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This is my review of the latest MY09 (ES GT Auto) compared to my previous MY07 (EX i-shift).

Starting from the front - working backwards.

The first thing I noticed is the new, restyled lower grille. It has a small splitter at the bottom and is now painted instead of just the grey pock marked plastic. This is a definite improvement and looks far better.

This theme of painted trim now extends all round the car and is a big improvement for the detailers out there. Previously if you accidentally got polish/wax on the plastic trim it was a nightmare to remove. Doesn’t matter now as it’s paint to paint so you polish the whole lot.

Higher up we all know about the new ‘black eyes’ area. In the flesh this doesn’t look out of place and I certainly will not be changing it to the previous setup. The central “H” logo is no longer behind perspex but is now prominent with small, black painted gaps around it so a few more seconds cleaning in the gaps is required, probably removing flies and the like, no big deal.

The standard alloy wheels look better but are a devil to clean as there are now 10 spokes instead of 5 and it’s more difficult to get behind them.
The standard tyres have been changed from Michelin to Bridgestone. Not being a speed freak this is of no importance to me. As long as they last well and do the job. Road noise appears to be no different from previous.

Talking of noise, the bottom edge of each door now has another rubber defence all the way along the bottom. Not investigated this too closely to see where this is supposed to seal against. After the first wash though the water seemed to drain out of the door bottom as expected so hopefully this is not another ‘rubber bung’ issue because they are in the same place.

My dealer is still among those not reading the PDI service bulletins as I still had the plastic clips with foam inserts present under the car near the jacking points. Only found 4 this time instead of the previous 6. I’ll have another scour later.

The PDI wasn’t the best as the tyre pressures were all over the shop with the highest being 36.5 instead of 30! Not to mention the wonky rear number plate, also now sorted. Oh, and the un-initialised front electric windows (auto function didn’t work), also now sorted thanks to the Wiki guide. The carpet mats will be mentioned later.

The front door handles are just as clunky (passengers side more so) as before and she still has some difficulty getting in. Seemed strange to me as the showroom models seemed easier to open.

Moving inside:

The first thing I noticed is the more resilient seat fabric and the fact that the seats are now totally black and not silver/black as before. This looks far better. Slight snag though, if you place anything on the passenger seat it now slips around on the shiny surface whereas the previous velour held items in place. Just a small drawback though and I certainly would not want to go back to velour. The harder wearing fabric also finds itself on the centre console and the door cards.

The dashboard piano black beside the rev counter has been replaced with a better, harder wearing material which doesn’t show any marks after cleaning. Also in this area is the button to turn on/off the factory installed rear parking sensors. This button has a permanent green led when they are turned on, but fortunately for me the steering wheel obliterates it.

On the auto models the temperature gauge has gone and is replaced with the auto’s available selection of gears from ‘1’ to ‘P’ and what gear you have selected. Also in this area are 2 new temperature icon’s. At first I didn’t spot the new icon’s so hopefully any temperature problems also light up somewhere else.

When you first start the car the blue temperature icon illuminates. This soon turns off in under 1 minute as the water warms (don’t see the point in this as I know the water is still cold from start!). Personally I would have preferred the original temp gauge and for the selected gear to be displayed where the i-shift used to display them.
The previous i-shift gear display area is higher than the steering wheel and is therefore always visible. Where it is now positioned is occasionally blocked when the steering wheel is not central (e.g. when at an angle before reversing into a driveway from the road, sort of 3 point turn scenario). I’m often finding myself having to change position to view the display to make sure I have reverse selected behind a steering wheel spoke. Yes, you can look to the gearstick position itself but it’s not that clear at a quick glance. As I mentioned in another post, I selected neutral by accident instead of ‘D’ on my test drive.

I’m not sure whether it’s me or whether it has been changed on the ES v EX but one of the first things I noticed when driving from the dealer forecourt was that the steering wheel seemed slippery. I’m thinking that the EX was leather and I’ve now got PVC?

The central information display now contains a specific display for the parking sensors. When reverse is selected the display changes to a top down picture of a car (like the door-open symbol). When a sensor detects an object, as well as the audible alert, it also visibly shows the sensor(s) that are picking up the object(s).

The only other change I have noticed is a new feature that displays HFT details within the central information area when you make a call. This new display features the number you’ve called, a picture of a telephone, the battery level of the paired phone and its signal strength. Not received a call yet but I assume it changes to this display as well.

Moving down, the previous silver plastic trim has been changed to a darker silver/grey that matches well with the black seats and other trim, another nice touch.

The additional floor mats (if supplied) now anchor to the carpets directly via plastic clips that attach via 2 slots and clip together to hold them firmly in place (or not, as my dealers PDI just slotted them in at one end). The carpet mats then have holes to accept the twist-locks on the anchors. Personal preference – I preferred the old arrangement. The new arrangement provides anchors for both sides. My previous passengers mat never moved anyway and the new clips do hold the outer edges slightly proud of the carpet. Not as neat as before.

Inside the centre console are 3 new sockets:

Power Socket (would have preferred 2 but that’s being picky)
Aux socket (not sure what this actually connects to as I’ll probably never use it)
USB socket (not quite) the socket is bespoke and a lead is supplied that has the female USB socket at the end. This means that your USB device waggles around the centre console as the lead is quite stiff but still pliant. I suppose the thought here is that it is easier to locate and plug into when it’s proud of the console when open.

There is a new facility within the SatNav controls that allows you to download your mobile phone phonebook. Can’t comment on this as my Nokia 6300, whilst a quite modern phone, isn’t compatible, so it’s back to manual loading.

The manual loading exercise was better than previous though. On the MY07 I couldn’t get a complete phone number into memory in one go. I had to do partial numbers and use the ‘continue’ function to load the rest of each individual phone number. With the MY09 it took the whole phone number in one operation.
I don’t know whether they have fixed the HFT mic roof interference as I immediately applied my foam fix to the gap between the microphone and the grill. I did this because the mic area looked no different to previous.

The climate control seems more accurate than previous. On the MY07, if I wanted the inside to be 21°C then I needed to select 19°C (measured via a digital thermometer with a +/- 1°C tolerance). On the MY09, selecting the required temperature seems to do the trick. I’ve yet to test this in various different weather conditions but early results are promising.

Back outside:

At the rear the central “H” badge in the tailgate is also now slightly proud of the surface and not behind the perspex. The reversing lights are wider but I’ve not noticed any improvement in the brightness or coverage but that may be just me. The rear diamond cut panel incorporating the exhaust cut outs has been replaced with a smooth painted panel and on the galaxy grey looks far better as it’s quite a close match and is easier to clean. Also applicable here is the accidental polish/wax problem that no longer exists.

The main changes for me though are the i-shift to auto and the suspension tweaks.

The auto is a very welcome change and with steady acceleration can be persuaded to be almost CVT in nature with the effect that it is just one gear with almost invisible changes. Having available power 100% of the time has brought a smile back to my face.

The suspension has been somewhat tweaked and is now far smoother than before. Even when it does encounter rough surfaces it deals with them effortlessly and silently when compared to the MY07. I almost forgot that front wheel drive cars can produce a front lift/rear dip when accelerating. This phenomenon is now back with the more supple suspension and it feels good.

These 2 improvements alone have turned the Civic into a very enjoyable car to drive.

Honda may have done something deliberate or it may just be accidental:

Now I have my Talex fitted I have noticed that the speedo is slightly more accurate. Previously it used to under-read by about 5mph throughout the range, now it is closer to 2 or 3mph depending on speed.

Fuel consumption is about 2mpg lower which I sort of expected and is well worth it. However, this is comparing a new, tight engine and other components. Maybe once it wears in it could be almost like for like with my driving style.

If you hate the i-shift or the suspension is wearing you down and your about to change, do get a lengthy test drive in the latest models.



Footnote: Hopefully I will have some time tomorrow (Tuesday) to take and upload some pictures of changed areas.
 

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Arfurs right hand man
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Great review there Krem and glad you are happier with the new model.

Re the clunky door handles, try 'winding in' the rubber bungs on the doors a small amount, this adjusts the door closing clearance and can often lessen the 'clunk'.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the tip :D

When the doors are open there is little or no resistance - I should have thought of that.

ps: It wasn't Dan's place (Newton Honda) that did the PDI
 

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Bournemouth Belle
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A very interesting read - I hope the improvements continue for the next model as I won't be changing mine for another 3 1/2 years!
 

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Civic gone, not forgotten
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Very thorough review Krem, I am glad you are happy with your purchase.
 

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My other woman is my CTR
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great review... couple of points...
I thought you could upload phonebook on the 09 satnav system but my dealer told me this is only on new accord. when looked in the handbook it only has instruction for vie manual voice operated phonebook. does the new civic system definitely have this option? if so how is it operated? thanks

also I think the microphone has been improved as I have not touched mine and it works threat deal better than my 08 car.

cheers

Ant.
 

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My other woman is my CTR
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just come out to try this and found the phonebook menu on the info button! amazing! first it didn't upload any numbers but then I copied all my numbers from sim card to phone memory and tried again... it worked! so I would suggest trying this to all with different phones. the phone I just tried was an htc touch hd running windows mobile. thanks! im very chuffed with this new feature!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This site Honda Handsfree will indicate whether your phone is compatible with the Honda HFT.

The chart below from the above link shows that my phone isn't compatible with the phonebook :(
 

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Discussion Starter #12
At the moment 41 (on the trip comp). That's after 250 miles and one fill up.


:bumpity:

Photos added to first post.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The passenger wiper blade does seem to be the same length as it leaves a large unswept area at the top.

Why can't I edit any of my posts in this thread?

I could last weekend.
 

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Krem,

Nice summary. What you are seeing is the result of Honda listening to its customers and dealers, and tweaking the car over the years. Incidentally, I think the speedo changed from horribly inaccurate to slightly-overreading in mid 08 (but I'll check on this).

Hope this one brings some more enjoyment than the last!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks :)

I still can't edit any of my posts in this thread though !

I want to remove the bit about the length of n/s wiper blade because it is the same length. I think the angle of the wipers at rest is slightly different to before hence the need to lift them from the glass in a set order.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've already had a PM from a mod - all in the pipeline thanks :)

ps: the photos may be used at will by anyone interested
 

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A very good write up there Kremmen! ;)

Personally I still don't like the new style grill arrangement and particularly not the redesigned new smooth lower rear panel, polishing troubles or not.
 

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Nice review! Having a MY09 version as well, I agree with you it's a great car to drive! So far the best car I've owned.

For the USB-stick: you can put the stick in the small square area just below the connectors. It works very well in my car, I can put my wife's USB stick in that area as well when I'm listening to the music on my own stick (just a lightly different music taste, metal vs. black metal). It doesn't waggle around in this case.

Yesterday I had to pick up a bicycle for my son and was very happy I have a Honda. The magic seats really work, the bike fitted even without removing the front wheel!

IMHO the colourcoded areas around the wheels. For sure the best looking familycar of this moment.
 
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