08 November 2012

Honda Civic 5-dr Hatch


Honda NZ are determined that my next car will be one of theirs. I got an invite from a very persuasive young lady inviting me to drive the above mentioned car. The Civic 4-door has been the model imported, but favourable currency rates has led Honda NZ to rather belatedly bring in the 5-door Hatch model from the UK. Anyway, a  time was arranged, and we went for a drive. So what are the impressions?

Plus: It has a cosseting feel when you sit in the front seats. Everything is easily reached and a suitable driving position is no trouble to find. The rear seats can each be lifted up with an easy action to allow a cavernous area to put high items such as a tall pot plant. The boot is adequate, and becomes a small estate car (wagon) when required. On the road it steers and handles really well. Fuel economy is good, as well as the usual data about how much you are using. It is very stylish too.

Minus: The good fuel consumption is achieved at the expense of white knuckle acceleration, so the sporty look is misleading. This point is not a minus to me as I like the stylish shape and the 'get go' is enough for my needs, but it will be a negative to some.

Value: In New Zealand, Honda NZ have a no haggle policy and their cars are about the same price as competitors. Because Honda cars are well engineered and made, on the surface this sounds good. However, often competitors come up with deals, such as discounted prices, free servicing and pay your 'on road' costs. At those times, Honda cars are simply not competitive. OK, so no discounts means better resale prices apparently, but I have never been able to find data to confirm this. Therefore I remain unconvinced by Honda's stance of no financial incentives to buy based on protecting used prices.

Would I buy one? Yes...except I also do like a deal and that is one thing you will never get from Honda NZ.

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