2008 Honda Civic 1.8i V-Tec Hatch Road Test
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2008 Honda Civic 1.8i V-Tec Hatch Road Test

Date: 31 Mar 2008 Author Type:
Author: Gary Mackay
Source: Autoworld.co.za

To begin, I must say I was quite sad to see this little car leave; it grew quickly on me and the enjoyment-fun factor was very high. The unusual design was complimented on by one and all, old and young.
The little 1.8i V-Tec engine works hard at play, revving through the range with ease, with the torque kicking in at about 4000rpm. The whirring sound from the engine sounds as if there’s a little supercharger under the bonnet. Power is rated at 103kw and is more than sufficient for overtaking and acceleration – no one left me in their dust.
On the open road, the car felt great - cruising easily at the speed limit in sixth gear with good acceleration and without the need to change down. Other than a bit of road noise from inside the cabin from the wheels, it’s a great drive.
Consumption figures are as stated, easily obtaining the 6.6l/100km, but if you’re like me and don’t tortoise around expect about 7.5l/100km for city driving. Great figures in my book, especially considering the enjoyment factor of the car! I didn’t want to stop driving it and at that consumption I wouldn’t have to.
The handling of the civic was brilliant to say the least – a very responsive light steering wheel, and it stuck to the road like “dog doo to one's shoe”. There was no tail wagging from over-steer and no sliding from under steer, it just kept me on the road. The suspension is very comfortable - the perfect in-between if I may say so. Bumps were not a problem - she tackled them well. Overall the Civic is a good handling vehicle. We give her a high 8/10.
The Civic has a rather new and extraordinary design, once you get past the fully closed grill and the rear tail diffuser with, what looks like an extended break light on the boot. It grows on you and you begin to see what the designer wanted to portray. It's neat all round perfect hatch shape takes over, and you realize that it has presence. I don’t think I passed one person without them having a good look at the vehicle. I received a number of positive responses while out and about which made me feel good. A car that can do that from its looks gets the thumbs up from me.
The interior layout was different, but once again very funky and enjoyable. The instrument cluster is divided into two sections. The digital display just below the windscreen includes a speedometer, an economy meter and an over-rev warning.  The lower more traditional cluster includes the onboard computer.
I liked the little economy meter - six little green lights. The more lights the better your economy so I was constantly playing with the meter to keep those six little green lights on. I must say it wasn’t hard to keep the lights on even though I don’t drive like a tortoise. I managed to keep four lights on most of the time.
Overall the dash layout is very good. Whilst the fan and air conditioner controls are a stretch for a driver with shorter arms the rest of the dashboard is great. The onboard computer reminds me of the C-Class Mercedes computer; nice.
Inside the vehicle is quite spacious. I fitted five of my rather large and overgrown friends inside the car without much fuss and everyone had plenty of leg room. The seats are covered in an almost velour kind of upholstery giving off a good luxury feeling. One negative about inside the vehicle is the rear diffuser across the back window which takes away a fair chunk of the rear view; too close and all you see of a car is its tyres – a way off and all you see is its roof. On the upside, the rear diffuser worked well at blocking out the bright lights from the cars behind you.
Boot space is good; you start off with 485 litres which increase when you fold down the rear seats. The spare wheel is unfortunately not full size; a toolkit comes standard.
The vehicle comes standard with many of your usual creature comforts as well as an array of safety gadgets. The car is fitted with vehicle stability assist, which is similar to traction control. Braking is good; the car stops quickly without unnecessary pressure applied on the brakes. Apply the breaks a little harder and the superb ABS kicks in, to reduce the stopping distance somewhat. This model comes with 6 airbags - driver and front passenger, dual side and dual curtain as well as side impact protection. Climate control and the trip computer are also standard features.

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