Finally time for a 6 month update on our 08 Honda Civic. We've wrangled up a nice 4,000 miles on the Civic in the last 6 months. Here's what we have to report.
With the biggest thing on every one's mind being gas mileage. We're reporting an average of 23-24 MPG with our LX tester. Honda gives a combine rating of 29 for the Civic broken down to 25 City/36 Highway.
Overall performance is adequate from the 1.8 liter 4 cylinder. Honda rates the engine at 140Hp, but it actually feels much much less. Especially on hills. This leaves you in some situations where you feel you can't get out of your own way. The 4 speed automatic trans leaves a lot more to be desired. Tha lack of a manual shift kick over disappointed us as this might have helped a little with the performance.
Ride is ok, a little on the harsh side but not bad. Handling is excellent. Our car was fitted with 16 inch 5 spoke alloys that really set off the refrigerator white paint. Disc brakes all around with ABS keep things under control. One complaint we have is the low ride height. The springs are set so soft that if we had our equipment in the trunk or more than one person in the car when pulling out of the garage, we were greeted with a loud bang and scraping noises from the car bottoming out. Our permanent fleet includes a modified 1999 VW New Beetle that is lowered with a sport suspension that doesn't even come close to doing this.
Moving inside, there is an interior that is very futuristic. It reminds me of some GM concept cars from the late 1980s-early 1990s. The leather interior is supple and comfortable with a nice driving position. The steering wheel is covered in perforated black leather and is more of a squared oval design rather than the typical round circle. It has a very nice feel to it and has the added bonus of thumb controls for the radio, cruise, and blue tooth set up. The instrument cluster is uniquely laid out with the odometer set right above the steering column and the speedo further up near the top of the dash.
It takes a little time to get used to this setup. The speedo does cause a glare at night that drove some of us crazy. To the point we would take another car from the test fleet at night. Round out the interior with MP3 player jacks, Sirius/XM satelite radio, in dash cd, Scan Disc slots, blue tooth, and touch screen navigation and it makes for a very nice in car entertainment package.
I'd be lying if I were to say that I was sad to see the Honda leave us. But it is a nice little car for what it is. Especially with the lightness it leaves on the wallet at the gas pump.
Out of 5 stars we give it 3 and a half.