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Honda Civic

Broadcast dates : 5th March 2006
11th March 2006

Honda re-asserted itself, styling-wise, with the Accord launched a few years ago, and with the S2000 sports car.

Thereís plenty of Accord in the new Civic, especially in the nose with its scalloped edges, trapezoidal air ducts and slant-eyed headlights. The taillights areÖ well, maybe an acquired taste.

The cabin is superb in terms of build quality and style. This is an up-market car once again, just as it was portrayed when it was part of the Mercedes-Benz stable in South Africa a few years ago.

As for that gear-lever, itís one of the slickest-acting devices on the market. And the chunky headrests speak of good attention to safety. 

V-Tec. Thatís become a magical word in performance circles in South Africa. But in reality it merely refers to Hondaís third cam valve-lift technology, which opens the inlet valves wider above a certain rev range.

In the case of the new Civic range, this particular V-Tec profile is middle-of-the-road Ė not bad for an 1800, but not calculated to blow your eyeballs into your sockets.

The nice thing about having to shift down is that it offers up such a precise action. But torque IS a little on the limp-wristed side at the Reef, where you lose seventeen per cent of power due to the thinner air.

At the coast, it really hustles, as we discovered on the launch on the roads surrounding George.

And the chassis and suspension proves that Honda may well be making the best handling volume-produced cars in the world right now.

This is a great family sedan. Itís a genuine four-seater, but quite capable of carrying five adults in comfort with a reasonably sized boot. The VXi model, which is top of the range, is exceptionally priced at

R193 900, with all mod cons apart from remote audio buttons on the steering wheel.

Fuel consumption is likely to be around the 10,0 litres per hundred mark, as you will be using lots of revs thanks to a hole in the torque band at the bottom of the rev range.

The body is beautifully put together, with nears perfect shut lines, and although itís so rigid, it seems to have lost that typical Honda drum-skin resonance that used to make it feel under-insulated on some previous models.

Honda Civic Vxi
  • Engine: Four-cylinder petrol, 1 799 cc
  • Power: 103 kW @ 6 300 rpm
  • Torque: 173 Nm @ 4 200 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 8,6 seconds (claimed)
  • Top speed: 200 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 10 litres/100 km (estimated)
  • Price: R193 900
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