I decided to add the Civic to my list of testees, wait that didn't come out quite right. So a bud--I'll call him Gz--had his antique Accord in to the dealer for a dragging rear caliper and that seemed like a good motivator/excuse to get on over to Hondaland. Gz was at a table with Arthur, the guy who originally leased him the 2004 Accord EX-L and which he later purchased.
I sat in a Civic in the showroom. The seats are low, interior friendly enough, it had tan upholstery which is a plus because most cars give you black or black and it's dark enough in there without the black upholstery absorbing more light. Did I mention the seats seem low, lower than the Mazda3 and the Elantras I've driven? Yes, I see I did.
So I took one for a whirl, a 2016 grey sedan.
Damn, all gizmo'd-up interior. How the hell do I turn the radio down? And get it off this awful FM station? I'm used to simple, obvious dials. That took a few, call me slow and grouchy. Salesman cut me loose, he had other fish to fry so off I went. I caught 23 north off Central.
The car was warm, it was 4:00 pm and rush hour traffic was rushing on 23, and I gave it the boot. This sukkah DA DO RUN RUN!
It's a 1.5t, 91 cu in, 1496 cc
Power: 174 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 162 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm
C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 6.8 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 17.7 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 28.6 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 7.5 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 3.9 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 4.9 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.3 sec @ 94 mph
Top speed (gov limited): 126 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 178 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.82 g*
I know the motor media have cursed CVTs since they appeared. Another area where I disagree with the highly-paid professionals.
This CVT/turbo combo is slick, it responds almost instantly for kick-down or just nail it, it seems quicker than an auto kicking down but I'll have to get back into the Mazda and Elantra and compare. And I guess I should cruise a Cruz, the car mag guys like them so I should check them out.
At any rate, this Civic sedan drives like a Honda. Firm ride with good comfort and bump control. Car is reasonably quiet. The brakes are firm and effective. But then I haven't driven a car in decades that didn't have great brakes. As four discs became standard almost everywhere, and then universal ABS, modern brakes are as good as those on our 1966 Rover. Well, Rover didn't have ABS but it had control as a work of art, they were amazing for their day. Americans still had drums all-around then. Front discs were just becoming common.
So it's comfy, quiet, rides and handles well, is quite quick. It also comes with junk tires, Firestone 140s I believe. Man oh man.
Instruments? Front and center there's a tach with a digital speedo right in the middle. Left and right are temp and fuel. I never did figure out how to pull up the gas computer. If you a-holes are going to digitize everything, have someone besides a 21-year-old whippersnapper design it because this panel is NOT instinctive or intuitive or easy.
There is ONE power outlet in these Civics. I have three in my Soul and I use them all. Dashcam. GPS. Phone chargers. RD used to be there.
Appearance is subjective, I'll leave it at that though I consider the cars reasonably handsome, maybe a B when graded on the curve.
The female end of the seatbelt is buried down in the nether regions of the driver's chair. Why in hell don't they spend the extra two cents and put two more inches of length on these safety devices? I buy extenders now as a matter of course, because for some reason it's cool to make extracting oneself in an emergency a life-threatening exercise.
COOL TOY: Camera in right side mirror. It goes on with the turn signal, you get a nice view on the 7" screen--DON'T FORGET TO LOOK AT THE ROAD!!--or you can turn it on by the button on the end of the turn signal stick. Cool.
This model, the EX-T, is the cheapest model with dual zone and heated seats. Those are requirements. The headrests have that unfortunate Hunchback of Notre Dame forward-tilt that seems to a requirement these days. The passenger seat adjusts back and forth and reclines. So far, the Elantra Eco is the only car in this class I've found with a passenger seat with height adjustment. The seats are firm but for 20 minutes comfortable. That's how I remember Honda seats.
This Civic has a real fake spare, which is definitely better than a can of green slime. How many people would know how to change a tire today, when Safe Spaces are required if you see something like a president-elect's name written in chalk on the sidewalk?
So...quick, strong motor with a pleasant trannie. It doesn't have the "CVT drone" which BTW I have not experienced in my less-than-vast CVT experience, i.e. an Altima four a few years back and now these two Civics.
Yes, friends, TWO. A hatch is new for 2017. The salesman has a hot Honda so he was liking the spoiler thingie off the roof, and the black wheels and crocodile front end.
So too does the Cruz have a new hatch. Hatches, hmmm...Did PDL and his hero Sergio Latta el-Disastero get together with some tea leaves and chicken entrails? Only The Shadow knows.
The hatch drives just like the sedan. I really like this powertrain.