HONDA have put together a most interesting and surprising package with their new Civic, a handsomely shaped car that always cuts a neat dash on highways and byways.
Honda may not be top of the hit parade in terms of overall sales, but they produce lovely cars, in terms of looks, in terms of refinement, in terms of engineering, finish and ingenuity.
The new Civic represents everything that is good about the marque.
In terms of power units would be purchasers have a choice of 1.4-litre (100ps) and 1.8-litre (142ps) i-VTEC petrol engines and a strong punching 2.2-litre (150ps) diesel.
All very simple and straight forward so far, right? However, if one were to suggest to you that the biggest unit would be something that would be really worth checking out, you might be inclined to think that we had lost all sense of purpose and sense, especially so in these penny minding times.
Not so! Ordinarily I wouldn’t be inclined to point people in the direct of a motor with a big engine, bearing in mind the hefty running costs that would be involved.
Breaks old rules
The 2.2 i-DTEC unit in the Civic breaks the old rules of big meaning costly, however. Here is a 148bhp unit that offers you zip on the road yet won’t have you unzipping your wallet all that often.
Honda have produced some balance here between economy (over 67mpg), emissions (110kg/km for 160 euro tax per year), power (148bhp) and refinement. Throw-in an opening price of 24,445 euro and you get a fair piece of machinery for your hard earned cash.
Oh my, if we were only as flush with dosh as we were a few years ago the Civic diesel would be roaring out of dealerships.
Alas, a lot of people simply can’t get their hands on money now and terrific cars like the Honda 2.2 i-DTEC will remain a bit of a secret, apart from among the lucky hundreds who will be able to buy one.
Honestly, if you are in the market for a good car and economy is high on the agenda, check out this motor. Ask your local dealer for an extended test run and check out the figures for yourself.
You won’t regret it!
As you can gather, I liked the car a lot. Straight up, I was surprised by the economy it offered.
The Civic is a substantial car. It has a short front end, screen to nose, and high rear that is made appear higher by a unit that shoots across the lower end of the back window which actually hinders the rear view a bit.
The drive, in terms of responsiveness, refinement and what have you, is very, very good and you have, as you might imagine, plenty of pulling and driving power. The engine is mated to an ultra smooth 6-speed gearbox.
Comfortable and airy
The interior of the Civic is comfortable and airy, and the quality of materials used all round gives it a rich feel. The dashboard is very modern, of the age, with the speedo and information providing screen located nicely for the driver.
The boot space is good, and load carrying space is easily extended by folding down the rear seats which can be done handily with the headrests in place. The seat back rests fold into a deep lying position that affords loads of space between the floor and roof of the car.
The Civic certainly pressed all the right buttons with me. Big engine or not I would have to recommend it. Then again, it is an economical engine, an engine of the generation.
The Civic comes with a comprehensive array of features, including vehicle stability programme, ABS with EBD and EBA, six airbags, 16” alloy wheels, climate control air con, remote central locking, i-MID display screen, hill start assist, LED daytime running lights, CD tuner with MP3, USB and Aux input sockets etc, etc.
Honda Civic 2.2 i-DTEC ES 5-door 25,820 euro.
Engine: 2199cc, 148bh at 4,000rpm, 350 Nm at 2000-2750rpm.
Fuel consumption: 5.1 l/100km (urban); 3.7 (extra urban); 4.2/67.3mpg (combined).
Transmission: 6-speed manual gearbox.
Performance: zero to 100kph in 8.5 seconds; top speed, 217kph.
C02 emissions: 110g/km.
Annual road tax: 160 euro.