthusiast driver, I find it amazing that they have a problem with changing gears. Nailing a four pot petrol to the redline is a great driving experience. Next they'll be recommending slush-box autos.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Did he have a problem changing gears?

He mentioned "multiple downshifts" which are needed in the 1.8 (tall gearing and lack of low down grunt) and the 1.8 Auto (even taller gearing and it does it for you), and "the manual gearshift is relatively close across the gate" referring to the rather nice nature of the short throw change.
 

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Did he have a problem changing gears?

He mentioned "multiple downshifts" which are needed in the 1.8 (tall gearing and lack of low down grunt) and the 1.8 Auto (even taller gearing and it does it for you), and "the manual gearshift is relatively close across the gate" referring to the rather nice nature of the short throw change.
I didn't mean that there was a problem changing gears - I meant that they seemed to have an issue with having to do that at all...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think the point with this car is that with the 1.8 you do have to do more downshifting than you expect, because the gearing is so long. It is quite different to the 8g car. The 2.2 doesn't suffer from this.
 

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I think the point with this car is that with the 1.8 you do have to do more downshifting than you expect, because the gearing is so long. It is quite different to the 8g car. The 2.2 doesn't suffer from this.
Isn't this always the case with a petrol manual? Especially a high revving, lower torque, Honda VTEC? It is part of the driving experience. If you don't want changing gear to be part of the experience, I'd have thought an auto would have been Evo's thing. Which kind of goes against the nature of the magazine I think. Maybe I'm high and drunk.
 

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Suppose it depends on what you're comparing it against - The majority of the civics' competitors now have a smaller, turbo petrol engine in the slot where the 1.8 sits. These will provide effortless cruising though ultimately are less rewarding.

I agree it's good fun to have a high revving NA engine for the times when you want to be having a bit of fun but given the ultimate lack of power in the 1.8 or its competitors i'd say that 90% of the time something that can make easy, effortless progress is better in this class.

I'm glad they've retained the 1.8, whilst it's never going to be the engine for me it at least gives people a decent choice in the market. It's also really quite economical especially when compared to the real life mpg of engines like VW's 1.4 tsi - as with everything in life there are trade offs to be made
 

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hmmmm, I was a little fed up with noisy 1.8, now it seems it's not better and additionaly you will need to make that lever work a lot. 2.2 was my pick, but they won't sell it here. I do not feel like waiting for the 1.6 diesel.

it's parallel import or getting an accord. what do u think?
 

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"the other thing you should remember is that it’s built in Swindon. "
This made me lol Wonder what the quality will be like ?
 

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"Well the first thing to say is that – if you’re keen on the idea of a Civic - you should buy the 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel. That might sound like sacrilege when you have the alternative option of an petrol engine with the letters VTEC in its name, but sadly the thrashy 148bhp 1.8-litre petrol is just too gutless to make driving it enjoyable. The diesel isn’t a corker in terms of refinement, but it will at least get you up a mild incline without multiple downshifts, and throttle response is good."
 

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Fair enough. Strange how in actual performance they aren't that far away. Thats what torque and the perception of responsiveness gives you.
 

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Remember that the current 1.8 petrol and the 2.2 diesel Civics, only differed in the 0 -62mph by 0.2 seconds, with the diesel being the faster.

I couldn't stand it in "That Green " either.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Fair enough. Strange how in actual performance they aren't that far away. Thats what torque and the perception of responsiveness gives you.
The diesel is quite different in character. It is much more responsive (it's not a perception - it's real!) at low and mid revs than the 1.8. It's only when at full max rpm thrash that the 2 cars are similar.

The 1.8 encouraged me to drive politely, and it returned a civilised result. The 2.2 encouraged me to be somewhat rude. :)
 

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The diesel is quite different in character. It is much more responsive (it's not a perception - it's real!) at low and mid revs than the 1.8. It's only when at full max rpm thrash that the 2 cars are similar. The 1.8 encouraged me to drive politely, and it returned a civilised result. The 2.2 encouraged me to be somewhat rude. :)
Can't speak about the 9th. Gen. as it's going to be a while before it is seen here ! ...

However, I well understand the "gutless 1.8" comment regarding the 8th. Gen. (ex-works at least) - "gutless" being a subjective viewpoint (oh, all right, crap response at low revs !) ...

However, adding a K&N 57i air filter and a 3-Drive digital throttle controller made the overall response so much 'perkier' - and those who have had Elite Tuning's "ECU-cracking remap" are like dogs with 2 tails - (relatively) cheap mods., with an enormous improvement in driver pleasure ...

Having said that, what in the name of God's Holy Trousers led Honda to think that even taller gearing was "good thing" :confused: ...

(Shakes head and various other body parts, and heads for the white wine in the fridge) ...
 
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