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Review of my Trip to Belgium and back.

I thought I would let you know my thoughts after a 2000 km drive to Belgium and back.

Getting the car

Getting a new car is always exciting and getting my new civic was probably the best of them all. It’s different than most cars out there today which makes it fun to own. I have already had many comments about the car looking fantastic from both people I know and people who see it on the street and just have to comment.

We had planned to go to Belgium to see some friends and to be honest with all the stories on here about delays etc I was convinced we would be going in our Fabia. It’s not that it would have been a problem; just it has a smaller engine and would take longer. Plus, I wanted to try out the civic over a long journey.

So to my surprise the car arrived in the middle of December. I was pleasantly surprised to get it then as I had already been waiting for 4 months. When I saw the car I was really glad that we had changed the colour to black as it looked amazing, with even the dealer telling me it was one of the best looking they had seen. I think it was because we had gone for black exterior with beige interior and it contrasted really well. Plus the glass roof really makes the car feel lighter and bigger. We love having the car blinds open all the time!

We had also been given a huge amount of extras and the most effective extra was the silver strips at the front and the back which makes the car stand out next to other black civics. I am glad that I chose that option. The parking sensors are really very good and informative and a lot better than the ones in my Fabia. Overall I was very impressed with the car.

Also, I have to praise my dealer who really did impress my wife and I with their customer service. As I have said on here, Customer service in Poland is not the best but these guys tried there best and scored very highly indeed. They were honest, upfront about everything and professional. Even to the point where the owner of the dealership, who speaks fluent English, came to the dealership especially on the day I was to pick up the car as my wife couldn’t be with me so that if there were any problems he could help me. For Poland it was amazing customer service.

Preparing for the journey

We had planned the journey to Belgium in August ( it wasn’t dependent on getting the civic) and we had hoped that we would have the car as the dealer had promised. I picked the car up on the 14th December and we were to travel to Belgium on 28th December. So I read the Wiki and the ‘How to run in your engine’ instructions and on the day I got it I set about carrying out the instructions and I could feel the difference as I was doing it. I wanted to make sure the engine was in the best condition it could be for the trip.

Comfort & Ride

I had read that the seats were uncomfortable and the ride was unbearable – but both my wife and I felt the car was comfortable and the ride wasn’t that unbearable as had been mentioned and we are driving on polish roads – which are really not the best!

Yes the ride is hard but not as hard as I thought it was going to be. In fact, there are some places where the civic feels a lot softer than my fabia. So we are both very pleased.

The Journey itself

So, we set off from home to go to Belgium taking in a little detour to pick up a Sat Nav system to help us get to our friends. The added about 2 hours to our journey but proved very helpful as the Sat Nav system 'i-go' was very helpful and accurate.

Immediately we could feel the car wanting to drive and I had been struggling to keep within the speed limits as the car seemed so quiet and refined that I sometimes had to slow down on the city roads as I was well over the speed limit without realising.

The acceleration is amazing, even though it only had about 1000km on it and I hadn't really revved it as I didn't want to rev it so hard so early. But the car just wanted to go and even though I wasn't accelerating hard it still moved very quickly. I do try to have as many eco lights on as possible as I want good fuel economy.

The first part of the journey through Poland is on what would be called A roads and the car handled the bends, turns and speed in it's stride amazing my wife with how comfortable she felt even though we were going round lots of bends. With Poland having joined Shengan only a week before this speeded our journey up considerably.

We entered Germany and the autobahn network were I could let the car go a little - not too much with such a young engine - but not to little either. I put my foot down and soon found myself doing 180km/h without even thinking and not feeling the speed either. I decided to have some fun on the way there but to drive a little more economically on the way back. So, on the way there I was driving between 150 - 180km/h ( my dealer asked my why so gentle!!!!) and I still got 8.2l/100km which I thought was pretty good.

What I have forgotten to tell you is that the car was fully loaded with stuff for our friends in Belgium, and we had been asked to take a couple of things for them from our friends brother who lives in the same city as us. Well when we arrived to pick it up there was loads of stuff. It all went in the boot - which surprised our friends brother and us. All we had to do was lift the smaller of the back seats and put our bags there. On the way back we had done some shopping in Belgium and were asked to bring back a microwave oven. Again we didn't think it would all go in the boot, but this time everything including our bags went in to the boot - amazing!

The journey took 12 hours there using 'i-go' sat nav which was really good until we got to Belgium where it couldn't find where our friends lived. When we arrived at our friends house we didn't feel any effects of driving for so long, no aches or pains and we didn't feel tired at all. A lot better than our fabia.

I drove a little in Belgium but our friend did most of the driving in his company car - saves us money! He also drove the civic and was really impressed with it. He had considered buying one himself but was not happy with the rear suspension - although he had not test driven one! He drove mine and told me that he was very impressed.

I was surprised that people drive so slowly in Belgium - but is that because I live in Poland where speed saves lives!

On the journey back I drove a steady 150km/h and the eco lights were on between 2 and 4 lights. When I got back the fuel economy was 7.9l/100km which I didn't think was bad at all.

When I got back from my journey the car had done 3000km and had to go to the dealer to have the oil changed. We were told that it must be done and we had been told the same with our fabia too. So I took it in yesterday and had the oil and filter changed at a cost in poland of 450pln (around £95). Worth it if it stops any problems as in our fabia.

Conclusion

Both my wife and I think the car is wonderful. We are amazed at the economy ( matching our fabia around town ) and the way it looks. The car is the best car we have had and so we are pleased about that after reading stuff on here. I have no rattles, no problems and I drive in poland which has terrible roads. The only thing that niggles me are the wing mirrors - the seem to get dirty VERY easily on the motorway when it was raining and snowing, which makes it a little difficult to overtake.

I have that after nearly 1 month of ownership and 3200km I have no problems or issues to report - so I am very happy:D

So basically I love my car as you can tell by this long post - sorry![smilie=cheeky-grin:

p.s only nearly died twice on the german autobahns - once was a truck that tried to perform a ridiculous lane change without looking - the brakes were amazingly good at stopping us. The second was a dear lady who panicked and woudn't change lanes when I was joining the motorway and the end of the slip road was fast approaching.
 

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Hi great report - pleased you are another happy owner. Mine now year old and no issues - very pleased and as enthusiastic as ever about the car. Interested in how car looks with stripes. Pictures please!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
sorry may have miss typed but it has silver strips along the front bottom bumper and back bottom bumper if that helps.
 

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Review of my Trip to Belgium and back.

I thought I would let you know my thoughts after a 2000 km drive to Belgium and back.

Getting the car

Getting a new car is always exciting and getting my new civic was probably the best of them all. It’s different than most cars out there today which makes it fun to own. I have already had many comments about the car looking fantastic from both people I know and people who see it on the street and just have to comment.

We had planned to go to Belgium to see some friends and to be honest with all the stories on here about delays etc I was convinced we would be going in our Fabia. It’s not that it would have been a problem; just it has a smaller engine and would take longer. Plus, I wanted to try out the civic over a long journey.

So to my surprise the car arrived in the middle of December. I was pleasantly surprised to get it then as I had already been waiting for 4 months. When I saw the car I was really glad that we had changed the colour to black as it looked amazing, with even the dealer telling me it was one of the best looking they had seen. I think it was because we had gone for black exterior with beige interior and it contrasted really well. Plus the glass roof really makes the car feel lighter and bigger. We love having the car blinds open all the time!

We had also been given a huge amount of extras and the most effective extra was the silver strips at the front and the back which makes the car stand out next to other black civics. I am glad that I chose that option. The parking sensors are really very good and informative and a lot better than the ones in my Fabia. Overall I was very impressed with the car.

Also, I have to praise my dealer who really did impress my wife and I with their customer service. As I have said on here, Customer service in Poland is not the best but these guys tried there best and scored very highly indeed. They were honest, upfront about everything and professional. Even to the point where the owner of the dealership, who speaks fluent English, came to the dealership especially on the day I was to pick up the car as my wife couldn’t be with me so that if there were any problems he could help me. For Poland it was amazing customer service.

Preparing for the journey

We had planned the journey to Belgium in August ( it wasn’t dependent on getting the civic) and we had hoped that we would have the car as the dealer had promised. I picked the car up on the 14th December and we were to travel to Belgium on 28th December. So I read the Wiki and the ‘How to run in your engine’ instructions and on the day I got it I set about carrying out the instructions and I could feel the difference as I was doing it. I wanted to make sure the engine was in the best condition it could be for the trip.

Comfort & Ride

I had read that the seats were uncomfortable and the ride was unbearable – but both my wife and I felt the car was comfortable and the ride wasn’t that unbearable as had been mentioned and we are driving on polish roads – which are really not the best!

Yes the ride is hard but not as hard as I thought it was going to be. In fact, there are some places where the civic feels a lot softer than my fabia. So we are both very pleased.

The Journey itself

So, we set off from home to go to Belgium taking in a little detour to pick up a Sat Nav system to help us get to our friends. The added about 2 hours to our journey but proved very helpful as the Sat Nav system 'i-go' was very helpful and accurate.

Immediately we could feel the car wanting to drive and I had been struggling to keep within the speed limits as the car seemed so quiet and refined that I sometimes had to slow down on the city roads as I was well over the speed limit without realising.

The acceleration is amazing, even though it only had about 1000km on it and I hadn't really revved it as I didn't want to rev it so hard so early. But the car just wanted to go and even though I wasn't accelerating hard it still moved very quickly. I do try to have as many eco lights on as possible as I want good fuel economy.

The first part of the journey through Poland is on what would be called A roads and the car handled the bends, turns and speed in it's stride amazing my wife with how comfortable she felt even though we were going round lots of bends. With Poland having joined Shengan only a week before this speeded our journey up considerably.

We entered Germany and the autobahn network were I could let the car go a little - not too much with such a young engine - but not to little either. I put my foot down and soon found myself doing 180km/h without even thinking and not feeling the speed either. I decided to have some fun on the way there but to drive a little more economically on the way back. So, on the way there I was driving between 150 - 180km/h ( my dealer asked my why so gentle!!!!) and I still got 8.2l/100km which I thought was pretty good.

What I have forgotten to tell you is that the car was fully loaded with stuff for our friends in Belgium, and we had been asked to take a couple of things for them from our friends brother who lives in the same city as us. Well when we arrived to pick it up there was loads of stuff. It all went in the boot - which surprised our friends brother and us. All we had to do was lift the smaller of the back seats and put our bags there. On the way back we had done some shopping in Belgium and were asked to bring back a microwave oven. Again we didn't think it would all go in the boot, but this time everything including our bags went in to the boot - amazing!

The journey took 12 hours there using 'i-go' sat nav which was really good until we got to Belgium where it couldn't find where our friends lived. When we arrived at our friends house we didn't feel any effects of driving for so long, no aches or pains and we didn't feel tired at all. A lot better than our fabia.

I drove a little in Belgium but our friend did most of the driving in his company car - saves us money! He also drove the civic and was really impressed with it. He had considered buying one himself but was not happy with the rear suspension - although he had not test driven one! He drove mine and told me that he was very impressed.

I was surprised that people drive so slowly in Belgium - but is that because I live in Poland where speed saves lives!

On the journey back I drove a steady 150km/h and the eco lights were on between 2 and 4 lights. When I got back the fuel economy was 7.9l/100km which I didn't think was bad at all.

When I got back from my journey the car had done 3000km and had to go to the dealer to have the oil changed. We were told that it must be done and we had been told the same with our fabia too. So I took it in yesterday and had the oil and filter changed at a cost in poland of 450pln (around £95). Worth it if it stops any problems as in our fabia.

Conclusion

Both my wife and I think the car is wonderful. We are amazed at the economy ( matching our fabia around town ) and the way it looks. The car is the best car we have had and so we are pleased about that after reading stuff on here. I have no rattles, no problems and I drive in poland which has terrible roads. The only thing that niggles me are the wing mirrors - the seem to get dirty VERY easily on the motorway when it was raining and snowing, which makes it a little difficult to overtake.

I have that after nearly 1 month of ownership and 3200km I have no problems or issues to report - so I am very happy:D

So basically I love my car as you can tell by this long post - sorry![smilie=cheeky-grin:

p.s only nearly died twice on the german autobahns - once was a truck that tried to perform a ridiculous lane change without looking - the brakes were amazingly good at stopping us. The second was a dear lady who panicked and woudn't change lanes when I was joining the motorway and the end of the slip road was fast approaching.[/QUOTE]

I hate people who dont change lanes(if possible) when coming to a slip road. They dont realise how dangerous it is and what there doing.
 

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Great review!

I agree that the seats are good.

I also find that the satnav adds hours to longer trips.
Problem is it does not know the speed limits, just the "type of road" which in some parts of Europe may not map well to speed limits.

You can change the calculated speed for different types of road
in the settings, but I have not bothered playing around with this yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great review!

I agree that the seats are good.

I also find that the satnav adds hours to longer trips.
Problem is it does not know the speed limits, just the "type of road" which in some parts of Europe may not map well to speed limits.

You can change the calculated speed for different types of road
in the settings, but I have not bothered playing around with this yet.
The problem was that it was taking us down motorways that hadn't even been finished, so we had to go on diversions all the time. My Polish friend told me not to choose the 'fastest route' but to choose 'fast' as then it doesn't take you onto roads not yet finished. I will try it out in the next couple of months.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The Radio

I also forgot to mention that I have no problems with the radio. The reception is really good, in fact it works in my city where the radio in my fabia wouldn't. I also don't find the sound quality as bad as had been mentioned - ok no Bose etc, but still if you adjust the bass and treble you can get quite a good sound.
 

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What a fantastic review. Thanks for taking the time to give such a comprehensive report on your journey "HappyMan".
 

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A Great, funny and sincere review, HM!
I'll second the thanks to you for taking the time to write it.
I pretty much share your experience of a GREAT and innovative not so little hatchback car...[smilie=tongue.gif]
 

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Thanks guys for your comments but I think the car speaks for itself! Although German motorists should be avioded at all costs[smilie=cheeky-grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
2 Months on...

It has been two months since I took charge of my spaceship and two months of joy. I had the oil changed at 3000km as seems to be the tradition over here in Poland. It cost about £85 for the oil and filter change. A little more than I thought but not bad.

The car now has 4700km on it and in my opinion is getting better and better. The MPG is good as I am not a slow driver I like to rev hard and have some fun and I am getting about 33mpg in the city and more on the open road.

The roads in poland are really not the best and I am impressed that the civic hasn't got any major issues. There is a little creak in the window but to be honest if I was to be made to drive over some of these roads I would creak too! My fabia creaks at the windows too so I am not worried.

Sadly I am not a cleaning freak but if I spend any more time with Robbo51, sallytraffic and sushi chef I have a feeling I may end up so. Having said that the car is holding up well and I can't complain.

So two months on and I am still happy with this great car. According to the book I have a service coming up at 10,000km so not so far away now so I have to start saving again for the service - my wife's words as I told her that this evening. Apparently I have to pay for it out of my allowance! Not sure how far £10 per week will go towards a service but we will see.

As you can see I am happy and I hope it will continue.
 

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Sadly I am not a cleaning freak but if I spend any more time with Robbo51, sallytraffic and sushi chef I have a feeling I may end up so. Having said that the car is holding up well and I can't complain.
Oooh no, I am not in the same league as robbo ! Just being 'directed' somewhat ! Anyway, I have the feeling if I clean it too much it might turn red :)

So beware !!

Other than that, I too find the radio fine on mine and I do like the quality of the mp3 cd's I have made.

Thanks for a lovely comprehensive review, HM, it made very entertaining reading and was much appreciated, well done !
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Awesome HM...Just awesome
Now get out there and get it cleaned!!!!
You know, I would love to but you know my allergies and my bad back and of course it's so cold that it will affect my breathing problems and, of course then there are the chemicals from the cleaing materials that will aggreviate my skin rashes. I mean i would love to but I just don't have time as there is so much on tv. [smilie=cheeky-grin:[smilie=cheeky-grin:[smilie=cheeky-grin:[smilie=cheeky-grin:[smilie=cheeky-grin:[smilie=cheeky-grin:

Personally, I think you should do summer schools on "how to clean your car" [smilie=cheeky-grin: You'd make a fortune:D
 
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