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Old 10th September 2008, 18:51   #1
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Default A newbie TDs a Civic. EDIT Now takes her home!

And doesn't crash it.

Really. Honest!

So yes, we've been talking about buying a car for a while now (6 months? 6 years?). Dad just returned after an eventful voyage, so he was settling down for the last two weeks or so. But my incessant chattering finally drove him nuts and he agreed to test drive the Honda Civic.

I know, I know. Bad A.S.S, less VFM compared to the new Altis, low GC ad infinitum, but I was never good at thinking with my head y'know.

Anyway, I have never driven a car before for any real length of time other than the driving school Ambassador (well, there was this one time I crashed our 1990s FIAT into the gate... but that was when I was little), so I was really nervous TDing a boat like the Civic.

You probably have heard about the car a million times, but I'm just putting down what I thought from my perspective. Its friggin' huge. Lots of space in the front. The dash just wraps around you. The car they brought was a 1.8S, a KL-07 registration. My apologies to the poor soul who owns that vehicle - I really tried not to ruin your car Sir. Hopefully, the three others who'll be TDing today will keep it that way.

The road to our house is at a steep incline in a rather narrow road. So the first thing that's apparent when you drive this thing downhill - it ain't no Amby :P Everything is so light, so damned sensitive! The brake takes all of a feather touch to engage. The steering wheel is small and light. I expected to have problems judging the distance to the front due to the low stance, but thankfully, it was fine.

I expected the car to be some poor customer's, so I drove very slow and carefully. I didn't rip it. We drove from our place (out in the boonies, near Attukal (for the people in Trivandrum)) through some city traffic to the bypass road. When I took the wheel of a Verna a couple days back, I had problems taking U turns and such because of belligerent traffic. But the Civic was different. People respected the big size and I had an easier time.

But after all that, when I turned into our lane on our way back, I turned a bit too soon and the plants at the inside of the turn scraped the side. Well, not scraped, but there was a mark (no bare metal visible). Then they "found" a small indent in underside of the skirt near the rear door. They made it sound like it happened during the turn. I was really sad and angry at myself about it, so I went down and checked out the place after they left and there was nothing there that could have caused the metal piece to actually bend in. No stones and such. So, Mr. Owner, it wasn't my fault. Thankfully, they were really polite about it (hey, they're getting a customer right?).

I asked the dude(s) who came about their policies about mods and such. They really had no idea and asked me to talk to the service manager. Typical.

We'll probably go and book the 1.8V A/T (Dad insists on the A/T even if he won't be driving it.) on Monday. They're offering free 2 years extended warranty if we book this month. The OTR comes to about 14.3L. The story will (hopefully) continue.

Your thoughts are appreciated.

Last edited by aah78 : 10th September 2008 at 21:35. Reason: Link fixed.
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Old 10th September 2008, 20:50   #2
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Hi ImmortalZ,

> 1.8S, a KL-07 registration. My apologies to the poor soul who owns that
> vehicle - So, Mr. Owner, it wasn't my fault. Thankfully, they were really polite > about it (hey, they're getting a customer right?).

You can rest in peace. That car is the property of Peninsular Honda. I am yet to see them giving a TD in a customer car.

My sales executive did bring a customer's City CVT for my TD, but along with the customer, his friend.

Do enjoy your Civic. You would love the AT.
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Old 10th September 2008, 21:08   #3
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Hee hee. Another AT. Welcome to the club. Make sure you take the pre-delivery inspection checklist and check out everything. We've had some bad lemons dished out. Wasn't jmathew's Civic bought somewhere in Kerala?

Have fun
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Old 11th September 2008, 00:19   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trrk View Post
Hi ImmortalZ,

> 1.8S, a KL-07 registration. My apologies to the poor soul who owns that
> vehicle - So, Mr. Owner, it wasn't my fault. Thankfully, they were really polite > about it (hey, they're getting a customer right?).

You can rest in peace. That car is the property of Peninsular Honda. I am yet to see them giving a TD in a customer car.

My sales executive did bring a customer's City CVT for my TD, but along with the customer, his friend.

Do enjoy your Civic. You would love the AT.
That's a load off my mind. Naturally if I suspect it's a customer vehicle, my next thought is them using my future one for TDs, so...

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Originally Posted by csentil View Post
Hee hee. Another AT. Welcome to the club. Make sure you take the pre-delivery inspection checklist and check out everything. We've had some bad lemons dished out. Wasn't jmathew's Civic bought somewhere in Kerala?

Have fun
Oh yes. I mean to print out the checklist and go inspect the car with a pro driver before I let them register it.

Want to add a couple things here that I forgot to mention.

I heard primarily two complaints about the Civic.

1) Suspension that bottoms out / rough ride at low speeds.
2) Transmission problems in the 2nd gear.

Anyone who's from Kerala will know about how roads in most cities were destroyed in the name of the Japan Drinking Water project. I had to navigate the car through the non-existent roads for a good bit and it offered a pliant ride.

I went through the lower gears plenty of times due to the evening traffic and even with my noobish shifting, it didn't complain. Hell, it was a pleasure changing gears.

Of course, this was a well worn 1.8S.
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Old 11th September 2008, 11:42   #5
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Hi ImmortalZ,

> 1) Suspension that bottoms out / rough ride at low speeds.

I may have driven the same TD car in Alleppey last year. I did drive a mnual Civic. I really liked the ride and the drive train. The ground clearance is a bit of an issue and if that is taken into consideration, you would be able to manage without scraping the bottom. But with full load that would be tough.

The low seats went against the car. Instead chose the City CVT ( was looking out for an automatic car) and that has a rough low speed ride.

> 2) Transmission problems in the 2nd gear.

What problems? Low pick up?

> Hell, it was a pleasure changing gears.

With the AT, you don't even have to do that. Even left in D, it does the work beautifully. I asked for and got a TD in an AT also later.
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Old 11th September 2008, 12:36   #6
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Fun to read review! It's amazing how our perspective toward cars can change, after a jump from an Amby / Fiat into a modern car. The first time I drove an 800, I thought its the best car in the world...the ergonomics and ease of driving was in a different league (compared to our Padmini) altogether!

Good on you to take it easy on the test-car. Umm, some of us don't think that way . Congrats on the Civic, yup it is a car that you buy from the heart. Do update with an ownership review + pictures when your car is delivered.
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Old 11th September 2008, 12:43   #7
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That was a very nice review adn quite an experience for you. Hope the buying process is smooth for you and do refer to the Team BHP pre delivery check list when you go to pick up your car. Good choice on the AT. They are the best for city driving and more Indian people are leaning towards ATs now.

Congratulations and welcome to the Honda club.
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Old 11th September 2008, 15:26   #8
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he he nice review..had a real laugh the way you've written it. Congrats on your new car and yes do a proper run-in of your car.
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Old 11th September 2008, 15:51   #9
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Hey, if you are treating it like a small baby then what is the TD you have done? If you need to check all the elements in TD, you need to rip it. Though its my opinion some others may also have the same feeling (i guess)
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Old 12th September 2008, 12:28   #10
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Nicely written there.

Wow - An Auto Civic - Be warned of the FE though - I hear it's not that great - around 8 kpl.

Civic I would prefer anyday over the new Altis.
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Old 12th September 2008, 13:10   #11
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Hey there, nice rib-tickling debut review there. This one is a close competition with the Civic, isn't it? If we aren't wrong, the Altis sold in your country is the Corolla elsewhere. The difference/choice between these cars is like choosing between the Evo VIII and the STi (of the same year) - matter of choice. Civic is more roomy inside and better in handling. Corolla/Altis performance figures are better than Civic because of the good power-weight ratio. The Corolla did have under-steer problems and Toyota needs to do something about the body-roll issue as well.

However, Mazda 3 is the best in this class. But, considering the choice, it has to be the Civic.
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Old 12th September 2008, 14:14   #12
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Hey there, a mistake - we meant - this one is a close competition with the Altis/Corolla, isn't it?
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Old 12th September 2008, 15:57   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trrk View Post
Hi ImmortalZ,

> 1) Suspension that bottoms out / rough ride at low speeds.

I may have driven the same TD car in Alleppey last year. I did drive a mnual Civic. I really liked the ride and the drive train. The ground clearance is a bit of an issue and if that is taken into consideration, you would be able to manage without scraping the bottom. But with full load that would be tough.

The low seats went against the car. Instead chose the City CVT ( was looking out for an automatic car) and that has a rough low speed ride.

> 2) Transmission problems in the 2nd gear.

What problems? Low pick up?

> Hell, it was a pleasure changing gears.

With the AT, you don't even have to do that. Even left in D, it does the work beautifully. I asked for and got a TD in an AT also later.
Sorry, I was a bit unclear there.

I heard of these problems from others. But I couldn't find them in my TD. I did drive faster than I would over bad stretches to find exactly how much truth is there in what I heard. I also shifted a whole lot. Both concerns were unfounded when I tried the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Fun to read review! It's amazing how our perspective toward cars can change, after a jump from an Amby / Fiat into a modern car. The first time I drove an 800, I thought its the best car in the world...the ergonomics and ease of driving was in a different league (compared to our Padmini) altogether!

Good on you to take it easy on the test-car. Umm, some of us don't think that way . Congrats on the Civic, yup it is a car that you buy from the heart. Do update with an ownership review + pictures when your car is delivered.
Thank you and will do. My dad is mighty impressed with T-BHP's checklist. Make that with the entire website. Which reminds me, I need to buy one of those T-BHP bumper stickers - I hear it instills the fear of God into car dealers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
That was a very nice review adn quite an experience for you. Hope the buying process is smooth for you and do refer to the Team BHP pre delivery check list when you go to pick up your car. Good choice on the AT. They are the best for city driving and more Indian people are leaning towards ATs now.

Congratulations and welcome to the Honda club.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashish22 View Post
he he nice review..had a real laugh the way you've written it. Congrats on your new car and yes do a proper run-in of your car.
Thanks and will do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
Hey, if you are treating it like a small baby then what is the TD you have done? If you need to check all the elements in TD, you need to rip it. Though its my opinion some others may also have the same feeling (i guess)
One reason is that I'm a newbie driver. Two, I was behind the wheel of an expensive car. Three, I was really afraid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vkochar View Post
Nicely written there.

Wow - An Auto Civic - Be warned of the FE though - I hear it's not that great - around 8 kpl.

Civic I would prefer anyday over the new Altis.
I know of the low FE. But it's my dad's choice. He supplies Vitamin M. This particular brand of M comes with a side effect - low FE. *shrug*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brosreview View Post
Hey there, a mistake - we meant - this one is a close competition with the Altis/Corolla, isn't it?
Yes, the new Corolla Altis is in direct competition with the Civic in India. It is too bad Mazda isn't here in full force.
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Old 12th September 2008, 22:40   #14
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congrats on the civic, and, glad to know that your dad made it back safely.
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Old 12th September 2008, 23:59   #15
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Congrats on the civic dude.
Enjoy it and do a proper Pre Delivery Inspection and a Good Run in.
Waiting for initial ownership reports and pictures.
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