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Old 9th March 2010, 20:31   #1
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Got my *pre-worshipped* Honda Civic

What I like:

• Absolute VFM pricing. The beauty of lateral upgrading
• Stunning design and low, meaty & planted stance. Solid construction too
• Stellar reliability levels. A completely dependable no-nonsense automobile
• Fast revv-happy engine. High on refinement as well
• Quick steering, slick gearshift and overall driver-orientedness
• Spacious well-designed interiors with all required amenities. Outstanding part quality
• An all-rounded car that appeals to the head and heart
• Tremendous after-market modifications support

What I don't:

• Low torque at low rpms. Takes getting used to. Will be solved with planned performance mods (remap, exhaust etc.)
• Soft rear suspension. Bolt-on suspension upgrades coming up soon
• Surprisingly limited boot space. Too shallow.

Special edition sticker for my Civic (Thanks Rehaan!):
Got my *pre-worshipped* Honda Civic-p1080995.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 8th June 2010 at 09:50.
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Old 9th March 2010, 20:32   #2
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The Thought Process:

First, a li'l bit of history. While researching on 6 lakh rupee enthusiast cars for you guys (Link to Full Article), I end up tempted myself . I saw that the market had '06 Civics going for 6.5 - 7.0 lakhs. Back of the envelope calculations indicated that selling my Vtec + a mere 3.xx lakhs could get me a car that's:

- A Honda. At the time that I sold my Vtec, there wasn’t a screw loose. This is after 7 years of hard driving
- Substantially more modern
- A later model year (my Vtec was an '03)
- Run far less kms (my Vtec's odo read 72,000 kms. Avg. used Civic was 20,000 clicks)
- A size bigger. With more comfortable interiors too
- Has excellent stability at high speed (a sore point with the Vtec)
- Is equally modification-friendly, if not more
- Has rear disc brakes, ABS and airbags
- Well-kitted out (height adjust drivers seat, steering tilt, climate control, electric retractable mirrors etc.)

The differential value was overwhelmingly positive. In many ways, I saw the Civic as a logical step up from the Vtec. In the same breadth, I might add, I never really thought that its worth a 10 lakh rupee difference (price of new Civic LESS market value of my Vtec). The enthusiast cars thread got me thinking of a used Civic instead.

The OHC Vtec served me so well that I just had to get a Honda again. In the 73,000 kms that the Vtec was with me, it never let me down. Not a single time. Remember, my OHC Vtec only went to Linkway Honda ONCE each year, for a 24 hours scheduled service. I needed an “always-on” car....a car that's always ready to perform and has zero headache. At the time of sale with my OHC, and after 7 years of high-revving, EVERYTHING worked as it did on day one of ownership (something that a couple of 6 month old cars today can't boast of). This next buy would be my daily drive to work, and I need 100% reliability. I also need a car that’s FUN TO DRIVE. A high-revving petrol mated to a slick shifting manual gearbox. With due respect to Altis owners and the car's practicality, the Toyota is simply not fun to drive. For my daily drive, I would only depend on the "H" or the "T".

Within a short while, the Vtec was sold to a Vtec lover (Link to Avinash's ownership thread).
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Old 9th March 2010, 20:33   #3
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The Search Process:

I usually follow an exceedingly organised approach to anything that I do, and the Civic's search was no different. All of Bombay's topmost used car dealers were lined up, and their inventory checked by my team member every 2 - 3 days. Contact information was maintained in a neat excel sheet, with frequent updates on fresh cars available.

I personally test-drove 4 cars in the entire month, while my office another 6 - 7. Homework & scanning the market is key to finding a good deal.

Used Civics were aplenty in the market. In consideration of this fact, and that a 2 year old 14 lakh rupee Japanese car would pretty much be in good shape (save for accident / flood damage), I decided on my top three colour options. White, followed by black and then silver (though I never got around to seriously considering a silver car at all). I think white looks best on the Civic. Black remains my favourite colour (the other three cars in my garage are all black), yet for the Civic, white really brings the design flair out. Another plus in favour of white cars : The lousy new (white) numberplates look best on a white car. Plus, its a colour thats easy to maintain. I plan to completely mod the Civic and have seen forum pictures of how great white Civics + black / gun metal alloys + body kit look.

Among the noteworthy cars that I personally checked out:

- A Black Parsi owned '07 Civic V Model with 22,000 kms. Mumbai registration. Asking was 8.25 lakhs. I played tough and started with 7.5. At the time of the test-drive, I noticed that the air-con wasn't working (strange for a Japanese car) and the A-pillar showed signs of repainting. Before we could co-ordinate a complete checkup at a Honda service station, someone else picked that car up for 8.15. If I'd received a clean chit from the authorised service station checkup, I would have probably bought this car.

- A white '08 Civic S Model with 32,000 kms. Thane Registration. Asking was 8.0 lakhs. Saw the car, was in so-so condition. Lots of nicks and dents all around. Poorly maintained. It was obviously driven without care, and was probably never cleant / polished in its lifetime. Service history intact though and properly timed. I was fine with picking it up for 7 lakhs (car was only 2 years old) and then spending 50 grand refurbishing it. Owner was firm on his price, I didn't even bother bargaining any further and walked away.

- A white Feb '08 Civic V Model with 5,500 kms. Thane Registration. Asking was 8.75 lakhs. Car was in great shape. Took a quick Sunday spin and there really was nothing to check. I offered 8.25 first, then slowly raised to 8.5. Owner gets back after a couple of days and says he has revised the price to 9.5 FIRM. I walked away from the deal. Firstly, 9.5 is too much for a used 2 year old Civic, no matter how low the kms. New Civics are 13 lakhs ex-Thane on the road. Second, to transfer the car to Bombay registration, I'd have to pay another 50 grand.

Dippy was helping me out with the search and tested some cars himself. An '06 white example with 22,000 clicks on the odo, another '06 Silver with 18,000 kms.....somehow, these cars never interested me enough. Good number of purple cars came in too. Thing with a manufacturer releasing funky colours is that, if you are a traditional type (as I am), the purples and maroons put you off. Then, there's that metallic blue Civic shade which seems to be popular in the market. With so many good cars available, I wasn't going to compromise on my colour choice just yet. After all, used Civics are not a rare breed like W124s where the cars condition, and NOT the colour, matter.

In the midst of my search, I also came across plenty of Accords for pretty much the same price range (or slightly higher). Why I stuck to a Civic over an Accord V6 : Manual transmission, an evolution of the Vtec in many ways, Mod-friendly, and a lot more chuckable. Again, I needed a manual high-revving petrol drivers car, as my next buy will most prolly be a premium. Premium cars today are sold primarily with ATs.
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Old 9th March 2010, 20:37   #4
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Found my Honda Civic:

In the afternoon of 25/02/10, a broker called me saying that a "car of my type" is on sale. Dippy checked this Civic out the same evening, and furnished the following details:
  • 2007 August Honda Civic
  • V (top) variant. OEM leather seats, fog lamps etc.
  • 7,411 kms on the odo
  • White Colour
  • Single owner. Bombay Registered
  • Service history
  • Honda Certified. Through their official "Auto Terrace" Used Car program
  • 6 months of insurance still left (until August '10)
After checking the car out, Dippy tells me "Rush, don't miss out on this car". Asking price was 8.25 lakhs. Next day itself, I went over to Solitaire Honda with the cheque book in hand. Saw the car, loved it and cut them a cheque on the spot. At 7,400 kms, this car is practically a virgin and hasn’t even completed its running in!Used car loans are way too expensive @ 16 - 18% interest rates, so I decided to buy this car on an outright purchase. Closed the deal at Rs. 8,10,000.

Got my *pre-worshipped* Honda Civic-p1080983.jpg

Got my *pre-worshipped* Honda Civic-p1080989.jpg

I followed the Team-BHP Used Car Article to the “T”. Including calling the insurance company, and confirming that this car never had an insurance claim. We write the articles, yet only realise the sheer value when we get down to using them. The PDI checklist was a blessing in disguise!

I had a sense of Déjà vu. Seriously, I've been here before. It was when I bought my '03 OHC Vtec. Low mileage (OHC Vtec was 3,500 kms, Civic is 7,400), near identical price (OHC = 7.0 lakhs, Civic for 8.10 lakhs), identical power to weight ratio (107 BHP to the tonne), Vtec engine, fun-to-drive and a Honda certified used car.

EDIT : Of course, my Vtec, even at the end of her service with me, left on a high note & raised the bar for the Civic (Link to Dyno thread). But hey, Civic mods are slated to start soon.

In line with Auto Terrace's policies, Solitaire Honda also refurbished the car. Both bumpers were repainted, a dent on the RHS take care of, and the interior / exteriors were thoroughly polished.

As part of preventive maintenance, I got a complete major service done. Though some were unnecessary, again, the key word here is preventive:

- Mobil 1 engine oil change + filter
- Clean air-filter
- Brake line bleeding and fluid change.
- Brakes checked & cleaned
- Radiator flush & engine coolant change
- Power steering oil flush & refill
- Fuel filter changed
- Transmission oil flush & change
- Battery serviced

Next that the car will go back to the service station is for its annual service in February 2011. Solitaire Honda's service was A+, the sales staff supportive and the service advisor thoroughly knowledgeable. Dippy gives his OHC to them for servicing, and the positive review on Team-BHP (Link to Solitaire Honda thread) only raised my confidence levels.

I have the strongest belief in the value offered by the used market, and this Civic is only an attestation of that. Beauty of lateral upgrading after all (complete Advice article coming up soon). A new Civic V MT is about 14.25 lakhs OTR Mumbai, I got a nearly new car for 45% less. The entire search process took up some 15 - 18 cumulative hours of my time. To save 40 - 50% of the price of a new car on a "like new" car, you have to make an effort for sure. Yet, I must add, with the right effort & homework, such deals are easy to replicate. I don't think I'm ever buying a new car again. Couldn't have put it any better than Ramzsys did in his used cars thread:

Originally Posted by ramzsys View Post
it is best outsourced to fellow citizens around (CPO-Car Process Outsourcing).They do the research, buy it after a bargain, pay the tax, run-in, maintain and then sell it at a discount to potential customers like me.
Got my *pre-worshipped* Honda Civic-p1080984.jpg

Got my *pre-worshipped* Honda Civic-p1080982.jpg

Got my *pre-worshipped* Honda Civic-p1080994.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 10th March 2010 at 09:57.
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Old 9th March 2010, 20:42   #5
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The Car:

In the days leading upto delivery, I could barely sleep (always the case with a petrolhead). I spent all my free time reading up on Civic ownership reviews. Thanks to all of you who have contributed with long-term-ownership reviews on this car.

Got my *pre-worshipped* Honda Civic-p1080987.jpg

My Civic is in superb shape and looks 3 - 6 months old, at worst. The design was stunning at the time of launch; it looks great even today. The look will only be enhanced with planned modifications. Shut the doors and you get a premium sounding thunk. The car feels SOLID! Absolutely no Jap flimsiness here. Honda’s space management is outstanding, the Civic’s interiors feel very roomy with excellent legroom, front and back. No floor hump for the 5th occupant either (flat floor). Shoulder room is generous too. I see some European car influence here : A heavy’ish steering, doors opening in three stages, accelerator pedal from the floor (not suspended). I read in some long-term ownership threads of how Civics have emerged rattle-free even after several thousand kms of rough highway driving. Glass area is generous and leads to "bright" interiors. I don't think too much of the digital speedometer; much prefer an analog one, but it does the job and you don't need to take your eyes off the road to know how fast you are going. The steering wheel is amongst the best that I've seen in Indian cars. Chunky to hold and a compact size. I like my driving position low-slung; the multitude of adjustments (steering & seat) give me a perfect command position. The front seats are decent, though far from class-leading in support. Interior part quality is of very high order....every control feels nice to the touch. The combination of black, beige and dull chrome is classy. I’d give the interiors a 9.5/10 for design & build. Mom doesn't like the low stance though (She's a Senior Citizen).

Got my *pre-worshipped* Honda Civic-p1090314.jpg

Got my *pre-worshipped* Honda Civic-p1090304.jpg

The engine is not audible at all below 2,500 rpms. Further, the NVH is so good that you don’t feel the slightest vibration. Those who calculate accelerator input by the engine sound or vibration will inadvertently feed more throttle than required. Low rpm throttle response is poor, the Civic's achilles heel since day one. It definitely took some getting used to. When I get in touch with my Tuner for a power-box / remap, improving low end torque is top priority. Under 3,000 rpms, its obvious that the engine has been tuned for low emissions & fuel efficiency. High-revv my Civic and I feel that the engine hasn’t really “opened” up. Heck, I don’t think its ever been high-revved in its life! No problem, a couple of thousand kms with me should do the needful . I've had very few opportunities to high-revv (driven a total of 150 kms), yet the engine feels smooth all the way to the redline. It's going to be a whole lot of fun modifying & then working this engine. Ride quality is compliant enough, though you can feel the firmness in the suspension. Not yet driven on bad roads (commute from home to work has well-paved tarmac). The steering is firm (just the way I like it), gearshift slick (though the Vtecs was smoother...age perhaps?) and ergonomics spot-on. The steering feels deliciously direct too. I'd recently had a quick run in a Civic (not mine, another example) on the expressway and loved its high speed stability. Japanese cars have come of age. The all-disc brakes have excellent feel & bite. The other issue with this car is that the rear end sags (soft suspension) with two or more people on the back seat. Well, I intend to address just that with an after-market performance suspension.

Some other misc. points from our ownership reviews that I agree with:

- Stock foglights are powerful
- Absolutely chilling air-conditioner. Its currently set on 22, I don't go below that.
- The steering wheel is not a perfect circle; top part is flattened to offer a clear view of the digital speedometer.
- Double-barrel exhausts are standard. Look great. Will try to retain this look when I get the performance exhaust installed.
- OEM sound system sounds surprisingly good. Upgrade coming up nevertheless.
- Boot is surprisingly shallow for a car of this segment.

Complete review in a long-term ownership thread.

That's Dippy, my best friend Nick and me at the time of delivery:
Got my *pre-worshipped* Honda Civic-p1090004.jpg


Last edited by GTO : 12th April 2010 at 09:35.
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Old 9th March 2010, 20:49   #6
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Hey GTO! Congrats on the purchase. The price for which you got this car is a steal! I too got a '08 Corolla A/T for 7.5l. And yeah, a Civic in white is heaven.

Last edited by prateekm : 9th March 2010 at 20:56.
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Old 9th March 2010, 20:56   #7
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Are you sure that's a 'used' car? Looks brand new to me! Congrats! When do the mods start? I agree that used car loan rates are a rip off, but most people can't afford to pay 8 lacs in cash. So a new car at around 7/8 lacs at a much lesser interest rate is not that bad a deal either.

Last edited by Gilead : 9th March 2010 at 21:00.
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Old 9th March 2010, 20:59   #8
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Hearty congratulations, GTO, for the new baby!
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Old 9th March 2010, 21:00   #9
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congratulations gto. brilliant deal. 7k kms? wow, you got a steal. lol now i know why i didnt get a reply to the pm i sent you of that accord.

the civic is probably the perfect car for you. the only negative i could notice was that the stock tyres create quite a roar. anyway i think that will be taken care of by you? congrats again.

now wanna help me find one in the 7l range? need to replace the getz
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Old 9th March 2010, 21:00   #10
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OMG- What a deal ? You have unlocked outstanding value from this used Civic. Brilliant.

I have come to believe in used car deals mainly from your posts GTO. I was previously averse to Used car deals. Well, not anymore. You have lived by your words and have now given us great example on how to go about securing brilliant deals. Brilliant job GTO.

Wishing you many miles of happy revving on your new baby.
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Old 9th March 2010, 21:01   #11
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GTO, Cant help but agree with you all the way on that one. OHC to Civic - it's a logical upgrade in every way. Though I have owned a V6 Accord myself, will any day agree that this Civic is the stunner. Congrats !

p.s : neat lil sticker, that.
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Old 9th March 2010, 21:02   #12
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Hey GTO, Congrats on your new Honda. 7500 kms driven car at that price was a steal.

Hope you have a great experience. Keep revvin.
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Old 9th March 2010, 21:10   #13
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Congrats Rush! Now is that a great looking , clean pre-owned car or what?

Enjoy your ride!!

Looking out for mods on the Mod's ride!
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Old 9th March 2010, 21:13   #14
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Wow! Amazing and congrats on finding a well maintained less run Civic!!
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Old 9th March 2010, 21:16   #15
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Congrats GTO, thats an amazing deal.

Lateral upgrades as proven twice by you are surely very tempting over a new car purchase
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