Honda Civic Review
posted on Nov 05 2010 by Jade Hensby
The Honda Civic in its 5-door and most practical guise is very much family orientated and will appeal to the customer that will appreciate such features as the magic seats which allows the rear seats to be manipulated in all sorts of practical ways that ultimately gives you more space. I however have been test driving the Honda Civic Type-S GT, Hondas attempt to form a bridge between the 5-door and the manic Type-R. Subtle differences from the 5-door model are noticeable but are not in your face, such changes include; lower sports suspension, a widened rear track, gun-metal coloured body kit, wider and fatter exhaust wipes and of course that big give away.its only got 3 doors. While these changes seem minor, they add up to a huge difference in the way the car travels down the road. The second you enter the space-age cabin you are instantly cocooned by Alcantara seats and a dash board that would be more at home in the space shuttle.
The handling is sharp and composed, even when you begin to lose grip youre relatively safe in the knowledge that the VSA (Traction control) will come to save you. Engine wise, the 1.8 petrol iV-Tech lump is a brilliant compromise between fuel economy and performance. It is the little touches however that set the Civic in a different league to its competitors. The economy lights and rev lights give long and usually tedious journeys a good kicking up the rear end. My mind was often split between getting all the green lights up constantly, to flooring it and seeing the orange rev lights. This combined with the Civics space age dash with digital dials; no self-respecting car enthusiast can deny its an exciting place to be.
It has been the practical attributes to the Civic that has impressed me the most. The boot space is large enough to swallow South Africa; the bottle holder in the rear door cards is an idea that will be appreciated by people with friends, who drink. However, the one practical issue I have with the Civic is the now infamous front seat mechanism. The problem begins when you pull up and you want to retrieve something from the rear seats, you pull the lever to move your seat forward, collect your items, pull the seat back, and for a reason many cannot comprehend the seat does not remember the original seating position. Why havent Honda resolved this issue since the launch in 2006 With regards to the ride, I was expecting to need medical attention after driving it but while the set-up is indeed firm, it remains perfectly comfortable. The ride coupled with the superbly comfortable suede seats impressed.
Overall though, the Type-S GT isnt the Type-R, yet it still manages to thrill and induce a smile that is comparable to the Cheshire cat. It will undoubtedly appeal to the younger generation but it isnt as hardcore and as uncomfortable as the Type-R, which in turn allows for the Type-S to be the best of both worlds.
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