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The Mercury Cars Guide : July 24th 2010
6--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, July 24, 2010 BLENDING IN Honda Civic Latest Civic just another car NOTHING SPECIAL: The 2010 Honda Civic VTi-L. PERHAPS Honda should re- badge the Civic as a Civil. This is a very civil mode of transport with polite manners and an inoffensive road presence. Honda's Civic used to stand out from the crowd with its sporty looks and sparkling high-rev engine. Now, it'sindistinguishable from the crowd in any suburban shopping centre car park or inner-city traffic jam. As always, the cabin is open and airy with good visibility except for the front three-quarters view which has one of those silly fixed triangular windows that does nothing to improve vision. Yet, despite being a bigger car than it used to be, the rear space is a little cramped for knee room. The designers have had a bit of fun with the instruments, dashboard and centre console, carrying on a futuristic theme they began in the Odyssey. But the blue-lit screens, swooping plastic and brushed aluminium highlights don't disguise the very old-fashioned ''hire car'' standard of the velour cloth seats in the VTi-L we tested recently. This isn't the entry level car, either. To get leather seats, you have to spend an extra $7000 and get the Sport. Comfortable those velour seats may be, especially on a cold winter's morning, but they exude an '80s feel. And cleaning them doesn't bear thinking about. The instrument pod is split in two with a conventional binnacle visible through the steering wheel and an arc-shaped display which shows the speedo and fuel gauge information placed way forward on the dashboard and visible above the steering wheel. The idea is that the more vital information is closer to the windscreen so you don't have to take your eyes off the road to check your speed. It's not as technical as BMW's head-up display on the windscreen, but it's close. However, in practice, the split instrument system didn't quite work for me. After I adjusted the seat and steering wheel into my preferred position with the steering wheel high and close, I couldn't see the speedo. I readjusted everything so I could see the front display and then I couldn't see half of the binnacle, although the only info I was missing was the bottom of the tacho and the odo/trip meter. An MP3 auxiliary input plug and 12V charger socket are located beside each other and right next to a convenient well in the centre console --- one of many handy storage bins. But you will need to keep the cables short or they will get tangled in the auto transmission shifter. That gearbox is also a bit old- fashioned with no sequential shifter, only an option to hold it in third gear. The 1.8-litre i-VTEC four-cylinder engine requires plenty of revs, so it hangs on to gears for quite a while, allowing engine noise to build and buzz, especially when overtaking or on hills. Most modern engines have more torque for a relaxed driving feel. Handling is typically Honda with a plush ride and a light and positive feeling through the wheel. It has perfect manners for riding over the lumps and bumps of suburban streets and is stable on the highway. The sedan understeers safely and smoothly into corners and can be pulled back into line with a soft dab of the firm and progressive brakes. The pedal has plenty of feel without being too touchy. The sedan may have lost its sporty character, but it is ideal for the grocery run with a decent 376 litres of boot space and a low loading lip and plush-carpeted floor. Since it will rarely venture out of civic duties, it seems strange that Honda is one of the few that retains a full-size spare wheel under the cargo floor. While I fully support that, perhaps it would have been a better marketing strategy to have a space- saver and allow the boot more height. Safety is high on Honda's list with curtain airbags that deploy below the window line to supplement the dual front and side airbags, a strong ''G-Force control'' safety body and electronic stability control. The Civic sedan is a great vehicle for the 'burbs, but it's just another car. MARK HINCHLIFFE small torque Honda Civic VTi-L auto Price: $27,290 Body: 4-door, 5-seater sedan Engine: 1.8-litre i-VTEC 4-cylinder Power: 103kW @ 6300rpm Torque: 174Nm @ 4200rpm Transmission: 5-speed automatic, front drive Dimensions (mm): 4550 (l), 1750 (w), 1435 (h), 2700 (wheelbase) Steering: hydraulic power-assisted rack and pinion power steering Suspension: MacPherson strut front; multi-link double wishbone rear Fuel: 50 litres, ULP Economy: 7.2 litres/100km (claimed, combined) CO2: 171g/km Weight: 1210kg Brakes: anti-skid, 4 discs Tyres: 205/55 R16, full-size spare Safety: dual front, side, curtain airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, anti-skid brakes. Test drive today at your local Holden Dealer. For more great offers visit holden.com.au/latestoffers Things you need to know: 1. Max. sale price for Captiva 7 SX AWD petrol or diesel automatic. 2. Max. sale price for Commodore International. 3. Max. sale price for Cruze CD petrol manual. Offers available on models delivered before 31/07/10, unless extended, or while stocks last at participating Holden Dealers. Holden reserves the right to change or extend these of fers. Not available with other offers. Private or ABN buy ers only. *Recommended driveaway price includes 12 months private registration, 12 months compulsory third party insurance, dealer delivery and stamp duty. #Steel spare wheel. Bluetooth is a registered trademark and logo of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. Check holden.com.au to determine your phone's compatibility. ºExtra value based on RRP of discount and extras. ◊Fuel economy for manual only based on ADR 81/02 testing for combined urban/extra urban driving. Fuel consumption depends on factors such as traffic conditions, vehicle condition, vehicle load and your driving style. iPod is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc. Not all portable music devices or USBs are supported by the infotainment system. Please check with your Holden Dealer. HRE0573_HP1_B_HM Petrol or diesel for the same price! SIDI Direct Injection V -speed automatic 18" alloy wheels# Rear park assist Leather appointed seats Bluetooth Over $ ,500 extra valueº 3.2L V engine or 2.0L Turbo Diesel 5-speed automatic with Active Select Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Dual front & side curtain airbags 17" alloy wheels# Cruise control 7 seats Fuel economy from just 7.0L/100km◊ Electronic Stability Control (ESC) airbags including side curtain airbags USB & iPod compatibility Cruise control Automatic headlamps Commodore International Captiva 7 SX AWD Cruze CD Commodore Runout on now! Excess stock to clear! Bonus electric sunroof & side steps valued at $2,260. Bonus alloy wheels # valued at $1,260. $33,990 $36,490 $22,9903 $34,4902 $36,9901 Driveaway, no more to pay* Driveaway, no more to pay* Driveaway, no more to pay* Driveaway, no more to pay* Driveaway, no more to pay* As shown with prestige paint As shown with prestige paint Hobart Motors Hobart 1 5 Mac uarie Street 03 230 7300
July 17th 2010
July 31st 2010