I'd like to apologise for the delay on my recent Car Reviews - my spare time has been filled with some new Facebook ventures, plus I've been working closely with a new Mobile Garage offering Remapping around the Chester (Cheshire) area! Needless to say I am been excited about getting behind the wheel of this Civic, and drove it on more than one occasion before doing the write up.
For the majority of viewers using Mobile Devices, have a look at the images below! I think this particular car looks mint!
I think this is a cracking motor. It looks good. In fact, it looks great! I've never had an issue with these cars apart from the older models being nauseatingly slow, and they do a lovely 2.2 Turbo Diesel engine for this chassis that is a dream to drive when remapped.
In honesty - I half prepared myself for disappointment. I had previously been out in one of these cars just over a year ago, and it made me feel ill. In hindsight, I know what the problem was. CHEAP FUEL. People don't listen, and think it is acceptable running performance cars on 95Ron from Asda. I have also driven a few cars that I had tuned, and given them straight back because I can 'feel' the car pulling back = cheap petrol.
Now the first time I drove this car, it surprised me when I pressed full throttle in 2nd Gear - and I wasn't expecting it. The sun had started to fade, so I asked the owner (Daniel Alden) to bring the car back another day when it was light. In honesty - I am getting old and my vision at night isn't what it used to be. I much prefer having a car at 09.00 HRS and having the whole day to enjoy whatever machine is presented to me ;-) I am seriously enjoying the drive in this car today. I'm not requesting all the power yet, just seeing what the car is like on short bends/roundabouts, and its pretty impressive! No tilt whatsoever.
We had an exterior clean done by Jordan Hepburn (JH Valeting), then made our way to my local BP Garage for some of their 'High Octane' Fuel. I have been using BP Ultimate for ages in my personal vehicles, and recommend it to all customers before/after tuning their cars. For reference, this is a 100% standard vehicle with no modification and we wont be tuning this engine at all. You will see why..
Tight as fook! I knew Jap Cars were built for serious handling, but this thing is solid. There is no tilt whatsoever - it just turns. And turns. And turns! I'm probably loving it more because we fitted Michelin Pilot Sport 3's to the car recently, but during the drive I wasn't actually conscious of the tyres. The car itself just grips, and grips, and feels like a proper machine when turning.
The steering is sharp, the brakes are responsive. I'm not having a problem changing gear around 8000RPM because there is a display letting me know I'm near the redline - so I didn't hit the RPM Limit during my time driving this. Why so many Honda Civic owners 'drive' on the RPM Limit on YouTube astounds me, but that's a paragraph I'll save myself from writing, because it will make me hate these cars again.
I really like the shape of this car. I understand it isn't to the taste of Honda Purists (or whatever they are called these days) but I think this is a classic design that wont go out of fashion quickly. It is a seamless weave of beautiful metal, complimenting itself from bonnet to boot.
Any Hatchback with a Spoiler wins my heart, and this is no exception. The Spoiler matches the wheel arches, right the way to the front bumper design. I think this is a very good looking car, and I didn't feel 'less' of a road user sitting behind the wheel in this.
Hmm.. Now, I know this car has circa 200hp from factory, and approximately the same figure in torque (Newton Meters). My first concern was the vehicle size - would it perform well in a larger chassis? The answer to that is YES. While it may not be the fastest car on the road, it certainly picks up speed quickly at 100% throttle. By the time you have finished 2nd, then 3rd Gear you are already breaking the Speed Limit which makes this a fast enough car for its class.
With standard naturally aspirated engines, you have to rev the motor quite high to enjoy its performance - if it were tuned however there would be more grunt lower down in the RPM Range, but it didn't hamper my good mood when driving at full throttle. I think it is quick enough for what it is, and because they aren't tuneable without great outlay - I would leave the car 100% stock and enjoy it for what it is. Spending £700 for approximately 8-16hp increase just wouldn't be worth it.
Nice noise from factory! When you give it the beans you'll get a nice rumble once its warmed up. I think the exhaust note is ample for the type of car, and doesn't need modifying (or fart can fitting) to make it a better car. For what it is, I really believe Honda did well designing and making an exhaust system that is polite at lower RPM's, but makes a noticeable racket when you pin it! They did well.
Its been a long day! I managed to get some decent photos of this car and I hope everybody enjoys them. Thanks again to Daniel Alden for loaning me his car for a couple of days - it is greatly appreciated.
Nicholas Lawrence //ON CARS
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