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Discussion Starter #1
A few days into Civic ownership and a rather boring day at work I thought what better then to write up my views and to bore you with them.

So last week I sold my beloved EP3 Type R, this being my third one since 2005. I only purchased my third EP3 Type R because I found that after 4 months I couldn’t live without one – how long will it be before I give in again… Anyway, I needed a practical and cheap to run car due to having a baby and needing to do long distances with work, the current shape Civic seemed the only choice for me, so this week I picked up a 2006 Albaster Silver 2.2 I-CTDI SE.

Below are my observations after just 1,000 miles, I’ve also made comparison to the Mk5 Golf as my wife has a TDI in SE trim.


Engine:


What an incredible unit it is! I knew from the reviews it was good but oh my god I’m astounded. It’s very smooth, gives little suggestion that it’s a diesel and is very flexible in virtually any gear at any speed. Most noticeable is 50 – 70, or I say noticeable but actually it should be hardly noticeable – in the blink of an eye it’s doing 70(+)!

The Golf engine by comparison is worlds apart, you’re never in any doubt it’s a diesel and even with 105bhp it’s currently delivering less MPG then the Civic. That said it is quick when you consider the output, again very strong from 50 – 70.

My only criticism so far and it’s a weird one which you’ll have to bear with me on, but from the inside of the car at speed from the right hand side I can hear the sound of the diesel engine – and it almost sounds false or artificial. It sounds like the noise is coming through the right round air vent. I really can’t describe it better than that, from the passenger side you can’t hear anything? It’s not loud but it’s really irritating once I’ve homed in on it.


Ride and Handling:


Coming from a Type R I can honestly say it’s got a smooth ride, but I can already sense it’s not perfect. At low speeds it’s fairly firm and a little crashy, I’ve also got a slight knocking noise from the front over heavily broken surfaces. But as speed picks up so does the ride quality, on the motorway or a fast bumpy a road it’s a very nice ride. Handling is very good and it feels more nimble then the EP3 Type R ever did, and I don’t mind the lighter steering either. And speaking of the steering, certainly a lot more feel over the EP3, although that’s really not hard. A little lifeless compared to the Golf which I was surprised to find.

As for the Golf, very smooth ride at all speeds and all surfaces which I think has something to do with the Golf weighing as much as a small planet. But handling is also very good, tons of grip and as mentioned above great steering feel.

If I’m honest I prefer the Golf’s ride and handling combination, it’s good all of the time whereas the Civic seems to have its moments.


Refinement:


This is where the Civic excels, especially over the Golf. The engine with the exception of the irritating noise mentioned above is hardly audible and wind and tyre noise seem to be very isolated. I can see myself enjoying this over many miles.

Well the Golf’s engine is very noisy and there’s a lot of tyre noise, although wind noise is absent.


Quality:



The Civic seems a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to quality. It’s already covered 60,000 miles and I’m amazed there’s not any rattle in the cabin, and some of the materials feel top rate. Unfortunately it is let down by some cheap materials, the glovebox lid for example feels flimsy and about to fall off, the Golf’s in comparison is like a safe vault and is lined with soft material. The sliding cover by the gear stick is stiff to open and squeaks, and some materials used seem to scratch easily.

I suppose I’m a bit of a sad person but I like the little details and this perhaps is for me where the Civic could do better. Like the lined glovebox lid, lumber support, wipers which disappear out of site when not in use, and little weights on the parcel shelf strings so they always look taught even when the boot is closed. I know it’s sad, I’ll happily admit that, but these little things go a long way (at least with me).

The Golf is incredible bland inside, absolutely no emotion what so ever. But it’s well made with the exception of the cheap feeling wiper/indicator stalks, only a slight rattle (its done 70,000 miles). It’s also very comfy and I liken it to my living room - so smooth and with seats so comfortable that you get off them feeling more relaxed, even after 200 miles (that’s the car doing 200 miles and not my lounge by the way).



Conclusion:

Despite a few downsides I really like the Civic, what it does well at it does exceptionally well at and far beyond what I expected. Just a shame there’s a few flaws – if you took the good parts of the Golf and Civic you’d have the perfect car (for me anyway).


I’m looking forward to many miles of happy Civic ownership!
 

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Very positive views:).I find after driving another vehicle I become more aware of the Civic's better features.Perhaps the gruffer VW diesel really highlights the smooth Honda unit.On my second Civic,and both cars' middle compartment covers squealed.Silicone cures it for a while.
 

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149 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advice, I'll give silicone a go on the centre bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just got some blue footwell lighting, so it's taken just a few days before I want to spend some money on it, so I must like it:)

Gave it a good clean at the weekend, despite having a good inspection before the buy I never really know until it's had a good clean - and I'm really impressed. Few stone chips on the front but nothing major, rest of the car is spotless so obviously well looked after.

Also forgot to mention above but really impressed with the Honda garage I purchased it from, Drake&Fletcher near Tunbridge Wells.

Already the annoyances are starting to fade and I'm starting to like this car a lot:popcorn:
 

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Just read your review as I'm thinking of trading in my 2006 Octavia vRS for a 2.2 diesel Civic (in ES trim).

I must say it's a great review but from reading this review and all the faults to look for on this site, I'm a little put off, as I was under the impression that Honda build quality was second to none. It seems this isn't necessarily the case!

Saying that, I haven't always been bowled over by VAG build quality recently! I'm going to test drive a couple this weekend, so at least I'll be slightly better armed with info than before.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Another Basingstoke person

Best thing to do is take all cars you're interested in for a long drive and see how you find them.

I’ll be totally honest by saying the Civic is an excellent car but my preference still lies with the Golf Mk5 we have. Most days, and especially on long journeys, I always reach for the Golf keys. Which is a shame as I’ve been a Honda owner for nearly 5 years now.

I’ve got noisy steering creaking at the moment with the Civic and some sort of banging at the rear, this is probably what’s causing me to be a little annoyed with it at the moment.

But the engine is incredible, I absolutely love the 2.2 and is probably one of the best all round engine I’ve ever driven.

Good luck with the search.
 

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Just read your review as I'm thinking of trading in my 2006 Octavia vRS for a 2.2 diesel Civic (in ES trim).

I must say it's a great review but from reading this review and all the faults to look for on this site, I'm a little put off, as I was under the impression that Honda build quality was second to none. It seems this isn't necessarily the case!

Saying that, I haven't always been bowled over by VAG build quality recently! I'm going to test drive a couple this weekend, so at least I'll be slightly better armed with info than before.
I'm going in the reverse direction:
http://www.civinfo.com/forum/and-goodbye/37632-time-say-goodbye.html
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Never owned a Skoda but did drive a hire car which was a new shape Skoda Fabia TDI S and I was very impressed:cool:
 
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