Onto my second Civic
It's been one whole year now, and I'd say the relationship has had its "ups and downs", were it not for the fact that my major bugbear with this car is that it feels as though it has no suspension. Anyway, 5000 mainly motorway miles later, here's what I reckon of the 2006 Honda Civic 1.8 SE.
Happy motoring all.
- The 1.8 I-VTEC engine, what a star: it pulls, it purrs, and feels as solid as a rock. I'm still only managing 320 miles on a full tank, though appreciate my driving could be a factor there.
- The gearbox: the surest and smoothest gear change of any car I've owned.
- Styling, both inside and out: nothing's changed on this front, I still reckon its a class apart both inside and out, and at least a couple of years ahead of the opposition.
- The excellent heated leather seats I opted for: these make me love the interior as much as the exterior, and really prove their worth through the winter.
- The "start" button. Such a simple concept but a far more satisfying way of bringing a car to life.
- The suspension: It's just too hard; my car really does bang and clatter over bumps in the road, and we have many of those around here. The car returned from its first service recently and the tyre pressures are bang on, so I guess that's just the way it is.
- Build quality: I've had real problems here; the car's been back to the dealer around ten times in total, which is pretty dire by any standard. Nothing has actually broken but I've had two sticking fuel caps, loud noises from the windscreen, grinding windscreen wipers, as well as creaks and rattles just about everywhere at the rear of the car, some of which it took the dealer several attempts to resolve. Perhaps I got a “Friday afternoon” example, but on my experience I now have little respect for the build quality of Honda cars. After a few "creak free" weeks, I now appear to have another squeak from the recalcitrant rear suspension.
- Honda's customer service: when returning the car for faults I haven't felt particularly welcome at the dealerships I've dealt with, nor have I been particularly impressed with their customer interaction skills. I've also had dealings with Honda's customer service centre, where more than one promised call back never materialised. Personally I think Honda have problems here.
- The "high shine" dashboard: Someone really erred with this; even in the showroom you can see fine scratches and masses of dust on these. Anyhow, with the Type-R on the market we can now take action and get one of the far superior "solid" variants installed.
Happy motoring all.
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