Blog: Dave LeggettRadical Honda Civic

Dave Leggett | 8 September 2006

The Honda Civic has long been in that category of car that might be considered a reliable but relatively uninteresting econobox. A worthy rival to the hugely successful dullard that is the Toyota Corolla. The latest Civic comes as something of a surprise – and a pleasant one I think. The approach to the design, interior and exterior (classic wedge shape - paying homage to Austin Princess perhaps?), has been pretty radical.

Honda’s UK PR office have loaned me one from their press fleet for the week and two things have particularly impressed – 1) the frugality and performance of the 2.2 litre diesel engine (I’m driving the 2.2 i-CTDi) and 2) the design of and ease of readability of the instrument displays in the cockpit. With regard to the second point, I’ve never been a big fan of digital speedo’s but the one in the Honda really works well because it has been placed as far back and as high as possible on a secondary dash tier so that it is just under the eyeline when driving. And the central dial viewed through the steering wheel has been well-designed also.

I understand that the high-mounted digital speedometer and the rest of the interior design cost Honda about twice as much as doing a more conventional job on it. End result is good though and ought to broaden the Civic’s appeal. 

I wonder how the striking looks and radical interior have gone down with Honda’s more traditional customer base in the British market?


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