BY H. THROTTLE
Honda is a very successful worldwide manufacturer of recreational bikes, motorcycles, lawnmowers, and a bevy of vehicles.
The Honda tested this week is the Civic Hatch SP four-door sedan priced at $29,400 with final assembly in Greensburg, Indiana.
Small in stature, but sleek in design, the Honda was surprisingly good in all aspects. First, the front-wheel car comes with a 180 horsepower, 1.5L turbo-charged 4-cylinder engine linked to a continuous variable transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters capable of locking in seven different gears, along with a sport mode selection.
While not a blazing speedster, the Civic is tested at reaching 60 mpg. in 7.2 seconds. Driving on the freeway the Civic was more than capable of reaching high speeds clearly indicated on the windshield information displays. The turbo-power was the clincher of providing quick surges of power and good road handling from the front McPherson independent strut suspension and rear link suspension. The car held the road well with quick electric steering and solo front wheel drive.
The front driver’s seat had eight-way power controls, easily adjusted steering wheel, and passenger seats were four-way controlled. Heating and cooling worked very well and were easy to control.
As the week wore on, the car proved to be a worthy, dependable, and comfortable work car. Easy on fuel consumption, attaining a reputable overall 33 mph and 37 on the open highway. The rising price of gas is making fuel consumption important once again, with prices likely to remain high with energy supply disruptions.
The car is compact in size, but a large trunk and surprisingly spacious rear seat leg room. The car seemed eager to please with a solid Bose sound and every safety feature that Honda could design. There are more and more front-end collisions with cell phone distractions along the highways. The Honda has a vast assortment of navigation, safety, and drive assist features. The Civic is not yet safety rated but has multiple air bags.
Many surprising features such as leather covered steering wheel, heated leather trimmed seats and heated door mirrors add to friendly Civic atmosphere.
This is a wise choice for conservative car owners who may want to commute or use as a second car. Also great for graduating students with economy and spacious trunk space for moving away from home.
The front wheel drive is a drawback, but this is not an outdoor recreation vehicle but more of a city commuter and working vehicle.
Warranty comes up slightly below industry with a 5-year/ 60,000-mile power train warranty.
Overall a smart, attractive, peppy drive and with an affordable price. It was a friendly, enjoyable weekly drive. I like the car a lot.