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Old 6th August 2006, 09:03   #1
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Thumbs up Honda Civic - Short Test Drive

Friday 4th August - Suddenly in the middle of the after noon , myself and F50 found ourselves with loads of time to spare. We got talking about the Emberra v/s Civic thread and decided to get a TD of both cars and check out how it feels.

Off we went to Ichibaan Honda in Chembur - asked for a TD of the Civic and we were asked to wait ....in 5 mins a sales rep comes in and asks us to check out the interiors of the car along with the features. We do that while he gets the forms for the TD filled.

That done , we get into a maroon coloured Civic A/T. I get in the drivers seat first with F50 besides me. Put the gear into D and off we go.

I wont go into the details of the interiors, features and stuff , will stick to the TD. The auto instantly felt like a boon in the Chembur traffic , but I was itching to push the car and test out the paddle shift. We get onto the golf course road and I floor it , the response is instantaneous , the car surges forward without a hint of lag totally taking me by surprise that I was driving a auto. Impressed I then shifted to "SPORT" mode to test out the paddle shifters. Felt nice shifting like a F1 driver but soon I found out that, I was only allowed to upshift and downshifting was not in my control , atleast upto a certain speed. I feel that the Paddle Shifters are a gimmick. In real driving conditions in a city like Mumbai, I cant see a lot of people using paddle shifts once the novelty wears of.

The ride quality though is on the bumpier side. The front seats lagged under thigh support and I loved the rear seats (comfy , good backrest angle and under thigh support). The interiors felt roomy with beige colors allround. The quality of plastics is on par with the segment but the Skoda is a notch above.

The Speedo and its dials - look great with the purple color background and big clear read out display. Some say it obstructs and distracts but I did not even notice it once I started driving and besides it comes with a light intensity adjuster.

The other controversial part - the WIPERS - though they move in opposite directions of what we are used to , they do the job and I dont see how any one can complain about the wipers.

+ves - The Engine (loves to be revved) , the interiors , the new digital speedo display, the Steering is perfect in size , shape and giving feedback (next only to the Ikon)

-ves - the bumpy ride , the paddle shifters(no use in real time conditions), the Dealers/Sales guys, boot space ,still not as fun as the OHC to drive

So , now what would be my choice between the Emberra and the Civic?

The Honda Civic definately. I chose the Emberra in that thread and now I go back on my choice - so why did I choose Civic ?

That answer is coming up - in the Short Test Drive Report of the Sonata Emberra.
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Old 6th August 2006, 10:02   #2
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Well most of the things was covered by NC here are my small views.


Exterior - I didnt like the car. The front looks like its already fitted with Wide Body Kit. Side profile is good and back is somewhat okay.

Interior - Its a totally different car inside. Lovely looking Rpm meter and Digi Speedo, i love the color. Good and comfortable seats. Liked those cup holders and you can keep them cool too, so ideal to keep beer cans. Boot space is what it actually lacks.

Drive/Ride - Its Honda engine what can i say, as always revv-happy engine.
Ride is a bit on rough side. Each and every bump is registered when you go over it. As it was crowded couldnot exactly test how fast it actually goes.

Transmission A/T - Well, the first time I sat and drove few meters my hand was still on the gear and soon had to brake my left foot was searching for a clutch. Then after driving for a while i got used to it. Then switched to "S" - Sport Mode. And I can use the Paddle Shifts. It sucks completely. I didnt like the quality of the Shifts, I thought if shifted with more pressure the shifts would break. You cannot downshift then what is the use of the Shifts.
I dont like Auto Transmission. For me Manual Rules.

Overall scored and fared very good.
Now, Embera vs Civic I thought Embera wins hands down but after practical tests conducted it has got me thinking.

Last edited by F50 : 6th August 2006 at 10:03.
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Old 6th August 2006, 11:55   #3
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Ok, i too had a small test drive of the Civic A/T so lemme chip in my inputs.

Exterior and Interior : "B-U-tiful". The car looks a lot more sportier than the City (even though it kinda resembles the latter in some ways).

It's got a lower stance and seating position. The dash board and dials are nothing like i've seen on any indian car. I especially liked the "carbon fibre" effect on some sections of the dash.

Can't say anything about under thigh support as a really never felt the need for it (thanks to me long legs, my thighs hardly touch the seat).

The steering is beefy and can be adjusted to meet your driving needs.

Engine and Transmission : It's got good low end torque and pulls cleanly from as low as 1500rpm. Not sure if it was the A/T acting out, but the "throttle to acceleration" repsonce wasn't as good as the OHCs. M/T might do better.

The tacho on the A/T is kinda funny. At 2k rpm in 5th i was doing around 65kmph and everytime i hit the acc, the tacho would jump up by 500rpm without any diff in vehicle speed. Did anyone notice this on the M/T?

Paddle shifters : Always knew they were a gimmic. The only reason people use shifters is to get a sporty drive out of the car, this is anything but. I actually prefered the "D" mode than the "S". Changing gears takes a lifetime and the engine isn't blipped when you down shift.

Unless Honda comes up with something similar to the DSG, paddle shifters are a big no-no.

Ride and handling : The ride is a bit bumpy at low speeds but is a real boon as the speeds get higher. The car felt composed and the steering response was quick and precise.

Performance : No doubt then, that this car has some serious potential. Even with 4 people in the car, it moved quick enuf to excite me. The engine is revv happy but not as much as the OHC engines were.

Braking is impressive. The ABS works well and takes care of any wheel lockup, instanly. EBD sees to it that all wheels get the required amount of braking force.

Overall : It's not perfect (no car is) but you'l never regret buying it. As usual, Honda has got itself another class banger.

Shan2nu
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Old 6th August 2006, 12:06   #4
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Thumbs up

u said it all shan2nu..bingo
but whatever said and done she's just amazin..
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Old 6th August 2006, 14:02   #5
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Hey very nice short review NC, F50 and Shan2nu. I still feel peddle shift in Indian driving conditions is a little irritating. Most people keep there hands every where but on the steering. It would definately take time getting used to the peddle shift.
This same Civic is sold here in the United States with different head and tail lights. Looks wierd frankly.
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Old 6th August 2006, 14:04   #6
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Quote:
I feel that the Paddle Shifters are a gimmick. In real driving conditions in a city like Mumbai, I cant see a lot of people using paddle shifts once the novelty wears of.
But what you say about Paddle Shifts on Highways and/or for spirited driving?
Say a drive on Amby Valley road
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Old 6th August 2006, 14:26   #7
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Quote:
But what you say about Paddle Shifts on Highways and/or for spirited driving?
Say a drive on Amby Valley road
It gets worse. Since the shifts aren't quick, you actually lose momentum between them.

Unlike DSG (which is said to be quicker than M/T), this gearbox is a proper A/T with paddles. It only gives you the freedom to choose your gears but the shifting is still done in the traditional way.

DSG uses 2 clutches, so shift time is reduced by half (maybe more).

I've heard the DSG shifts (5th gear - Golf Gti review). There is no lag what-so-ever. It's like listening to an F1 car shifting (except that, it happens at much lower rpms).

I don't think many would opt for the A/T bcoz it's got paddles. They'll just buy it bcoz it's an A/T.

And another thing guys. I've noticed someone saying that the paddles caused his fingers to hurt after a while. The thing is, you're not supposed to rest your fingers on the paddles. Hold the steering as you usually would and press the paddles only when you need to shift.

Shan2nu
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Old 7th August 2006, 11:48   #8
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how do u guys think it might fare against the 1.8 Petrol Skoda Octavia. ???? in all aspects ?
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Old 9th August 2006, 12:54   #9
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Default Manual Test Drive

Hi,

I took a test drive on the manual version yesterday.. This report is in comparision with my current baleno..

1. Engine - did not meet my expectations - the power and acceleration were not way better than my current baleno. Not sure if it is the power to weight ratio..Was quite during idle to the extent that i thought it was off..

2. Drive experience - felt decently solid on the road (did drive on decent quality road most of the time). The driver seat was not has comfortable as the baleno - when i tried taking a corner at around 80-90 kmph the seat did not keep my back in place like the baleno does (the side support). The gear shift lever was a little stiff and not easy. The power steering seems to be a little stiff and not speed sensitive (as the baleno - a lot easier at lower speeds and little stiff at higher speeds). The roads in bangalore (even at 2:30pm) were not clear to test the car at higher rpm/speeds or for that matter the braking. Suspension (over one of the potholes i found) did make a thud, but decent on normal roads. Did not like the overall visibility range - the dashboard is HUGE and then the front just drops off - a little irritating that you cannot see the front ends of the car (especially in bumper to bumper traffic). Most cars seem to have this problem these days to make it more aerodynamic. Position of the handbrake in the resting mode is OK, but tends to hit the left leg when you engage it..

3. Interiors - the black plastic part was OK - but hated the beige part all around! The traditional location of the dashboard housing nothing but the RPM meter looked empty and the new digital dashboard looked like a cheezy science fiction vehicle.. Post the drive i went to the back seat and tried it out - quite comfortable leg space for a 6 footer with the driver seat pushed back, but the centre seat (with the arm rest at the back) is not really a seat - a person cannot sit there for more than a few minutes, forget a long journey - basically a four seater car (though spacious four seater).. Nice touch to add the audio unit controls in the back seat. They had no CD, so cannot comment too much of the quality of the audio system, but comes with a 6 CD changer unit - 4 speakers (2 on the front doors, 2 at the back) and two tweeters in the corners of the huge dashboard. Leather seats as an option start from 38K upwards.. The boot space is decent, but not really designed to hold many large suitcases (it is deep, but not got too much height).

A small point - Engine does not look so great..

Overall - i believe it is a larger Honda City - i personally would not buy one for 12.7L on road with the kind of trim and the package it has. It is not a great step-up from the baleno (or for that matter even the hyundai elantra). I feel you dont get much more car for the price difference other than the snob value of a Honda. So from a realist's perspective, the price/performance and the quality of the after sales support of Suzuki (for Baleno) and Hyundai (Elantra) does not justify paying around 3L+ premium for the Honda Civic.

My search for the successor for my Baleno continous on.....
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Old 9th August 2006, 13:23   #10
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Nice review rangaraj.

Quote:
My search for the successor for my Baleno continous on.....
Why dont you look at the Elantra or the Optra 1.8 both come loaded with loads of features.
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Old 9th August 2006, 19:08   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mp421b
Nice review rangaraj.



Why dont you look at the Elantra or the Optra 1.8 both come loaded with loads of features.
Going by some reports, i wish i could try the elantra with Pete's box.. Not too sure of the Optra, but plan to drive it sometime, besides a few others.. Heard from the Honda salesman that the new Accord is going to be out in December - some cosmetic changes and possibly a slightly improved engine is what he said..
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Old 9th August 2006, 19:42   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rangaraj
Heard from the Honda salesman that the new Accord is going to be out in December - some cosmetic changes and possibly a slightly improved engine is what he said..
It will have a new rear end
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Old 9th August 2006, 20:54   #13
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Quote:
It will have a new rear end
And a slight bump in power. 6bhp for 2.4 and 4bhp for V6.

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Old 10th August 2006, 09:00   #14
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Good review there!
It's rare to find a thread without comparison to Baleno !!
Are'nt we getting biased?
Correct me if wrong folks!

cheers.
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Old 10th August 2006, 11:00   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRADEEP KUMAR
Good review there!
It's rare to find a thread without comparison to Baleno !!
Are'nt we getting biased?
Correct me if wrong folks!

cheers.
From my perspective i came at it as a current owner of baleno. But overall if you look at the marketspace - baleno is probably the benchmark for a car with performance, space and is a VFM leader in its segment. The new entrants will compared to this from a performance and value.. I am of course not implying that the Civic is in the same segment as the baleno.. It certainly is superior to the baleno, but the question was how much car are you getting and at what price?
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