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Old 21st February 2024, 12:48   #1
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The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review

The Story of Our Civic

I have to share this with the BHPians. With & from whom I learnt so much, and even realized my dream car- I owe this to the forum and BHPians.

With a very heavy heart, I had to let go my Civic after almost 10 years of amazing ownership experience. The car was handed over to the new owner, a young lad, on 22nd February 2024.

For the gem the car was, it never let me down at the decision of buying it in the first place. When I got the Civic, I was little skeptical about it's upkeep, reliability and maintenance costs, etc. However, after spending a long time with the car and clocking some amazing miles with it, I can vouch that I spent less on the car than my Maruti Zen during it's entire tenure. Yes, parts for Civic are expensive, but they seldom go bad. The car was still in a great nick, nearing 90K kms with the only minor irritant being the rear-left suspension making some noise on big potholes when loaded. Apart from this age related issue, there was not a thing that was out of place in the car. Everything & all systems worked just as intended. A testimony to the great build quality. I am sure it will serve the new owner as great as it treated me.

I wanted to write about the car back in the day when I bought it but unfortunately, the writing didn't go beyond the assembly line. I am late by good 10 years but I will still take this opportunity to pen something about this wonderful machine. This might be one of the shortest thread in this sub-forum but I think the car deserves every word of it, so please bear with me. If nothing, this will help me relive & refresh all the time I spent with the car. I will take some cues from my old writing still lying in the assembly line when I bought this car for some inputs in this thread. So, gentlemen, pardon me if you find it too boring to read about a yesteryears car. Treat it as nothing but one of my aimless ramblings.

Last edited by saket77 : 22nd February 2024 at 17:48.
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Old 21st February 2024, 13:38   #2
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The Beginning.

The Beginning.


Let me start from the very beginning. I saw the 8th Gen Honda Civic closely in 2008 when I was 25. This was the time when I had taken up my first job assignment in Delhi after completing my masters. I usually commuted to work by the Delhi metro and sometimes even by the infamous DTC buses.

During one of these commutes, my eyes got fixated on a beautiful shining car in a dark shade. NOTHING, and I mean every letter of it- NOTHING- on the road looked like it- even on Delhi roads. Looks are subjective hence I dare to make the above statement. The car came closer and me being seated at a window seat of the DTC bus, was able to grab a great view of the car. Stopping of both vehicles at a traffic signal side by side got me literally ogle at the cockpit like interiors of the car. The interiors of the car made me wonder if something can be designed so beautifully. If that was not love at first sight, then I don't know what is.

But then they also say that love is blind. I am talking about the price tag. I checked it later, and sure it was well beyond the reach of an average 25 year young office goer like me back then. It felt like a hapless situation as in movies where a broke hero in dire straits falls in love with a girl living in her palatial home. Let alone dreaming about the Civic, actually I couldn't afford even an Omni at that time. If I think about it now, I don't think I even wanted to buy the car- I was quite ok with the fact that it was just destined to became an unfulfilled dream.

Applied for TeamBHP membership in 2012 (4 times, if you were curious) with various permutations and combinations of words to pass the membership test. One answer that didn't change all 4 times was the "which car?" question. No prizes for guessing it.

Fast forward to 2014.

During these years, I got married and moved back to my hometown. Took a new job here and as luck would have it, my boss used to drive a Blue Civic!! I Had my trusty Zen at home, about which some of you know, at my disposal and life was going as usual. Honda had discontinued the Civic in 2012, but it was still a head turner on roads. Whenever I came across one, I admired the car for it's timeless design. It was an extremely well proportioned & beautiful luxury car.

.

Last edited by saket77 : 22nd February 2024 at 16:39.
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Old 21st February 2024, 13:44   #3
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Making the Dream Come True!

Making the Dream Come True!

I had never thought of getting a pre-owned car. But one fine day after coming across one more example of the car on road, I decided that enough was enough and now I must satisfy my dream- a very reasonable one. Reasonable because Honda axed the Civic in India in 2012, so pre-owned was the only route possible. It was an October Sunday morning (2014) and I showed some pictures of the Civic to my wife on the internet. She was against the idea of getting a used car but after looking at the pictures, she also liked the car and I had a go ahead signal.

Car 1- The Black Civic:

We started scouting the local classifieds and a locally registered Black Civic- V MT got our interest. Called the owner and he was courteous enough to drive the car near our premises with his chauffer. This was the top of the line 'V' model of the car with a very nice registration number but when I checked the car, I found that it was not in a very good condition. The OVRM was dangling and during the test drive I realised that the engine mount was also on it's last legs. Notable vibrations were felt inside the cabin- but one thing that was great even in this car was the nice clean butter smooth acceleration. The engine of the car was definitely in good nick but same couldn't be said for the exteriors and the engine mounts. I conveyed my decision of letting go this car to the owner on the spot. He offered me a 20K discount saying that all these can be easily repaired with this amount. I politely declined the offer.

Car 2 - The Silver Civic: Our Civic

By now I realised that there a very few Civics in Jharkhand, and finding a clean example for sale was a remote possibility. Post this, I turned to our own TeamBHP classifieds and found BHPian Razor's car. The car looked clean in pictures and I contacted Razor through DM and soon we fixed a date to see the car in person. The only issue in picking up this car was the complexities relating to out of state vehicle transfer which looked like a daunting task. We decided to take this one step at a time and checking the car in person was that first step.

We travelled to Kolkata on 30/10/2014 to check this car. Friend & BHPian Swapnil, who was in Kolkata during the time, joined us there. I can still clearly remember the first glimpse of our car when Razor entered the lane. The car looked very clean & well kept. We took a longish test drive in empty stretches of Rajarhat. I was driving it patiently but Razor said "Redline it man, it's a Civic"! The car, true to it's genes, rushed to triple digit speeds in almost no time. It certainly came out in flying colours during the test drive and I couldn't find a fault in the car. Razor was a fellow BHPian and that certainly played a role in building up confidence with the car. I knew that this *IS* our Civic.

We finalised it on the spot and left Kolkata that night. Everything was coordinated with Razor on phone and we fixed a day when I would pick the car. Completed all the formalities at Razor's home and we picked the car (within a week) and drove it back to Ranchi through the longer route. Why the longer route- hope BHPians will understand!

I was happy like a kid to finally own my dream car. Any other car, or even a new car would not have given me as much happiness as the Civic brought into our otherwise mundane lives. Finally I possessed the car I admired the most. Our own Silver Civic.

One of our initial drives

The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review-dsc00033.jpg

Last edited by saket77 : 22nd February 2024 at 17:01.
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Old 21st February 2024, 15:56   #4
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Living with our Civic

Living with our Civic

We thoroughly enjoyed the longer route of 570 kms on our way back to Ranchi. The car worked flawlessly touching high speeds continuously. Still the car delivered a good fuel efficiency of 15KMPL enroute. I got used to the car very quickly except the strong brake bite which took some time to adjust to. The ergonomics of the car were spot on and I bet most Honda owners will agree that ergonomics failure is not a word in Honda's dictionary.

Soon long drive duties were fully allocated to the Civic for the safety and comfort it provided, while the Zen became our go around city car for the ease of use & nimbleness. However, the vehicle transfer process took it's own sweet time at Ranchi RTO and I admire Razor's patience for the same. I paid the road tax at Ranchi for the purpose as well.

We looked for excuses for going on long drives and sure Civic felt as eager and never ever disappointed us. For the engine size, it delivered very good FE figures- always.


The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review-img_20180211_144230.jpg


The car was always serviced at Honda ASC. A couple of times at Mahindra First Choice for jobs like replenishing AC gas, changing rubber boot, etc. Other than changing the axle boots, the car never went for any repair work during it's entire ownership. That speaks volumes about how well the car was actually put together and testifies why Honda name is in sync with reliability. Sure, the Takata airbag recall was applicable to our car as well, and the airbags were changed under the recall by Honda.

Coming to the driving aspects of the car, it is no secret in the circle of enthusiasts that the free revving 1.8 liter petrol engine is in it's own league. The smoothness and pull it offers even today is addictive. This is a very capable engine by all standards. Though the initial start feels less torquey than what most would like, but once it crosses the 1700 RPM mark, it just flies off. An enthusiast can never stop admiring this engine. The driving dynamics are terrific. I have done speeds which I cannot mention here without the car breaking a sweat. Car always feels planted to the road- given any speed. Braking with all 4 discs aspires confidence in the car. The hydraulic steering feels nicely weighted and has a terrific feedback. The build quality is at par with it's Euro rivals. Not once, I repeat not once during my entire ownership the car behaved unexpectedly to any of the inputs I threw at it- be it the precise steering, brakes or even acceleration.

However, no car is perfect. Civic had it's own share of Achilles heel, though it was not a long list and thankfully most didn't bother us. The only part that actually bothered us & throughout was the low ground clearance of the car. The car also had a soft suspension set up which aggravated the situation on bigger bumps. In fact, I had to offload my passengers many times to navigate some of the craters found on our roads throughout the ownership over which most Maruti 800s easily sailed upon. As any owner of a low ground clearance car would know, the only way to navigate such bumps is to offload and take the angled approach. Civic has a really long wheel base and taking breakers diagonally helps much in such situations.

If I have to summarize it, it will go as under:

Likes:
1. Great looking car inside out. No wonder as they say- it is difficult to improve perfection!
2. Came with with all safety features of the time.
3. Solid construction and sheet metal too. Absolutely no cost-cutting story to be found here.
4. Silk Smooth Honda engine which begs to be revved all the way to red-line.
5. Highly composed at all speeds.
6. Excellent acceleration. Many a times back then I wouldn't realise that how soon I crossed the 3 digit speed barrier on open roads.
7. Excellent NVH levels inside the cabin. At times, one needed to look at the tacho-meter to know if the engine is running! With engine mount getting little weaker than before, some vibrations had started filtering into the cabin, especially at cold starts.
8. Interiors and the dash board were an absolute delight to look at. I can appreciate it all day long even today.
9. Great interior space. Flat hump on the rear means added leg space & comfort for the rear passengers and an occasional fifth passenger.
10. The fifth wheel is full-size and an alloy.
11. Excellent braking capability. Has disc brakes all around.
12. Nice Automatic Climate Control.
14. The hydraulic steering offers terrific feedback and weighs up exceptionally well.

Dislikes:
1. Low ground clearance. Have to be extremely careful with a fully loaded car.
2. Soft rear suspension sags when carrying 4 passengers & a boot full of luggage. That sagged rear destroys the otherwise good aesthetics & stance of the car.
3. Weak low end torque- probably due to taller gearing & typical iVTEC engine characteristic. Can be a good workout for your left leg. Not something you will appreciate in city traffic.
4. Expensive parts.
5. Weak lo-beam lights. Thankfully High beam is good.
6. Presence of only one Honda ASC in Ranchi. I mean there are good number of Honda cars in the city and still we have just one ASC! Come on Honda!
7. I have noticed that Honda ASC would ask to replace expensive parts even when repair was possible with child parts. For eg. they asked to changed the entire brake caliper for a simple O ring leak. Another instance- they wanted to change entire drive shaft just for the torn rubber boot. I got both done out of Honda at a fraction of cost Honda quoted.
8. There were rear AC vents under the front seat, but never got to know when they throw air. It had it's own logic built in the ACC.
9. No built-in AUX or Bluetooth connectivity in the stock head unit. The HU was a 6 CD changer though.
10. No auto-lock in doors. Even a cheap aftermarket security system offers auto lock. Had to lock the doors using central locking button every time. I would say that many times I forgot to lock the doors while driving.
11. Usability error- You lock the power windows using the driver's console (so that pax cannot operate the windows) but now even the driver would not be able to operate them using the master console.
12. No steering mounted controls.
13. In general, the car had a reputation to have hydraulic steering leaks and pre-matured failures of engine mount. The newer replacement mount was more sturdy and held on much better than the one the car came with in 2006-2008 era.


Years flew by and we kept experiencing uneventful ownership of the car. The car completed 15 years in June-2022 and was due for renewal of registration. It was in great condition so renewing the registration was never debated but JH road taxes are high for registration renewals. I paid ~63K through my nose just to renew the registration for 5 years- which I believe is unjustifiable amount charged (& most will agree). During the renewal, the registration mark was also changed to Jharkhand state (I was still carrying the original WB regn mark all this time since the original number was a fancy number).

The car kept marching on effortlessly as ever.

Last edited by saket77 : 22nd February 2024 at 17:07.
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Old 21st February 2024, 16:02   #5
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Bidding Adieu to Our Civic

Bidding Adieu to Our Civic

If the day your car is to be driven away by the new owner is the saddest day in your entire ownership, then it must have been an outstanding one. That is no mean feat. The Civic left us for a new home with the odo standing at 87,263 clicks to be precise with my young daughter handing the keys to the new owner. I hope the young lad will take care of it and the car loves him back the way it did to us.

I will close the post with just one line- There was never ever a day when I parked it, locked it and didn't turn to look back.
This was the charisma of the Civic.

If anyone thought I was kidding, I will leave with some of the recent shots of the car.

The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review-img_3761.jpg

The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review-img_3765.jpg

Last edited by saket77 : 22nd February 2024 at 17:41.
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Old 22nd February 2024, 16:00   #6
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re: The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review

One of our last long drives- This is us and the Civic at Panchet Dam:

The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review-b8ddc3e12abc470e82f2189072735d47.jpg

The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review-e5737bcdd61f41b0b0ada6bcb378bfb5.jpg


My daughter became adamant that she will not let the car go and that she will puncture the tires!!
She made a happy face just for the photos.
Honestly, even we had a lump in the throat moment while the car was driven away.

The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review-img_0597.jpg

The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review-img_0612.jpg



Final ODO at the time of handing over:

The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review-img_0572.jpg


My daughter handed over the keys to the new owner:

The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review-img_0617.jpg




And the new owner was considerate enough to share pictures upon reaching his home after detailing the car.

The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review-ae23e630b5d04d16ad251845e50974bb.jpg

The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review-542fe41552654b64b6c0f40aec14fbc8.jpg


This was our Civic story. It will be gone but not forgotten.

Hope the new owner will have an equally happy ownership of the car.

Signing off with a picture taken during one of our initial drives back in 2014:

The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review-dsc00025.jpg

Last edited by saket77 : 22nd February 2024 at 17:45.
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Old 22nd February 2024, 19:25   #7
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re: The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 22nd February 2024, 21:07   #8
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Re: Living with our Civic

Short and sweet ownership thread that is similar to summarising a 3 hour movie in 30 minutes, without missing out on key details; straight from the heart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
dash board was an absolute delight to look at. I can appreciate it all day long even today
Agree; the Civic had the most futuristic looking instrument console back then. If I remember right, this was the first car to come with a digital speedo. My first memory of the Civic was when I saw a white one (Tafeta white ?) sometime in 2007-08 one night on Gaurav Path in Surat. The Civic was whizzing past at 80 odd kmph and I was watching the car from a distance. Reflection of the street lighting on the the shiny alloys was a visual treat.

I have only travelled shotgun about 70km up and 70 down in a Civic AT sometime in 2014. The finesse in the car was unparalleled then. My only grouse with this car was that the upholstery would age real fast, the greyish silver finish on the power window switch panel would wear off rather fast. Have never been associated with maintenance of this car, but I have gained some insights from your thread.

Last edited by vigsom : 22nd February 2024 at 21:20.
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Old 22nd February 2024, 21:12   #9
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Re: The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review

Honda could launch this generation of Civic today and it would not look "old" amongst 2024 designs. It looked so radically ahead of its time, but still had Japanese reliability and tried and true mechanicals underneath.

The early 2010s was the golden era for the segment. The Jetta, Octavia, Civic, Corolla, and Elantra were all pretty amazing cars.
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Old 22nd February 2024, 23:35   #10
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Re: The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review

Better late than ever, eh, saket77? A short and sweet review. We had a Civic in the same shade in our society, and the owner always used to come drive it out whenever we were playing. Not a day went by when we didn't ogle at those digital speedometer readings.

PS: Just yesterday, I read your post on how high the reregistration tax is in JH, and despite that, you bit the bullet, and today I read this.

All the best for your next steed.
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Old 22nd February 2024, 23:36   #11
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Re: The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review

Most would agree that this is one among the very few cars that the buyers acquired with their heart rather than their head! Am damn sure everyone has a story to tell. It's like meeting your soulmate; You go weak at your knees!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eccentric View Post
Cars have come and gone. IMHO, the Indian Auto industry has never witnessed another car like Civic which struck emotional chords with any individuals irrespective of age. I would like to end this by a quote from 'Mad Men' and here it goes,

"This device isnít a spaceship, itís a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwardsÖ it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. Itís not called the wheel, itís called the carousel. It letís us travel the way a child travels - around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved."

The above quote flashes in my mind whenever I see the car. This is what a Civic is, a Carousel.
Feeling melancholic having read this thread while listening to and penning down my thoughts. Thank you, @saket77 for your inputs via various posts on the Maintenance thread; They continue to help relatively new owners like me. Wishing you the very best for your new ride!
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Old 23rd February 2024, 02:41   #12
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Re: The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review

Posting on Tbhp after ages! Beautifully narrated, Saket. Happy that my Civic found such a loving owner. Sadly, most of my other cars were not so lucky! The car looks mint even after a decade!

Life came a full circle. About a decade back, you were the young lad and my son was handing over the keys (not too willingly!!)

Excited to see what’s next, ride-wise!

Last edited by razor4077 : 23rd February 2024 at 02:43.
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Old 23rd February 2024, 02:54   #13
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Re: The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review

What a fantastic story of an absolutely iconic car. I owned a Civic A/T from 2009 - ~2017/18 and run for about 65k kms IIRC. Even after buying my 3GT in 2015 it took me a couple of years to be able to let the Civic go.

That car really was something else and I still miss it. It was just such a handsome design and what a hoot to drive. Thanks for penning down a review for this beauty. I’m glad you got around to it and the Forum has yet another thread with another Civic story.
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Old 23rd February 2024, 08:30   #14
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Re: The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review

The is such a beautiful tale of one amazing machine. I have a fond memory of driving this Civic down the Harmu bypass road when it arrived in your garage.

The Civic still looks like a modern design despite its age. The interiors specially were way ahead of its times. Except the ground clearance issue which poses a challenge in some of our roads, there is very little that goes against a Civic. Knowing you personally since more than a decade now, I have been witnessing how well you keep your cars. And now I am quite envious of the new owner who just picked up such an immaculate example.

Thanks for this wonderful read. Looks like you and your family were quite smitten with this member during the entire ownership period. Wishing you all the best in finding a worthy replacement to this gem of a car.
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Old 23rd February 2024, 09:31   #15
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Re: The Story of Our Honda Civic | Long-Term Ownership Review

You did take me back some good 10-12 years back, when a similar love story unfolded here with the Civic as thoughts do resonate

The love for the Civic is beautifully captured and thanks for sharing the decade long relationship with us. Lucky lad who got the beauty and wishing him the very best of drives ahead!
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