Now that I can finally work the Honda’s infotainment system, rather than having to rely on Android Auto for every single journey, it’s been a pleasure to drive while listening to radio stations that I could never previously figure out how to tune into. I’ve even found some great DAB stations covering some niche genres, as well as one that plays both kinds of American music – country and western.
Unfortunately, this newfound love of listening to music in the car has thrown up a problem with Honda’s usually legendary build quality. It seems that Honda missed Meghan Trainor’s memo that said it’s all about the bass, as it was some particularly low rumbles that dislodged part of the trim at the back of the cabin. It wasn’t even a thrash metal track that did it, but the rather steady Unshaken track by D’Angelo. Anything with more than a modicum of bass is now accompanied by the sound of plastic rattling against metal, which takes the edge off the latest album from The Hold Steady, for example. It’s back to Radio 2 then…
Still, Ken Bruce and Popmaster is a fine accompaniment for the countless long motorway journeys I’ve been covering this month. There’s been no bodging around town, as I’ve had a Renault Twizy to test and I fell in love with that, so the Civic was relegated to just heading to the airport and back and for longer journeys. It’s on these runs that I noticed a weird anomaly. The Civic is actually more economical at speed, with the fuel economy meter showing 40-odd miles per gallon when cruising at 60mph, compared to mid-50s and beyond when travelling at speeds somewhat higher. Obviously not higher than 70mph, though. Clearly.
Long straight roads with the adaptive cruise control cranked up means that economy hit the heady heights of 52.9mpg on one tankful, with the overall economy rising a little to 50.4mpg. I was quite happy with that until a colleague from a rival magazine told me he’s getting roughly the same from ‘his’ Civic, but he’s got the 1.0-litre petrol model with a manual gearbox. I can only assume that the automatic gearbox is causing the car to burn through extra diesel, as previous experience shows the diesel can be freakishly economical. Perhaps nine gears are too many, and it’s been cruising along in 7th or 8th, reserving 9th for a super-quick run along the autobahn. That might also explain how the motorway runs are producing a more economical result than the slower roads I often find myself on. I feel a semi-scientific experiment coming…
Beyond that, there’s little else to report on. The Civic remains comfortable, reliable and (reasonably) economical, the engine may be a little clattery, but is surprisingly eager, while the gearbox is still amusingly indecisive when travelling on anything but a perfectly flat road at a constant speed. Even then, it might still change gear a few times, just for fun!
Date arrived 6th July 2019
Fuel economy 54.3mpg On Test 50.4mpg
Premium tyres from Bridgestone are fitted as standard, and they are reassuringly grippy in wet conditions, with the Civic handling really nicely.
The steeply raked rear window looks good, but collects water that refuses to dissipate, even at speed. It makes rear visibility terrible in the wet.