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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I've had my 1.8L Automatic VTI-S Civic Hatch (Australia) for 6 months now and I'd thought I'd do a review outlining the pros (+ve) and cons (-ve) of this car. The VTI-S is equivalent to the SE model except that Bluetooth and Cruise control is not available as standard.

My previous Honda cars are an 8G Civic sedan (Thai build) and 8G Accord (Japan build) sedan so I will compare with those cars on some of the points.

From reading the review, it would appear that I am really criticising the car, but I am quite willing to ignore the shortcomings. Believe it or not, I actually bought the car without seeing the car in person first. My car is part of the first shipment to Australia and stocks were quite limited. 8G and 9G Civic Hatches are a rare sight on Australian roads and I want something different to the ubiquitous Toyota Corolla (Auris).


Pros:
Lower window under the rear spoiler is now glass so it can be tinted.

DRL makes the car stand out, especially in dull weather.

Dashboard layout overall (digital speedometer and iMid) is quite good. A step up from my Civic sedan.

Ipod/Iphone connectivity good with album artwork displayed on screen.

Engine is quiet and smooth when not revved excessively hard. Fuel economy is especially good on long journeys on motorways. Better economy than Civic sedan (same basic engine).

Interior is fairly quiet (quieter than Civic sedan , almost as quiet as Accord)

Transmission is smooth (shifts better than Civic sedan, not quite as smooth as the Accord).

Magic seats are quite versatile.

Headlights are bright and can be adjusted for height.

Build quality is solid especially the interior. I have had door, hatch door trims and dashboard pulled apart and re-assembled. There are many screws and clips to hold bits together tightly. Only minor issue is some very slight squeaking from the headliner on rough roads. Far superior build to my Civic sedan and almost as good as the Accord.

Interior trim quality and materials is good for the price. For comparison, the new 9G Civic sedan does not have soft touch materials and the trim quality is dreadful. However, the new 2013 release (in the US first) will rectify these shortcomings.

Have not had the door mirror wind noise issue affecting some cars.

Handling is what I would describe as sort of sporty. Suspension is relatively stiff but not uncomfortable. The ride can get a bit jittery at high speeds on the motorways though. Due to OEM tyres, I have to increase the PSI to get decent grip, which exacerbates the hard ride issue. Once I get good tyres, I can run at normal PSI. Handling better than Civic sedan but not as good as Accord.

Seatbelt warning system is good. Front passenger seat has a occupant sensor so you know if the passenger is not wearing seatbelt.

Tyre wear has been good and I'm fairly hard on tyres.

Boot space for a hatch is excellent.

The B pillar door trims are plastic which means they are replaceable if they ever get damaged. Most cars have black tape on the frame in this area.

Have not had many stone chips on the paintwork so far.

Brakes stop the car fairly well and are not overly sensitive.

Cons:
There is an annoying "step" under the front seats which reduces some legroom. Civic sedan didn't have this?

There is hardly any foot space under the front seats for rear passengers. The centre seat in the rear is rock hard. Civic sedan had plenty of space under the front seat.

Why is there no sliding feature in the centre console armrest? I really miss this.

If you have big feet, the top of the shoe can occasionally snag the re-inforcement beam which is located above the brake pedals.

Rear visibility is average but you get used to it. Rear wiper is not really necessary.

Wiper blades leave lines on the screen.

Fast idle on cold startup can catch you unawares when exiting out of a garage or parking spot with minimal throttle (the car can surge forward).

Low down torque is a bit lacking but this is overcome by the use of the steering wheel paddles. The car is surprisingly brisk when using paddles.

Standard 4 speaker sound system is nothing special. Especially comparing to the excellent OEM system in the Accord. I heard that the 7 speaker system in the ES and above is better though.


No door sill protector is standard, however, you can get Honda or aftermarket sill protectors (I have the ones with the blue backlit Civic logo).

No cooled glovebox like 8G Civic hatch and 8G Accord sedan.

Why is the lower portion of the tailgate plastic? I heard this was the same with the 8G hatch.

The one thing that spoils the car is the lack of a side skirt to hide the unsightly underbody coating in that area.

Hand brake on passenger side.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Forgot to add,

ECON mode is a waste of time, it "softens" the throttle and shortens the operating cycle of the airconditioner (making it uncomfortable in Auto mode). Fuel economy is not much different, especially if you use paddle shift to override.
 

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Nice review, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
12 month update.
1) No additional squeaks or rattles (apart from the initial minor headliner squeak).
2) From new the car had a somewhat nervous feeling when braking hard on the motorway or at high speed. This was rectified by a wheel alignment.


Mods so far:
OEM bluetooth
OEM footwell lights
OEM illuminated door sill
Upgraded OEM door speakers
AutoDAB / Honda OEM digital radio kit (Coming soon).

Dislikes:

1) The gap between the front seats and centre console is very narrow. Once a coin drops into the gap it is very difficult to retrieve. Vacuuming that section is almost impossible, even with a crevice tool. Indeed I have ordered some new seat bolts for the passenger seat. I need to remove the seat as I know a coin has dropped down there and lodged under the seat rail.
2) Wipers are now starting to smear and haze after each pass of the wiper. Unable to fix with windscreen additives.
3) new model 9G had a significant price reduction and got extra features in base model- cruise control, iMid bluetooth, tweeter, reverse camera, undertray in boot. :( . Never buy the first series of any car.

Likes:

1) Best build quality (by far) of any car I've owned.
2) 9Gs are very popular now
3) DRLs provide safety as you are seen by others
 

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Who is buying car in base model? Difference between comfort and elegance(in Latvija) is about 1500 eur, but diference in extras ir huge(bluetooth, key operating mirrors, windows, alarm, rain sensor, leather steering wheel,camera, fog lights,) :confused:
 

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The diesel "sport" edition have more extras from the same petrol edition. Bluetooth and double zone a/c
(In Greece)
In Belgium also... I have such one

Greetings,
Dark Flemish
 

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Weird, overhere petrol and diesel sport are the same spec. I am not sure about 1.6 though since it's not yet on sale.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
18 month update. (30k kms).

- No squeaks or rattles to report.
- Squeak above headlining disappeared.
- one cracked DRL due to stonechip, ordered one from the UK and replaced this myself.
- broken + paddle shift lever (switch broken) due to overly excessive use of this function
- clunk sound on engine startup or car weight shift when driving (i believe engine mounts or something loose). Hope to get fixed next service.
- Trim, plastics, seats etc holding up very well. Minimal scuffs, scratches or wear.
- oil / coolant usage minimal
- no other issues to report





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Discussion Starter #11
18 month update. (30k kms).

- No squeaks or rattles to report.
- Squeak above headlining disappeared.
- one cracked DRL due to stonechip, ordered one from the UK and replaced this myself.
- broken + paddle shift lever (switch broken) due to overly excessive use of this function
- clunk sound on engine startup or car weight shift when driving (i believe engine mounts or something loose). Hope to get fixed next service.
- Trim, plastics, seats etc holding up very well. Minimal scuffs, scratches or wear.
- oil / coolant usage minimal
- no other issues to report


Paddle shift unit and one engine mount to be replaced under warranty for next service. Got a new (old model) Jazz to drive for the day of my service and you immediately notice (and appreciate) how much more refined and better quality the Civic is. If the 10G comes with a Turbo I will definitely get one next time.




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Discussion Starter #13
About £280 including shipping from UK to Australia (Lings Honda). Not cheap at all but I couldn't Iive with an ugly cracked DRL. If you are in Europe it will be cheaper shipping.


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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
A 75000km 3.5 year update:
- There are no dashboard , trim, headliner, seat squeaks or rattles to report. I have pulled apart the dash many times to install and remove audio head units and accesssories etc.
- Paintwork is in good condition considering I have only hand washed the car once or twice when it was new. After that, I was using the touchless automated car wash once every two months. Still has the water beading effect on paintwork after some rain, like a car that has just been waxed. Hardly any stone chips on front bumper or bonnet.
- The car handles long distance journeys with ease, without discomfort or fatigue. Earlier this year, over a 2 week period I drove 3000Kms.
- Seats are in great shape, with no wear and tear.
- Carpet has some wear in the drivers foot well in areas where it is not covered by the floor mats.
- If the drivers window is half open and you then close it, it makes a loud cracking sound inside the door, like if the regulator or rails are jammed and then it frees itself. Also noticed when the car is turning some corners, I would hear a similar cracking sound even when the window is closed.
- The panel that surrounds the audio volume/source/ track/menu buttons on the steering wheel is now flexing; every time I press any of the buttons on that panel it makes a cheap squeaky and popping sound.
- Soft touch dash surfaces and plastic trims have held up well.
- Third wiper blade change so far, it is not very durable rubber as the windsreen smears fairly soon and the blade will make that screeching sound on the window if wiper speed is set too high
- The dealer recently replaced an imbalanced idler pulley under warranty as there were vibrations of the car when idle. A possible side effect (but not sure if it is related or not) is that the car is now very eager to kickdown (with no throttle lag), when throttle is pressed to the floor. It is better than when the car was new and certainly much better than the 8G sedan; in that car you would literally have to floor the throttle 2 -3 seconds before you pulled out of the lane to overtake on a motorway for example.
- The car's ride seems less supple than when the car was newer, I suppose there is wear and tear of suspension components and shocks/springs. Note I am considered to be an enthusiastic driver so I fully expect this. The handling is still good considering the type of car it is.
- The brake pads and rotors don't last very long (especially the rears). It must be the ESC working overtime.
- Nothing else to report, the car has been quite reliable.
- I will be driving the 9G for one more year. Overall I am still very happy with the car and it definitely is the best Honda so far for me (after 2 other Honda cars). Am undecided what to get next, could be a 10G turbo Civic hatch (depending on how the styling turns out), or a 2016 Subaru WRX CVT sedan (a very different type of car but I would like to try out another Japanese brand and also AWD).





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That's a pretty comprehensive recap :thumbsup;

Mostly all posiitve too, just the normal niggles you would expect with age/mileage.
 

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Well done on full recap. Glad to hear all going well for you, hope it continues to treat u well.
 

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My late 2012 build VTiL Civic hatch has now got 45,000 Kms up and other than some small corrections done under warranty when it was less than a year old the car has been 100% reliable plus it has been solid without rattles. The only major issue with this car is the very short brake life. Overall, miles better to own than the two VW Golfs I had prior to this.
 
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