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2012 Honda Civic

Maybe Civic is the most popular model produced by Honda. This small legend was launched in 1972. It had two- and three-door versions. During the years the numbers of doors and the dimensions have risen. Now Honda Civic offers even an estate version, or Tourer, the way Honda called it.

However, let me present you 2011 Honda Civic hatchback. The tested model has 1.8 L i-VTEC petrol engine with 142 hp @ 6500 rpm and torque 174 Nm (129 Ib.ft) @ 4300 rpm. The engine is connected with a 6-speed manual transmission. The gear shifting is easy and smooth. It is a powerful car but not agile. There are other engines which are available (on the Bulgarian market):

1.4, petrol engine i-VTEC: 100 hp @ 6000 rpm; 127 Nm (94 Ib.ft) @ 4800 rpm;
1.6, diesel engine i-DTEC: 120 hp @ 4000 rpm; 300 Nm (221 Ib.ft) @ 2000 rpm;
2.2, diesel engine i-DTEC: 150 hp @ 4000 rpm; 350 Nm (258 Ib.ft) @ 2000 – 2750 rpm.
The 5-speed automatic transmission is available only for 1.8, petrol engine (Bulgarian market).

Systems Here is something which impressed me about Japanese cars. In Toyota and Honda - I don’t know about other automotive brands yet - there is an up-shifting as well as and a down-shifting indicator. The most new cars, which I had driven, have only an up-shifting indicator. This is like a tip light which shows when it’s better to change the gear. You know that this will increase efficiency of fuel use. Writing about fuel efficiency I cannot miss the 'ECON' button. This button changes the settings of the engine, transmission shifting (only for automatic transmission) climate control, etc. One of the best things in this model is that it’s an environmental car.

Nowadays every new car has a start/stop system.  Honda’s is called ‘Idle Stop’ – it stops the engine while you are in a traffic jam or at a red traffic light. The engine will start again when you push the clutch. If you spend too more time in a traffic jam it will run automatically. That is because the car has systems which consume energy from the battery. Running the engine will charge the battery. If you decide that you won’t use the ‘Idle Stop’, there is an option to turn off the system completely.

Eco Assist is another environmental option. It changes the color of the instrumental cluster. If you drive more aggressively the color will be blue. Otherwise, if you drive economically the color will be green. It’s like an ecological challenge – try to drive in green zone.

There is something common between 2011 Honda Civic and 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder! The diesel version of Civic has an option for closing the front cooling flaps. Thus the air resistance and the fuel consumption are decreased. The 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder also has this system.

Civic offers Smart Keyless Entry System. It isn’t necessary to look for the key to open the car any more. If you want to enter the car just pull the handle. Even you can start the engine keyless, just push the red button with inscription ‘ENGINE START/STOP’. It is simple like that.

There is a Multifunctional Intelligent Display or i-MID. It is a kind of a board computer. You can follow the fuel consumption, mileage to next reload, radio display even for rear view display. The rear view camera doesn’t have high quality definition but you can see what happens low behind the car. There is a navigation system but in additional equipment.

Let’s talk about the support systems. There is a Deflation Warning System (DWS) which follows the air pressure in the tires. If the pressure is low you will receive a warning message. The next system is the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) also called the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) by other producers. This system has to follow the car trajectory and protects you from unexpected drift situation.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is system which allows you to set the speed and it will keep safe distance by the radar. The radar gives signals to the computer to adjust the speed if the distance decreases. The Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) lowers the risk of accidents. It activates above 15 km/h and detects the distance between Civic and the front vehicle. If the distance decreases the driver will be warned 3 sec. before the collision by visual and audible warning. There are three sharp tugs on the driver seat if the danger is still present. This happens 2 sec. before the accident. A sec. before impact the CMBS activates the brakes. If the driver also hit the brake pedal the brake effort will increase at max level. In case that the accident situation is passed the system will stop giving you warning messages. The CMBS works together with Electronic Brake-force Assist, Anti-lock Braking System and Brake Assist.

You are protected! The car has 8 airbags and active headrest for the front seats. If there is a collusion situation the front seat belts are tightened. This will be happen before the impact, and works independently from the pyrotechnic devices.

Honda Civic received 5 safety stars on Euro NCAP test. Here is more about the result: Adult occupant 94 %; Child occupant 82%; Pedestrian 69%; Safety Assists 86%.

Behind the steering-wheel you see the two-level instrumental cluster which is arched towards the driver position. At the top level there are a digital and an ‘i-MID’ system. At the second level below there are an analogue tachometer, fuel and engine temperature indicators. Honda uses ‘hybrid’ systems not only for engines, but for the indicators as well.

The driver position is good. There is enough space for the driver and the passenger next to him. The visibility from the driver position is great but only on forward. However, if you use the middle mirror to look backward, visibility isn’t so clear. Therefore Honda offers a rear view camera which can be very useful for reverse parking. The side mirrors are big enough and the visibility is good. Here is a problem with visibility towards the instrumental cluster. From my viewpoint with my adjustment of the steering-wheel and seat, I cannot normally see the speedometer. That is the reason why I don’t like the dashboard.

2011 Honda Civic is designed for 5 passengers including the driver. Actually it will be most comfortable for 4 passengers. It is also valid for other cars in this compact class. Civic has an advantage for its backseats, and this concerns the luggage space. The rear seats can be pulled up and you can transport two small refrigerators or a large plasma TV. It’s very useful!

The trunk space can be increased up to 1210 liters when the rests of the back seats are down. Actually, there is enough space for a large suitcase without this extra space. But it’s great to be able to load whatever you want.

I really don’t know how to explain the exterior! It looks too futuristic to me. The tail lights are huge, which is great. They will be noticed very easily by the other drivers in the traffic. But the combination with tail lights and spoiler is strange. Furthermore, this spoiler separates the rear window in two – I cannot explain how strange this is to me. There are a lot of lines which makes the design of the car very complicated. This strains my eyes.

There are few things which impress me in the side view. First of all this is the large tail lights profile.  Here also we can see other ‘hybrid technology’ – the backdoor handle in combination with the front door one. The rear one has to present something modern as the handle is hidden in the door. While the front one is a classical handle with modern shape. This ‘technology’ is applied on Alfa Romeo 156 sportwagon, for example. There are huge lines on the rear and front fender. Actually, they are almost mirror images of each other and accent the lines of the wheel arcs. The front profile of the hood and bumper is splayed. Thus the Honda s’ engineers decreased the front air resistance, which makes fuel consumption more efficient and thus saves your money. Somewhere between the hood and the bumper are the headlights.

There is a V-shape which surrounds the Honda’s emblem in front view. The front view looks simple. There is a little bit of an aggressive design but in fact the car isn't sporty. There are day lights between the head- and fog- lights.

2011 Honda Civic is a great car if you don’t pay attention to the exterior design. Actually, the Honda Civic has different exterior design for USA and European market.   If you like the dashboard, especially two-level ‘hybrid’ instrumental clusters – this is great. Otherwise this is a perfect car for daily use, if you have to go to work, or go shopping, or use it as a taxi. There is a lot of luggage space (up to 1210 liters). The rear seats can be pulled up. This may be the main reason to purchase 2011 Honda Civic. It has a lot of supporting driver systems for active and passive safety. This model receives 5 stars for safety on EURO NCAP tests. There are few petrol and diesel engines on the Bulgarian market.

Length: 4300 mm / 169.3 in
Height: 1440 mm / 56.7 in
Width (with mirrors): 1770 mm (2065 mm) / 69.9 in (81.3 in)
Wheel-base: 2595 mm / 102 in