I’m going to start this week’s report with a bit of a bombshell: I think I am starting to like the CVT in the Civic!
Yes it sounds like the 1.6-litre four-pot wants to blow up if you’ve pinned the throttle to the floor (the tachometer inches towards the redline without the solace of a second gear in sight) and I maintain that this detracts from the overall driving pleasure. However, last week I’d mentioned that the Honda didn’t have the most potent of motors but I’ve found that it’s actually pretty zippy when you stick the gear lever in Sport and your foot is mashed against the footwell. It sure does liven up proceedings and since there isn’t another cog to shift to, meaning no momentum is lost, it charges right on ahead at full pelt. I’ve surprised one or two at the lights this week...
There are other aspects of the Civic that have grown on me too such as its practicality, ride comfort and best of all the fact you can start the car up via a button on the key fob which also turns on the AC meaning the interior isn’t burning hot even if the car has been parked under the sun all day. I can’t speak highly enough about this feature, especially since we’re in the peak of summer and cabins can get boiling hot. This single piece of tech has made me really appreciate the Civic and my singe-free hands (and bottom) thank it immensely. It’s also really impressive that it works from pretty long distances; I’ve tried to start the car from at least 50 metres away with success. You need to be a lot closer with some other brands.
On the practicality front, it’s ever so easy to manoeuvre thanks to the light steering and good visibility that it affords and on the move the chassis irons out all the bumps on the road making for a smooth ride. With ample leg and headroom in both rows, it can easily accommodate larger passengers, however I have found something that blots this week’s otherwise overall ‘good’ report card; the lever to adjust the steering wheel is located at the very end of the column and is closer to the pedals than the wheel! This makes adjusting it to a desirable position a rather tricky task. Maybe I’m supposed to use my foot...
You have to keep your foot floored and build up some speed before attempting any overtaking manoeuvres and this wreaks havoc with your efficiency, and be warned, this has a CVT meaning it sounds like it’s stuck in first gear whenever you call on those horses. Not nice... I’ll be easing off the throttle and that average will tumble to a far more respectable figure. And my ears will thank me too.
Highs: Decent styling, roomy cabin
Lows: CVT, not the most potent of motors