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I am confused about the criticism that Steve Huntingford is lashing at the Civic. It seems to be in these areas:

  1. Headroom
  2. Speedo obscured
  3. Rear vision
  4. Ride over potholes
  5. Road noise
1. Headroom

I am 5' 11.5" (never quite made it) and with the seat in a normal position I never even noticed being close to the roof. All the cars we were in had the glass roof too.

2. Speedo obscured.

This is just bizarre. You get into the right seating position, and then adjust the steering wheel for the correct reach (comfortable arms) and correct height (for the instruments). No issue.

I think 1. and 2. may be connected though. Steve is tiny at 5' 8", so he may be in the habit of having his seat pumped up really high in cars, leading to some kind of odd overall position that I hadn't considered.

SH on the CR-Z said:
Headroom is also extremely limited due to the CR-Z's steeply raked rear screen.
It does look like he is a Golf man:

SH on the COTY said:
When people find out what I do for a living, their first question is usually “what’s the best car you’ve ever driven?

‘Being a bit of a show-off, I usually tell them the Ferrari this or the Porsche that, but the truth is that if we’re talking about the best all-rounder, it’s probably a model from the small family car class.

‘Established favourites such as the Volkswagen Golf feel perfectly at home whether the journey is a cross-town schlep, a marathon motorway cruise or a B-road blast. What’s more, they’re practical enough to make family life a cinch, as classy as a night at the opera and affordable for both private and company buyers.
In the interest of science, here is Steve Huntingford demonstrating the headroom in a 430 Scuderia.


3. Rear Vision.

The C pillars are thick, but never enough to cause a problem. Cars are either visible in the mirrors, or over the shoulder. Rear vision in the Civic is not great, other cars (like the Golf) are better, but not once was I compromised by them.

4. Ride over potholes.

The suspension remains quiet and rubbery-sounding until you hit a pothole. I found this also to be the case in the Golf, my Merc and my Discovery 4.

Steve has high standards though:

SH on the BMW 6 Series said:
Our test car was also equipped with Adaptive Drive, a £3400 option that brings electrically controlled and adjustable suspension. However, even when this system is in its most comfort-orientated setting, the ride is a bit unsettled over broken surfaces.
SH on the Audi A5 said:
the suspension struggles to do its job, and bumps send nasty shudders through the car.
5. Road noise.

Not sure what he was on about here. I thought about getting my SPL meter out, but that's a flawed science because some quiet noises can be more offensive to the ear than other louder noises. It depends on frequencies and waveforms, and their mix. The Civic, subjectively, was the same as the Golf (maybe a tiny bit better), it was a tiny bit worse than my Merc (but not much) and was noticeably worse than the Disco (which is silent).

Here's the standard Steve sets:

SH on the new Audi A6 Avant said:
Perhaps the biggest disappointment is the amount of road noise that enters the Avant's cabin, no matter what suspension set-up you choose.
SH on the Seat Leon FR said:
Unfortunately, the Leon lets in a lot of road noise on most surfaces, so it's nowhere near as refined as newer rivals such as the Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf.
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