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Buying a used Honda Civic


Some cars are utilitarian; some are bought for the joy of driving. This one falls in the latter, but should you buy a pre-owned Honda Civic? As we found out, definitely for the prices it is going at

 

 

Buying a used Honda Civic

 

 

 

In Brief

The Honda Civic has quite the fan following in India. It was a fantastic car to own with its futuristic cabin and comfortable interiors. It looked smashing as well at its time and above all, came with a hoot of an engine. Honda never offered the Civic with a diesel engine so it attracted a lot of purists and owners with low mileage usage. This means you will most likely find a Honda Civic in very good condition in the pre-owned car market. It is a thirsty car to own so the Civic attracts few buyers. That has led owners to offer them at throwaway prices too. Since the Civic didn’t have a lot of localized content, it was too expensive with the rising yen, eventually causing Honda to discontinue it. It has further dropped the Civic’s prices so if you are in for a good quick petrol car (almost as much as a new hatchback), the Civic is a very tempting deal. But get to know your car first… 

 

On the road

The Civic comes with an impressive 1.8-litre i-VTEC petrol engine dishing out 132PS of power and 172Nm of torque mated to a 5-speed transmission. The engine is smooth and refined as these VTEC motors tend to be, making it a enjoyable driving experience all the time. There’s also an automatic version with paddle shifters on a very sporty steering wheel that truly make it one heck of a fun car to drive. It rides well and is very comfortable for its occupants but the low ground clearance is a bit of a nuisance over tall speed humps and potholed roads as the underbelly tends to scrape too often. 

 

Moving in

It’s a special place to be in, especially at the price a Civic goes at now. The very futuristic cabin looks as contemporary as new cars sold in India and remember the Civic was introduced in 2006. The digital instrument console felt space age at the time for a car of its price and the sporty steering wheel with paddle shifters in the automatic won a lot of hearts. The Civic was also kitted well, complete with a sunroof, making it a premium car even in its segment. A decent sized boot made it a long distance car. The Civic’s front seats are particularly comfy and the flat floor created good space for the rear passengers. You do sit quite low in the Civic so that could be a problem for older occupants.

 

Efficiency

The Civic has a punchy petrol engine that begs to be revved and that means you can’t expect very good fuel economy from it. In fact, it has a low ARAI rating of 14.8kmpl for the manual and 13.9kmpl for the automatic. In the real world, expect its economy to drop a shade under 10kmpl in the city and about 12-13kmpl on the highway.

 

Buying used

The Civic is fun to drive and so most drivers tend to push it hard. Our roads have plenty of potholed surprises and that tends to shake up the car often. The Civic is solidly built but things like engine mounts, dampers and the Civic’s underbody take a beating over time so check for engine vibrations, crashy suspension and a scraped up underbody. These will lead to expensive repairs so either factor that into the deal or look for another car. The quality of fuel also tends to affect the engine so do a few acceleration runs to check if the engine is smooth and refined.

 

Money-Wise

For a car that cost Rs 15 lakh when new in 2006, prices have now dropped to Rs 3 lakh with 50,000-75,000km on the clock. An automatic will cost about Rs 10,000 more. Add about Rs 20,000 for a car from 2007. from 2008, you will find quite a few examples with sunroof and a lot more features. This car is available in fully-specified trim from Rs 3.5-4 lakh depending on condition of the vehicle and mileage. Add about Rs 30,000 for a Civic from a year younger. Realistically a two year old Civic with less than 30,000km on the odometer will be available for less than Rs 6 lakh. That’s a steal!

 

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