Honda Civic 2009: 'Pure exhilaration' further improved
4th July 2006 is when Civic came to India
9th Sept 2009 is when the face-lift came to Bangalore
9th Oct 2009 is when it came to me
Needed a 2nd car with
> Automatic with manual-shift-control or Manual, for ease and fun
> Bigger cabin with wider rear seat for my family
> Leather seats for easy maintenance
> A driver's delight
> Lot of features (not fully met, but its OK!)
Extensively TDed all the cars and this is what I said to myself.
> Altis is simply the most practical car; 7/10 exterior, 6/10 interior, 6/10 fun
> Civic is simply 'pure exhilaration'; 8/10 exterior, 9/10 interior, 9/10 fun (My Ikon, as I see it in its segment: 7/10 exterior, 6/10 interior, 8/10 fun!)
Both are excellent Jap cars in their own ways completely orthogonal IMO. In my case, its a Civic V-AT; it just stroke the right chord for me.
Making the deal
So it was time to look-out for deals. Just before the launch of the face-lift, 30-40K cash discount did attract me and thats when I got a little serious about buying one. I went to the nearest dealer to see both old and face-lifted civic. Though I liked the new front more than the old, the feature-list and pricing kept me away from it. But I was reluctant to buy the old model considering the soft suspension and also sid's feature-list of the facelift. However I started negotiating for an old civic (just 1 Silver was left), but it got sold the next day :-( Then I decided, I'll either buy a used old civic or buy a new face-lift. I did see a used V-AT and called the seller too only to hear him say "its gone already" :-( Now no more options (good for me!), so either buy now or later. Then asked the dealer if he can give the same 30K discount on the face-lift. He said, "wwwhat"; then I said, "Civic is overpriced, people are going for Altis, you can see the sales figures etc..." (thanx to TBHP for all the info). Surprisingly, he didn't say 'not a single rupee less Sir, its Honda!'.
Now comes the best part. The salesman was a very nice guy and became quite friendly (as he was leaving that dealer pretty soon). After a couple of days, he called me and said the dealer gave a discount of 15K to someone for a face-lift S-MT. Thats when I thought its time (with ofcourse some hopes of winning a car free with honda-fest as well!) I started negotiating for this discount and some freebies. I had already got an insurance quote of 24K!. On 26th Sept, I went to the dealer to finalize the deal after some haggling, but he didnt budge. So I went to another dealer and he said "OK fine" finally. While he is on the way to collect the cheque from me, he called and said he does not have stock and no more stock coming till Nov and the offer he had just made stands cancelled for Nov. I replied with the usual 2-word thingy. A bit upset though, thought of trying the 3rd dealer (Whitefield Honda) and it did work. The person I spoke to, was the showroom manager herself and the response was simply great. Spoke to her at ~6pm and the deal was done(booked) by ~1pm the next day. She initially said she will need 20 days to get the car. A couple of hours later, she calls me and says she can allot another car which is in transit and delivery within a week! So booked on 2nd Oct and got it on 9th Oct.
Now comes the car! In simple words, its 'pure exhilaration'. PERIOD. My heart said 'thanx a ton' to my head. Here are the additions/improments,
> front looks even better
> LED effect of new tail-lights is simply awesome
> fuel-consumption indicator comes in handy (though not a full-fledged computer)
> autolocking (locks after 15kmph; locks/unlocks with shifting of gear from/to P; programmable)
> paddles work in D as well (like in City); I guess it comes with a later version of software. I'm not sure if there is any ECU remap/tuning done.
> USB with iPod connectivity. My first gen Nano with latest firmware works fine. (but I saw 'unsupported version' for the same iPod once; some firmware issue with the HU)
> I did drive with 5 over a few bangalore-styled humps and no scraping (well I cant say its completely resolved, need some time; but its surely stiffer compared to the old TD car I drove)
> Though a little too early to talk about FE now, it was great to see 10.6kmpl for city driving with trip-A showing 38kms. (I'm not sure if there is any tuning done in the face-lift for shift-points/grade-logic)
> The groove for the screw in the key (with remote) is in the key-stem itself rather than in plastic around it (minor one though)
> Organ-type accelerator pedal is very comfortable (old civic had it too)
I didn't like > steering mounted controls missing (yuck! what a cheap trick to cut cost)
> fenders have a play of about 0.5cm near the mudflaps (noticeable in accord too)
> bonnet weighs less than my Ikon's, thinner sheets used ?
> MICHELIN not standard on all Civics. Mine has NCT5s.
> dashborad panels (small ones) near the quarter glass, feel a bit cheap/flaky compared to other plastics around.
> steerng feedback could have been slightly improved for low-speeds. (my Ikon fairs better here)
> steering grip could have been slightly thicker (like my Ikon's); I think City and Jazz have thicker ones
> choice of colors (Carbon-bronze/Misty-violet missing for me)
> TBHP stickers
Here are some initial pics. Part-2 coming after the weekend drive and with more pics. Thanx again for all your inputs (via threads/PMs).
congratulations on the lovely buy !! Only one thing you say that the car did'nt scrape at at breakers and other places you expect it to!! does it mean that honda has tuned the sunpension to indian condition s because the sunpension is the only thing where the civic is a pain to drive !!
enjoy the paddle shifting