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Old 18th June 2011, 06:01   #1
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Default The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)

PART 1 - A BIT OF HISTORY

There are very few things in life that strike an emotional chord with us. Ever since childhood, I have always had that emotional connect with cars and over the years, the interest and passion only grew bigger and bigger. Should I consider myself plainly lucky or was it just coincidence I don’t know, but it so happened that I met and developed great rapport with two other buddies in college who shared the same interest. I still remember those sweet days in college when we used to discuss about our dream machines that we all would love to own one day. While the Tata Safari and the Maruti-Suzuki Baleno were their choices, it was the Honda Civic that had set my pulse racing then.

Before that, for a very long period of time, the Hyundai Sonata was my dream car. The current international Sonata (i45) still is, but after the Civic of course. I have loved, craved for and lusted after the Sonata’s looks when it was first launched in India. Just when I thought that nothing could ever replace that car in my dreams, this came and swept me off my feet. The existing Honda Civic is truly such a marvel in design that I am not at all surprised that Honda has not quite managed to get it right with the next generation model. The current Civic is a one-off design and such a high benchmark to beat for any company.

It was love at first sight when I saw the car for the first time in Autocar India magazine. I was bowled over by the futuristic exteriors, the amazing interiors, the cockpit-like instrument console and literally everything about this car. When I saw one on the road for the first time, it looked like a spaceship (I know this is too much but this was how I felt and I am just typing it straight from the heart) gracing our roads. On that spot, I decided I should somehow own a Civic at one stage in my life. But, if someone would have told me even a year earlier that I would be owning one right now, I would have dismissed those talks as rubbish.

But, as many would have experienced, it’s difficult to control the urge once it has started penetrating you. But I had my own share of difficulties. Being a first-gen car owner in my family, it took quite a lot of convincing to lay my hands on my first car, a pre-owned Hyundai Santro Xing that I bought from Mahindra First Choice in Feb-2010. Here I am in less than 15 months, starting the topic of buying a new car. Surprisingly, it took much less convincing this time. In fact, though a little skeptical, my family supported me mentally and financially too in this decision knowing my love and passion for the Civic.

Those 15 months was also the period in which I read through the now-famous ‘Lateral Upgrading’ thread by GTO and the many Civic ownership threads in Team-BHP. Needless to say I was spoilt. And I was finally nailed when dot and subsequently Ace F355 came out with theirs. I couldn’t control it anymore and I decided to move on and get one for myself. Suddenly pressure started building up internally to go in for a new car at that price rather than a pre-owned Civic. That’s when this thread again made me stand strong in my decision. (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/what-c...ght-civic.html (Pre-owned Civic or Brand-new Sedan? EDIT - Bought a Civic))

PART 2 – THE SEARCH BEGINS

Finally, the search for my Civic started in end-April. From then on, it became my routine every weekend. On Fridays, I would call up owners and dealers who have put up Civics for sale and fix up appointments on the following Saturdays and Sundays. Thus, the ensuing weekends started and ended with Civics. There was this first car that I saw, test-drove, liked and almost finalized before finally rejecting it because it had its rear windshield replaced and some repairs were done in the front fenders. After that I saw quite a lot of Civics at the rate of almost 3 to 4 per week. Every car had some positives and negatives and if all was well, the asking price was not. I was becoming increasingly impatient.

One particular car was a 2008 Tafeta White V MT model that had covered just 20000 km. I fell for that car immediately on seeing it. There were absolutely no signs of wear and tear in it and I had even negotiated the price down. But, the problem started when I went to the Honda dealerships in Chennai. Both the dealers said that the car was bought from the other dealer and in a different name. I checked with both the dealers twice over phone and once in person but still the confusion persisted. Adding to that, complete service history was not available with both the dealers. Smelling something fishy, I let the car go with a heavy heart.

Based on my short but significant experience of looking out for pre-owned Civics, I would like to give the following pieces of advice for anyone who is on the lookout for a Civic:

1. Being a big sales success, there are plenty of Civics available for sale in the pre-owned market. So, be very patient and don’t settle for anything less than what you like. Don’t hesitate to walk out if you feel something is wrong.

2. Its long wheelbase and low ground clearance makes sure that many of the cars have some tell-tale damage in the bumpers and under their bodies. Watch out carefully. Any dent, cut or scratch in the Civic is expensive to repair.

3. Like most other companies now, Honda dealerships maintain a full repair and service history of their cars. Remember to check them out in detail before taking your final decision. Visit the dealership and get to know the car personally before putting in your money.

4. Being an aspirational car for many, good examples are sold out immediately. If you come across a clean car that is slightly expensive, don’t think twice to put your money on it or someone else would do that. It happened to me right before my eyes.

Almost 12 cars and a month later, I had still not found that perfect machine which was going to become mine. I was only looking for a Civic that had clocked less than 30000 km, had a clean service history, was devoid of major dents and scratches, was maintained well with care and was within my budget of 8 Lacs. But apparently, those were some tough criteria to meet it seemed. Finally, of all the Civics, the first car that I had seen offered the best compromise of all those factors. It was a Bluish Silver 1.8 S MT that had clocked 29400 km with an asking price of 7.7 Lacs. This Civic would become mine just in time for my 25th Birthday that falls today.

PART 3 – A DREAM CAME TRUE FINALLY

Before taking delivery, I went to Sundaram Honda twice with the car, had it checked, saw the full service history and finally decided to take it home on 20-May-2011. A lot of negotiations later, I was able to bring down the price to 7 Lacs. I know I could have asked for less, but since I liked the car, decided to not let it go. The very next day, I took the car to Trichy to both show it off to my parents and to check whether everything in the car is working fine. At the end of the trip, everybody were happy with the car and with the decision. The car also was too good except for a disturbing hush noise that was heard at speeds in excess of 80 kph. It handled like a dream and was making me smile every time I looked at it and sat in it.

These are the photos that were taken on the day of delivery and during my subsequent drive to Trichy.









Immediately after coming back, the car went for its 30000 km service in Capital Honda as it is closer to my home. I had asked the Service Advisor to check the bearings and told him about the noise that I was hearing at high speeds. I was relieved when he told me at the end of the day that the engine, bearings and other mechanicals in the car are all fine and the noise was because of the tires. The bill was 8100 Rupees and that included Windshield cleaning (1800), new Wiper Blades (1500), new Honda logo at the rear (300) and the Rubber Mats (1400) that I had asked for. Overall, I came away impressed with the service experience at the dealership and satisfied that the car was fine.

Meanwhile, since the insurance had expired a week before delivery, I took a new policy with Bajaj Allianz and paid a premium of 17400 Rs for an IDV of 600000. Finally, the only sore thumb in the car was the tires. I contacted Tyrestore enquiring for the prices of Michelin Primacy LC. I badly wanted to upsize to 205/65 R15 or 215/60 R15 to make the car look butch. But, based on the advice given by owner of the store, I decided to stay with the stock size itself to avoid the tires scrapping the sidewalls. So, a brand-new set of 195/65 R15 Michelin Energy MXV8s were fitted last week. Now, the hush sound is gone and the car is super silent on the road.

A summary of the total expenses incurred on the car till date is given below.

Price of the Car – Rs 700000
Dealer’s Commission – Rs 7000
RTO Name Transfer – Rs 1000
Insurance with Bajaj Allianz – Rs 17400
Paid Service at 30000 km (with Accessories) – Rs 8100
New Michelin Tires – Rs 23400
Wheel Alignment & Balancing – Rs 500

TOTAL = Rs 757400

The fuel costs have not been included above. Though one month is not a substantial time to understand a car completely, these are my initial impressions of what I like and don't like in the Civic.

FOR:
1. Styling - Truly, a masterpiece. Five full years after launch, it still manages to look fresh and futuristic. IMO, its one of those rare cases where the present-gen model looks much better than the next-gen model.
2. Engine - Honda's i-VTEC engine alone would make this car a great proposition as it gives you the best of both worlds - power and economy. Especially after 2000 rpm, the throttle response is addictive and will kill the mileage-conscious driver in you.
3. Interior Quality - You have to experience the interiors first-hand to appreciate this fact. Everything feels built to last forever. The Instrument Console especially is from a different planet altogether compared to the competitors.
4. Snob Value - Though Honda is not a premium brand anymore, in India, they are still perceived as one. And the Civic still turns heads and has that rich image associated with it. I am loving it.

AGAINST:
1. Lack of Features - Comeon Honda, the Civic is competing in the entry luxury segment and you still thought that it did not deserve to have a USB/Aux-In, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors! Full marks to Honda though for not skimping on safety features.
2. Throttle Response less than 2000 rpm - The throttle response in the first two gears is so poor that it becomes a pain in stop-start city traffic. The Santro was so much more easier and comfortable in this aspect.

I am loving the car every bit and wish and hope that this love affair would continue forever.

PART 4 – END NOTE

Though I know that I am not adding any great value or have not covered anything new in the aspect of owning a Honda Civic, I still could not resist from starting a new ownership thread. Apart from the regular maintenance and other stuff of the car, I am planning to keep this thread alive by posting about the many long drives that I am planning to make. Instead of starting a new thread for every drive, I feel this would make it more interesting, easily accessible and space-saving too. To start up, I am driving to Yelagiri Hills today for a short weekend trip.

On a sweet note, here is a treasure snap that has my first car and my present car standing together. I still love the Santro for its extremely impressive manners inside the city and its superb reliability. The only negative point was its high speed handling. After living with the Santro for a little more than a year and having driven it to places like Trichy, Vellore, Munnar, Wayanad, Ooty and Kumbakonam, I now know why it became such a big success in India and is still selling so well 13 long years after its launch. I have not had a single issue with the car for all the 12000 odd kms that I drove it.



Not to forget those two buddies of mine who are also living their dreams through ‘Lateral Upgrades’, albeit since a little earlier than me. Though both of them spend considerable amount of time browsing through Team BHP, they are not registered members yet. On their behalf, here are the pics of their rides that were both bought in 2010.




Last, but not the least for sure, I would like to give full credits to GTO for giving me the guts to go for Lateral Upgrades and heart-felt thanks to dot, mdsaab, GTO, smartcat, Ace F355, iTNerd, laluks, shuvc and many others (apologies if I have missed someone’s name) who, by replying to my queries and through their ownership threads, inspired me in realizing my dream so soon. Team BHP indeed has changed my life! And, thanks a ton for patient reading!
Attached Thumbnails
The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)-baleno.jpg  

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The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)-civic-5.jpg  

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The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)-safari.jpg  

The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)-santrocivic.jpg  

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Old 18th June 2011, 08:08   #2
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Default Re: The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)

Detailed and brilliantly penned man! Wishing you many more happy miles with the car


Windshield cleaning for 1800 bucks? You sure that's not a typo?
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Old 18th June 2011, 10:27   #3
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Default Re: The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)

Whoa! That is a '08 Civic?! Amazingly maintained, man. You've got quite a steal!

Windshield cleaning is the thing they add to the wiper water, right (Sorry for such crude terms, words are failing me at the moment)? That is 1800? And new wipers for 1500, steep!

Anywho, are those stock alloys stock or the previous owner/you changed them? They look smoking hot!

Have a great time driving!
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Old 18th June 2011, 10:46   #4
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Default Re: The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)

Congrats on the purchase. Its raining used Civics on TBHP. The car looks good and 7.7L for a 30K run Civic is fabulous.

Windshield cleaning for 1800 and wipers for 1500!! Is that a typo or a typical Honda rip-off?

Is the throttle response so bad <2000 rpm? I have heard this before but your statement is too emphatic to ignore.
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Old 18th June 2011, 12:57   #5
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Default Re: The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)

Well I believe the wipers on the Civic are AeroTwins. (Pls correct me if I am wrong) and if it is, then it is fairly expensive. When I went for Aerotwins for my ride sometime back, i was quoted around 800 or so, but went with normal Bosch for around 350.

As for cleaning, I doubt it is just the liquid they pour in the reservoir. You can get that liquid at accessory shops for under Rs 120. Even I found the price to be strangely steep, unless they did some buffing or whatever to remove minor scratches or something similar.
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Old 18th June 2011, 13:14   #6
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Default Re: The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)

Hi arvi
Thats an awesome ride man. We have a similarity of making a lateral upgarde from Santro to Civic is it a 08 or 07 model? if its a 08 model, its an absolute steal dude. All the best. Wish you miles of safe and happy motoring.
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Old 18th June 2011, 14:03   #7
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Default Re: The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)

Finally, the ownership report I was waiting for! Kind of knew the story, but loved reading it all over again! Loved the pictures, specially the sunset one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arvi86 View Post
1. Styling - Truly, a masterpiece. Five full years after launch, it still manages to look fresh and futuristic. IMO, its one of those rare cases where the present-gen model looks much better than the next-gen model.
Totally agreed and will continue to agree. On the comparison between the 8th gen and 9th gen Civic, as someone recently said, when you reach the summit, the next immediate step is downhill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arvi86 View Post
the throttle response is addictive and will kill the mileage-conscious driver in you.
LOL. Let me share my experience here. During the start of the day I try to tell Scorponok (Civic), lets be sedate today. Within a few kilometers all those pledges disappear rapidly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by arvi86 View Post
I am loving the car every bit and wish and hope that this love affair would continue forever.
reading!
Sure it will. Do continue to write about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by antorquetik View Post
Windshield cleaning for 1800 bucks? You sure that's not a typo?
Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Windshield cleaning is the thing they add to the wiper water, right (Sorry for such crude terms, words are failing me at the moment)? That is 1800?
I think he meant windshield polish, which costs about 1800 at HASS. For a picture of that process you may wish to check Scorpo's thread.

Last edited by dot : 18th June 2011 at 14:05.
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Old 18th June 2011, 14:17   #8
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Default Re: The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)

Congrats on the dream car. You have bought yourself a car that is bound to give you thousands of miles of unparalled pleasure and hassle-free ownership. Drive safe.
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Old 18th June 2011, 15:50   #9
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Default Re: The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)

Congrats on a lovely maintained Civic. However, I think you did not outline which model car that you finally chose?

I really loved that close up picture of the Civic from the back. Simply awesome!

Finally, I feel you paid a ridiculously high premium for an IDV value of 6 Lakhs

Enjoy the ride and drive Safe....
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Old 18th June 2011, 16:33   #10
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Congratulations on your Honda Civic. You got a very good deal. Honda Civic is dream to own for many including me.

Wishing you many miles of safe driving.

Keep Revving!
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Old 18th June 2011, 19:57   #11
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Default Re: The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)

Already knew most of your journey thanks to your "which car?" thread but this was marvellously recounted and the pics are to die for. So congrats once again arvi!

I just spent some part of the afternoon gazing at dot's Scorponok so I realise the visual appeal of this animal. You got a steal, how esle do I put it? Many happy miles and keep posting!
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Old 19th June 2011, 12:49   #12
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Default Re: The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)

Guess I am late to the party, eh!

Congrats arvi86 on buying what you thought was your dream car! Love the car, the color, the review, the cool pics, everything!!! Glad to know I could act as a catalyst in the process! The car itself looks as clean as it could be but the insurance cost seems on a bit higher side!

Your observations are bang on and add the certainty in the points made by previous Civic owners!

Enjoy her to the fullest and take care while driving! I wish you years of pure driving pleasure that I am sure this awesome piece of engineering is gonna deliver...

Cheers!!!
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Old 19th June 2011, 18:57   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antorquetik View Post
Detailed and brilliantly penned man! Wishing you many more happy miles with the car
Thanks for your words antorque.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Whoa! That is a '08 Civic?! Amazingly maintained, man. You've got quite a steal!
Anywho, are those stock alloys stock or the previous owner/you changed them? They look smoking hot!
I am sorry. I forgot to mention that it is a 2007 Civic. And yes, the alloys are stock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuel_addict View Post
Congrats on the purchase. Its raining used Civics on TBHP.
Very true. Its literally raining pre-owned Civics in TBHP and that was one thing which spurred me too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedreamcatcher View Post
Even I found the price to be strangely steep, unless they did some buffing or whatever to remove minor scratches or something similar.
Sorry for all the confusion created. It was a typo. As dot said, it was Windshield Polishing and Honda charged 1800 rupees for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by autofreak View Post
Hi arvi
Thats an awesome ride man. We have a similarity of making a lateral upgarde from Santro to Civic is it a 08 or 07 model?
I had noted it too autofreak. We both have this similarity and more than that I think both yours and mine was a 2003 Santro Xing XP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dot View Post
Finally, the ownership report I was waiting for! Kind of knew the story, but loved reading it all over again! Loved the pictures, specially the sunset one.

Thanks a lot dot. Its heartening to note that you enjoyed reading it.

Totally agreed and will continue to agree. On the comparison between the 8th gen and 9th gen Civic, as someone recently said, when you reach the summit, the next immediate step is downhill.

Rightly said.


LOL. Let me share my experience here. During the start of the day I try to tell Scorponok (Civic), lets be sedate today. Within a few kilometers all those pledges disappear rapidly.

LOL. It happened for me too.

I think he meant windshield polish, which costs about 1800 at HASS. For a picture of that process you may wish to check Scorpo's thread.
Correct. It was an error. I meant Windshield Polishing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rr_zen View Post
Congrats on the dream car. You have bought yourself a car that is bound to give you thousands of miles of unparalled pleasure and hassle-free ownership. Drive safe.
Thanks a lot sir.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Congrats on a lovely maintained Civic. However, I think you did not outline which model car that you finally chose?
I really loved that close up picture of the Civic from the back. Simply awesome!
Yup, I forgot to mention that it was a 2007 model. Glad that you liked the pic taken. And yes, I now know I paid a high premium but whats happened has happened. Nothing can be done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluevolt View Post
Congratulations on your Honda Civic. You got a very good deal. Honda Civic is dream to own for many including me.
May you realize your dream very soon, just like I did. Thanks for your wishes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Already knew most of your journey thanks to your "which car?" thread but this was marvellously recounted and the pics are to die for. So congrats once again arvi!
Thanks again noopster. I have more pics coming this way as I have just returned from my drive to Yelagiri Hills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace F355 View Post
Guess I am late to the party, eh!
Congrats arvi86 on buying what you thought was your dream car! Love the car, the color, the review, the cool pics, everything!!! Glad to know I could act as a catalyst in the process! The car itself looks as clean as it could be but the insurance cost seems on a bit higher side!
Welcome to the party finally. Better late than never Ace F355. I will never forget what your Grey Shark did to me; I still have those pics in both my office laptop and personal computer. And, am glad that you liked mine too.
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Old 24th June 2011, 07:26   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
And new wipers for 1500, steep!
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuel_addict View Post
and wipers for 1500!! Is that a typo or a typical Honda rip-off?
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedreamcatcher View Post
Well I believe the wipers on the Civic are AeroTwins. (Pls correct me if I am wrong) and if it is, then it is fairly expensive. When I went for Aerotwins for my ride sometime back, i was quoted around 800 or so, but went with normal Bosch for around 350.
Oops, when I drafted the story in my laptop, I had mentioned the price of the wipers correctly, but somehow, I had made a mistake while copying it to Team BHP. The price of the wipers were 800 INR (includes both) and a Labour Charge of 100 INR was charged for replacing them. Sorry for the confusion.

Coming back to the Civic, I had a great drive to Yelagiri Hills last weekend. The car as usual made me smile in those long sweeping curves in Chennai-Bangalore Highway and those tight hairpin bends in the ghats.

One strange thing that happened was I struggled when moving the car in first gear (even stalled the car for around 5 to 6 times in the trip). This has not happened to me before. Will a full load of 5 people and the gradient in the hills be the reason for this?

Also, someone please suggest me some good art leather covers and the price for the same. I want the seats, gear lever and door pads to be covered. I am slightly short on money right now, so the cheaper it is, the better for me.
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Old 24th June 2011, 12:40   #15
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Default Re: The Joy of Living a Dream - Honda Civic S MT (Pre-Owned)

Quote:
Originally Posted by arvi86 View Post
One strange thing that happened was I struggled when moving the car in first gear (even stalled the car for around 5 to 6 times in the trip). This has not happened to me before. Will a full load of 5 people and the gradient in the hills be the reason for this?
This can happen at times. More prone to occur when you are carrying a full load of people and going up a hill. Ideally with two people you should not feel so much of a strain, but with 5 people, boot most probably loaded with luggage, the low GC of the Civic and it can end up being a magnet.

I recently encountered a similar scenario, when I had been to Ooty. The car was loaded with 4 adults and my kid, plus a lot of luggage and we were driving at night. The road to Ooty has 2 routes, one longer and one shorter. The shorter one is very steep and this is the one I took. The car was quite literally struggling to go up and there was a lot of strain since I was forced to go only in 1st gear. 2nd was completely out of the option and fairly difficult. Though the car did not stall, I knew it was under a lot of stress. Further, at higher altitude air is also lesser, meaning at low speed, less air intake is available, further making it difficult. Further, my car had not been serviced in a while, and I was a bit scared at a few instances. But no issues after that and car also went for a service

So, nothing to worry at all. Another thing you should be vary of during hill climbs with excess load is proper clutch usage. Excessive / improper use can fry the plates

Last edited by thedreamcatcher : 24th June 2011 at 12:42.
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