Saturday, March 24, 2012

Test-drive of Honda Civic sedan 2012

A few days ago I had the opportunity to test the new Honda Civic sedan 2012. I saw some pictures of the car on internet before and the first thing that should be mentioned here is the design of the car. The new hexagonal design, that is very popular today in automotive industry is apllied to new Honda’s products and to Civic model as well. The design of the new Civic it’s surely better than their previous (eight) generation model, but still very similar to it. This car makes part of compact car category where it competes with Volkswagen Jetta, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, Mitsubishi Lancer and the others.

When you sit down in the driving seat you feel yourself like in space ship. This is the same feeling that I had when first tested Honda CRZ Hybrid about one year ago. Actually, I’m a big fan of simplicity in everything and in design as well, but there is something that I like in this complex dashboard of the new Civic. Split-level dash with the lower portion dominated by a large tachometer, an upper level with speedometer, trip computer, etc. The speedometer, by the way, is very easy to see peripherally. The level of comfort in the driver seat as well as passenger is good. What really intimidated me when I first saw the interior of the car, was the hard plastic of interior that looked really cheap and as I thought would make a noise driving the car on bumps on our terrible roads. But, it wasn’t. The car insulation was ok and plastic wasn’t noisy at all.

Now, let’s talk a little bit about driving characteristics of the car. First, I was curious to see how this car was fitted for our bad Ukrainian roads. Also, I’m a racing driver and I wanted to see what 2012 Civic engine was capable of. Talking about drivability and driving comfort on our roads, I have to admit that I was totally satisfied with it. The car was very stable on the road, the suspensions worked good as well, so I did not feel any discomfort driving it. Talking about the engine I was a little bit disappointed first. When made some fast starts to saw how the car accelerate, I realized that it accelerate slow. My first thought was: maybe I forgot to switch off the green econ button situated on the left of the dash? When I checked it, the button was switched off. So what happened? At the next stoplight I made a fast start again and saw that the car was pretty lazy on small revs, but when revs indicator went upper 3000 r.p.m. the car became a small beast on the road. Of course, I have to say it again: as a racing driver, I like good driving performance. For a driver who is a not a speed fan, this engine should be ok.
Overall, I should say that I liked the car. If I would have to buy myself a compact car for every day driving I would take this car into consideration amongst it’s competitors on the market. But, there is something I want to mention here: for me Honda was an automaker that produced high quality, sporty, distinguished, excellent engineered cars. And Civic was a car that had a sporty personality. Now it becomes more oriented to comfort. Some buyers maybe would not care about it, but trully Honda enthusiasts certainly will.