It’s been a few months since I upgraded my ride from a twenty year old Honda Accord to a 2012 Honda Civic. I thought I’d give you a few observations. First of all, I’m thrilled to actually have a car built in this century. After having driven a used car for so long, anything new would be well appreciated so some of my praise is probably due to new car after-glow.
I really loved the old Accord. It was fun to drive – manual tranny and had a classic analog instrument panel with highly visible gauges. It also had all the upgrades available at the time including sun roof, auto mirrors, AC and auto windows. Oh, and a rock’in cassette player.
The new Honda Civic has all those “upgrades”, minus the cassette player in a mid-range option package. The fit and trim inside the car is on par and actually greater than the old one’s top of the line trim. While the styling is less organic than some of the newer Korean cars on the market, I like how reserved and refined the Civic is in this regard. This is my first time with a digital speedometer and it took some time to get use to it but now I find the accuracy of it amazing. The car is an automatic, but it has a real nice tachometer taking center stage behind the wheel. Not sure why an automatic needs a tach. Even for the lower gear options. It seems to me that they could use the space for more digital readouts like the tiny new screen that shows radio and odometer info next door to the speedometer. That screen seems unfinished and has a missing page that presumably is for the electric car version.
There are no seat warmers in this package, which I don’t really care about anyway. Had I sprung for the touch screen dash monitor upgrade, I’d have gotten the heated seats. But the only real advantage of the touch screen was for navigation. I knew that I’d be using my phone for that anyway, so I didn’t get it. Speaking of phones. The Bluetooth integration with my phone is awesome and a package that I knew I could not live without. Making voice activated calls in your car is so cool, every car should have this feature.
The wheel mounted controls for damn near everything is also fabulous. Again, all cars should have that. I use the cruise control daily in my highway commute. The radio package is pretty sweet too, for the first time in my driving life, I have a CD player in my car. I know, welcome to the eighties. I’ve been having fun listening to CDs that I have not heard in a long, long time.
The car’s Bluetooth integration with my ancient Droid phone is not ideal. It loses signal and then acquires it seemingly random. Especially annoying when you’re in a call. I’m looking forward to getting the new Galaxy Nexus and seeing how nice the integration truly can be. Looking forward to listening to podcasts from the phone through my car’s speakers. Speaking of speakers, the front right tweeter is shot. Going to have to take it in to see if the dealer can swap that out for me.
The outside of the car is a joy to look at. Again, not as sinewy as a Korean make, but definitely sporty and sleek. I have the white color and it really matches my white MacBook quite brilliantly. As if I cared about that sort of thing.
Handling and performance is adequate for a commuter car. Let’s face it, the four door Civic will never be confused with a Corvette. But the engine has enough pep to get onto the interstate and the Econ button pretty much stays on all the time to conserve fuel. I’m getting about 29.4 miles per gallon on average. Not exactly hybrid level economy, but not horrible either.
Overall I’m still very pleased with the car and I keep looking over my shoulder at it as I walk away from it. It’s quite nice to look at.