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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I decided to wait till after the first annual service, at ~9K miles, to make a brief update on my ownership experience of this Civic. The car is an SE+ with 17" alloys. What follows is not so much a long term review as a set of notable points and now well qualified impressions.

The first 5K miles were a gentle but progressive running in avoiding labouring and over revving. It was a good learning curve for the very capable handling and road-holding. Interesting to note that this kind of driving caused the first and only DPF regeneration to occur at just less than 6K miles.

My usual route is a mixed ~31 mile run of dual carriageway and cross country roads. Sometimes with a little stop/go due to traffic at major junctions on say a third of the runs but the remainder more or less clear. There have been some longer trips of 100 miles plus and a few; literally a handful or maybe a dozen or so short runs.

The Civic has a comfortable cabin with a slightly high seating position which took some time to get used to but now feels quite natural. It has good ergonomics with acceptable steering feel and a really great gear change; with very well judged pedal positions, pressures and strokes. The clutch in particular being spot on.

Of course, taking time to get all the seat and steering wheel variables properly set up was well worth the effort because the designers got the dashboard instrumentation absolutely right. I now never want to get into another car that doesn't have the speedometer up near eye level in large illuminated digits.

As may be expected, the Civic has exhibited flawless reliability, negligible oil consumption, a quiet engine and well made mechanicals along with excellent adhesion to the road in all weather conditions. Excepting snow, which last winter, the South of England happily avoided.

Interestingly enough the engine's NVH is slightly higher post service oil change than it was beforehand. Exactly the opposite of what occurred with my partner's Focus, which went in clattering and came out far quieter. Not what I would have wished for at all. From this I conclude that all oils of the same viscosity from different manufacturers are definitely not created equal.

The sound system works well and is very usable. The cabin noise level is perhaps slightly higher than most due to the 17" rubber. But this is incredibly variable with the quality of road surfacing and still notably higher than I've experienced in a variety of similar cars from other manufacturers.

I really like the looks of the 14 MY front end, it is smooth and nicely integrated with out being fussy or overdone. The separate DRL's look classy. As for the rear end; from inside the car I have no difficulty seeing out and from the outside; well love it or loathe it, it is what it is and not so bad for being that i.e. interesting and unique.

Along with the otherwise improved but lower down in the cabin still scratchy plastics; one area of little consequence overall but jarring after repeated exposure is the edging of the door sides and hatch seams. These present themselves to the users hand as, if not actually unpleasant, then at least as definitely unsatisfactory. This unfortunate tactile impression abides and detracts somewhat from that otherwise indefinable 'pleasure of ownership'. The same applies for the very obviously soft and easily scratched glass of the windscreen etc.

I did however recently enjoy taxing the Civic. It was great fun to get to the end of the on-line process and see the £00.0 figure presented. Pushing that final button was indeed an immensely satisfying experience. Likewise seeing the summertime return trip fuel consumption sitting in the mid to high 60's is particularly pleasant. Average over the year being 62 MPG also leaves me feeling moderately pleased.

Is the 1.6 engine best in class? Probably. Could it do with just a little more power? Definitely. Does the Civics' overall level of driveability, fit and finish justify the asking price? Almost. But, and this is a big but. Will the famed Honda reliability ultimately close that gap? Quite possibly, only time will tell.

More in a year maybe?..
 

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Good review thanks for spending the time to do this write up.
Any things would you change or wish honda changed
 

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:dito: a nice review there.

So does DPF regen only occur when pootling? Or every 6k?ish

What vehicle did you drive before the 9th gen?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
...thanks and you're very welcome

Good review thanks for spending the time to do this write up.
Any things would you change or wish honda changed
I was thinking I'd said most of it above but if priority is the question then it would have to be to address the sound proofing vs road noise balance first and fix the fit 'n' finish stuff second.

Maybe wanting a more powerful engine is like wishing for a whole other car rather than just looking at what they could have done better or more thoroughly on this one?

As for how I would have liked them to have designed it from scratch, sadly, Honda never asked me to help out with that...
 

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Good write up :) I've had mine nearly a year now and covered 13k miles

Agree with most points, especially about the cheap lower plastics. Having come from a 1.8 9g Civic, I don't find my 1.6 anymore noisy than that... maybe just after start up. Noise is not something I notice. However, I must admit, it seemed a little rougher after the 1st service.

Power wise, it's not bad at all, in fact to me, it combines the best of the 1.8 and the 2.2 (having driven both extensively) with very good mpg.

Shame they won't put the 160bhp version in the Civic.. I think Honda are more focused on it's eco credentials :(

BTW, I don't think mines done a DPF regen?? Not that I've noticed it doing.... Does it tell you on the iMID?
 

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Yer something I was wondering how to you know the dpf is regen ING , does it come up on the screen ?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
... thanks for your kind words

:dito: a nice review there.

So does DPF regen only occur when pootling? Or every 6k?ish

What vehicle did you drive before the 9th gen?
I asked them at the Dealership about this but it's still not completely clear to me what is a safe lower limit. From what I could tell it seems to be based entirely on the type of usage and style of driving i.e. short journeys are generally bad but not specifically damaging provided there is some reasonably frequent moderately extended high speed running. But useful numbers were not forthcoming.

When I was running the Civic in I really nursed it. But now I let it rev higher and do so more frequently. Mistakenly or not I imagine that blowing the cobwebs out every now and then can only be a good thing even if it's not the most economical approach.

I tend to hang on to my cars probably for longer than I should but this was not the case with my last car which was a Volvo V40 SE 2.0 Diesel. Which took over from a Skoda Octavia Elegance DSG 2.0 Diesel that shared duties with a Porsche 3.2 Boxster S Tiptronic. These two replaced an imported Subaru Twin Turbo Legacy GTB Estate. This came along after a VW 3.0 Corrado VR6 Storm which was post an Audi 80. Meanwhile in my work I used to travel a great deal and ended up driving countless dozens of fairly decent airport hire cars here in Europe and all over the USA.

I think the 8th gen/Euro 4 Honda diesels are less prone to DPF worries that the 9th/Euro 5. Have you had any problems?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
...thanks for the complement

Good write up :) I've had mine nearly a year now and covered 13k miles

Agree with most points, especially about the cheap lower plastics. Having come from a 1.8 9g Civic, I don't find my 1.6 anymore noisy than that... maybe just after start up. Noise is not something I notice. However, I must admit, it seemed a little rougher after the 1st service.

Power wise, it's not bad at all, in fact to me, it combines the best of the 1.8 and the 2.2 (having driven both extensively) with very good mpg.

Shame they won't put the 160bhp version in the Civic.. I think Honda are more focused on it's eco credentials :(

BTW, I don't think mines done a DPF regen?? Not that I've noticed it doing.... Does it tell you on the iMID?
I requested a printed ECU report from the dealer and it was listed in there.

I never saw any other dashboard notification but do remember one occasion from the end of a run at around that mileage where the engine fan remained on for a very long time and there was a considerable amount of ticking and pinging from under the bonnet. It stuck in my mind because the fuel consumption figure for that run was so poor I thought something had gone wrong with the car.

I agree the power output of the 1.6 diesel is really good and better than most, if not all the competition. The fuel economy is excellent also, all in all a very well judged offering but power is power and a little more would be even better.

We recently had a number of local road surfaces upgraded and I was utterly shocked as to just how totally silently the Civic runs on these modern surfaces but on old roadstone it's quite noisy.

I suppose their green intentions are somewhat less to the fore after the recent announcement of the Civic Type R though?

Maybe they'll wise up and do the right thing with the engines in next generation Civic diesel, who knows?
 
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Is the dpf a problem on the 9th gen any more than any other make .
 

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Mine always seems to be ticking and pinging after I turn off the engine lol (only noticeable if you stick your ear next to bonnet).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
...as I understand it

Is the dpf a problem on the 9th gen any more than any other make .
All modern Euro 5/6 diesels from any manufacturer have a DPF of some kind to meet these very stringent requirements.

If you search the web, regardless of the make, you will find a great many reports of DPF failures from folks doing multiple short journeys.

This also happened to us when we hired a Citroen diesel for a long holiday. We just used it for shopping and going out to local destinations. After a few weeks the DPF light came on the dash and never went out again.

Honda seem to have done a good job with the Civic DPF mounting it very close to the exhaust manifold so raising it quickly up to regeneration temperatures. The handbook recommendation is, once warm, the engine needs to run at 2k rpm for 15-20 minutes to regenerate.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
...mine too but

Mine always seems to be ticking and pinging after I turn off the engine lol (only noticeable if you stick your ear next to bonnet).
The incident I was talking about was accompanied by the fan staying on for so long I kept going back out of the house to see if it had stopped.

At first the pinging was audible from half way across the road.

I thought it was broken its never done it since...
 

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All modern Euro 5/6 diesels from any manufacturer have a DPF of some kind to meet these very stringent requirements.

If you search the web, regardless of the make, you will find a great many reports of DPF failures from folks doing multiple short journeys.

This also happened to us when we hired a Citroen diesel for a long holiday. We just used it for shopping and going out to local destinations. After a few weeks the DPF light came on the dash and never went out again.

Honda seem to have done a good job with the Civic DPF mounting it very close to the exhaust manifold so raising it quickly up to regeneration temperatures. The handbook recommendation is, once warm, the engine needs to run at 2k rpm for 15-20 minutes to regenerate.
How offen I wounder does this happen . We do mixed trips some short in the week and longer trips at weekends . 2k rpm is about 70 in top gear I bet so how do I know it's needed does any light or info come up on screens ?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
...DPF regeneration is something of a mystery

How offen I wounder does this happen . We do mixed trips some short in the week and longer trips at weekends . 2k rpm is about 70 in top gear I bet so how do I know it's needed does any light or info come up on screens ?
Even after I tried to get reliable information on this from the dealership all I have learned is that it's fully automatic and there's nothing you need to do.

It seems regeneration needs the engine to be properly warmed up and as you say to run at 60-70 MPH for up to twenty minutes after that.

If your weekend trips are an hour or so long with the latter part at reasonable speed then it should be OK.
 

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I often do runs like you describe, so mine seems fine. Just the quieter 'transformer' sounds for me lol
 

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Even after I tried to get reliable information on this from the dealership all I have learned is that it's fully automatic and there's nothing you need to do.

It seems regeneration needs the engine to be properly warmed up and as you say to run at 60-70 MPH for up to twenty minutes after that.

If your weekend trips are an hour or so long with the latter part at reasonable speed then it should be OK.
Hopely be ok we have to see don't know weather the focus got a dpf ill have to ask dealer
 

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Nice write up, interesting that you chose to compromise and buy the diesel when you only do 9000 miles a year. This is petrol territory!
 

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Nice write up, interesting that you chose to compromise and buy the diesel when you only do 9000 miles a year. This is petrol territory!
Yep which is likely why you might be running into dpf issues.. the numbers reckon you need to be doing about 18k miles per year to justify the extra cost for a diesel to make it worthwhile
 

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Discussion Starter #20
...thanks and yes

Nice write up, interesting that you chose to compromise and buy the diesel when you only do 9000 miles a year. This is petrol territory!
It was an interesting decision to make. Granted not all the considerations were as fully informed at the time as I may now have wished. Primarily because of the remaining DPF unknowns and secondly because; who can reliably predict their own future usage patterns let alone how these may be influenced by those of their partner? We both have diesels and for various reasons, at the moment, most of the extra miles aren't going onto the Civic.

Basically much of what went into that back of an envelope calculation was more or less as follows. If I get a car I really like then I have tended to keep it for up to ~10 years and that could put >100K on the clock, which would sit much better on a diesel engine.

All else being equal; over that time period my initial purchase price vs later resale value differential has to include offsets for car tax (£0), fuel cost (£rising) and insurance ratings (£lower). These do favour the diesel i.e. increasing fuel cost worsens the case for petrol.

Considering all of the above; a rough TCO analysis indicates an overall diesel to petrol advantage in the order of perhaps £2-3K. However. there is a duration where diesel ownership yields a zero sum gain over petrol but I haven't been bothered to work that out. I guess it's likely at the halfway point or thereabouts.

Now all that may sound fairly rational and I'd be the first to acknowledge that for some paying more up front for the car vs a later near doubling in the frequency of visits to the petrol station is a real no brainer. But for me, today, it still looks like the lesser of two weevils.
 
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