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Is newer always better?...2015 Honda Civic


LoneWolf
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Well, the `04 Civic went in for her recall airbag replacement to get mechanisms not at risk for filling car occupants with shrapnel.  And of course, I got a loaner.  So, I figured I'd give it a review from the short time I had it, and I wanted to try the 2015 Civic EX, 11 years newer than mine, with about 1250 miles on it at the time I got it.

To start with, the front buckets are comfortable, and driver position is really decent,  I'm a 6'4" guy and I fit without issue, and while the top of the windshield feels slightly low, it was adjusted slightly better for my body so I didn't feel stiff.  The seats have good back support, and pretty good side bolsters, though with allowances for slightly wider people than my 2004, probably due to the trends in this nation.  Still held pretty well during routine maneuvering.

Controls are modernized, but very well laid out, despite having three times the number of buttons of my car.  Cruise and stereo controls on the steering wheel, with four-position circular buttons and a center inset button for each.  Most controls and gauges are easy to view and work without taking your eyes off the road.  Lots of information to work with, lots of ports; I was really surprised to see an HDMI port next to the USB one.

The brakes are stellar. :whistle:

That said, the handling doesn't match my 2004.  It's very reasonable, better than something like a Corolla or the Prius I drive for work, but not as tight.  Also, the CVT doesn't seem to have the response my 4-speed automatic does.  Not that mine is sporty, but mashing the pedal to the floor will produce a better response in my car than in the 2015, despite having less horsepower and probably less torque.  So between the handling and the drive-by-wire throttle, it felt just a little disconnected. The stereo is a C-; the radio sounded muddy (yes, my JVC deck with Infinity speakers kills it, but I expected a bit more from a modern infotainment system).

There's a "green" button that is supposed to economize things over normal mode.  I didn't realize it until driving it the 40 miles back to the dealership (it had been on, so I tried turning it on and off).  I could hardly tell the difference either in mileage changes (there's a gauge to tell you what you're getting) or in performance; maybe there was a tad more oomph to pass someone, but it was negligible. 

I liked a lot of things about the car.  The funny thing is, mine is more fun to drive even at just over 225,000 miles (which I hit this weekend on a round trip to Indianapolis).  I think some weekend I'm going to have to try the Mazda3 hatchback to see if it's all the ratings crack it up to be.

Old:

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New:

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I notice similar things with my 95 Civic del Sol vs 2013 Civic.  The oldie has more direct steering and throttle, but your right, the new brakes are very nice. :)

The steering has a much better on-center feel than than the new one, which is good, but just not "centered".  The throttle response is definitely better in the old, but then again there is a heck of a weight difference.

A Ford commercial said it best: "The Honda feels like it is full of Novocain".  It does!  It is smooth as snot, which is nice. :)

Oh yeah  the "Eco" button sucks!  Like roadsue said aboot her Fit, it basically just renders the car gutless. :D And sometimes I get better mileage without it, and much better power.

 

Edited by The Inedible Bulk
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why waste your money

I'm not.  Waiting until the 2004 actually increases in maintenance costs to where it doesn't make sense; that may not happen until 300,000 miles for all I know.  It was just an opportunity to do my homework ahead of time for free.  I've owned it ten of its eleven years, it's paid off, gets good gas mileage, and requires little in the way of nonroutine maintenance.

TIB, I'm thinking that the Civic Si might be nicer what with a stiffened suspension and a transmission with real gears.  The stick is a problem if WoLW had to drive it in an emergency though, and 18" tires are expensive; I wouldn't want larger than 16" wheels on anything I picked out if I could help it.

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I'm not.  Waiting until the 2004 actually increases in maintenance costs to where it doesn't make sense; that may not happen until 300,000 miles for all I know.  It was just an opportunity to do my homework ahead of time for free.  I've owned it ten of its eleven years, it's paid off, gets good gas mileage, and requires little in the way of nonroutine maintenance.

TIB, I'm thinking that the Civic Si might be nicer what with a stiffened suspension and a transmission with real gears.  The stick is a problem if WoLW had to drive it in an emergency though, and 18" tires are expensive; I wouldn't want larger than 16" wheels on anything I picked out if I could help it.

I drove an Si from around 2008 or so, and it was great fun to drive!  You pay quite a penalty in original price, gas mileage, etc., though.  I thought very briefly aboot getting a standard, but the wife and kid factor ruled it out, along with maybe the stop and go traffic.  2013 was the last year for a conventional automatic, which I liked because I didn't like the feel of the Accord with CVT, but after driving daughter #1's Fit a little, I love the way the CVT makes the car feel so go-kart like. :)

 

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Newer is not always better. I had a 2013 CRV and somewhat liked the vehicle, I was offered by the dealership to bring the car in and they were willing to give me a 2015 for the same monthly fee ( I called BS on their scam real fast). I did ask the sales rep what has fully changed between the two vehicles. She said everything is the same except the new CRV has a Passenger mirror camera for changing lanes, and something about something else that I did not give a shit about.

 

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I test drove an HR-V and for a light 4 cylinder vehicle, I was pretty impressed.  Hondas have always seemed pedestrian in design to me but I liked this little rig.  The right side blind spot camera is pretty cool.  I can see that saving a lane change incident for drivers who have poor scans or limited mobility. 

Not enough truck for me but my daughter will love it.

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I test drove an HR-V and for a light 4 cylinder vehicle, I was pretty impressed.  Hondas have always seemed pedestrian in design to me but I liked this little rig.  The right side blind spot camera is pretty cool.  I can see that saving a lane change incident for drivers who have poor scans or limited mobility. 

Not enough truck for me but my daughter will love it.

Oh, thanks for 'splainin' that!  I saw one on the road the other day and wondered how I missed that Honda had started making a RAV4!  Automobile magazine has let me down!  Of course they do seem to specialise in high end and exotics these days.  Maybe I need to start getting Car and Driver again.  I stopped a few years ago when it became boring. 

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My Accord has that green "Econ" button - I do feel like it tempers the throttle response a little when it's on, and I think it does other things but it's hard to get a clear explanation of everything that happens when that's activated.  I haven't really noticed a major difference in fuel economy with it though.  Maybe I just haven't paid enough attention.  My commute isn't exactly filled with Driving Fun so I usually leave that Econ activated all the time.

When I was car shopping I noted the subpar stereo in the Honda, especially compared to the 8-speaker setup in the other contender, the Passat.  I should look into improving this.  If I'm driving on the highway with all the windows down the stereo won't keep up.

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My Accord has that green "Econ" button - I do feel like it tempers the throttle response a little when it's on, and I think it does other things but it's hard to get a clear explanation of everything that happens when that's activated.  I haven't really noticed a major difference in fuel economy with it though.  Maybe I just haven't paid enough attention.  My commute isn't exactly filled with Driving Fun so I usually leave that Econ activated all the time.

When I was car shopping I noted the subpar stereo in the Honda, especially compared to the 8-speaker setup in the other contender, the Passat.  I should look into improving this.  If I'm driving on the highway with all the windows down the stereo won't keep up.

It does change the transmission operation slightly and changes the a/c compressor cycle operation in order to provide better fuel economy.  That is about it though.

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I have the V6 6 speed Accord of 2006 vintage.  No way I would ever own a car that was an auto unless it was a CTS-V or a 70 Chevelle with a big block.  

This may be one of the reasons I don;t want to give up the del Sol - it satisfies my shifting urge.  But I have gotten quite used to an auto and don;t miss a standard all that much.

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While I will await Ralph's more detailed explanation, I will provide a summary of his thoughts: "No."

 

I test drove the Mazda 3 last summer. I really liked it, and if I didn't have SUV needs it would have been a nice pick.

It is an interesting question.  There is "technical progress" new, like direct injection, electronics, killer brakes, etc., and then there is "cost cutting" new, like wafer-thin body steel and paint and cheapo carpet.  So "better" is sort of a qualified "sorta", IMO.

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You found an Accord with a standard transmission?  V6?

Nope, it's the 2.4L 4-cyl. Mine is the "Sport" model but I'm pretty sure the stick is also available in LX and EX.

Lamentably I don't think any V6 Accords are available with a stick. 

On one drive from Trenton to my brother's place in northern Virginia I managed 38 mpg with this car.

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Last I knew, those required premium gas.

How about a nice, lightly used CR-Z?:P

 

while they "require" it, if you don't use it, it will just retard the engine timing when it realizes you're not doing it.  It's not a warranty requirement.

The CR-Z looks cool.  However, I'd likely take a mint condition final-year CRX over it for all of the same reasons I like my Civic.  And those don't exist.  (By the way, why is it that "fly-by-wire" fighter planes can be so agile --and "drive-by-wire" cars feel so, well, not?)

Actually, a 2006 Acura RSX (straight, not the type-S) with the 160hp i-VTEC (takes regular) and 5spd stick would be a hoot too, but good luck finding one in the shape you want or with low miles.

This is why I keep looking back to the Mazda3 hatch as my possible next car.  155hp or 184hp, both with great gas mileage and a 6-speed automatic (no CVT).  I should test drive one some time, just so I don't build up hype and get disappointed.

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while they "require" it, if you don't use it, it will just retard the engine timing when it realizes you're not doing it.  It's not a warranty requirement.

The CR-Z looks cool.  However, I'd likely take a mint condition final-year CRX over it for all of the same reasons I like my Civic.  And those don't exist.  (By the way, why is it that "fly-by-wire" fighter planes can be so agile --and "drive-by-wire" cars feel so, well, not?)

Actually, a 2006 Acura RSX (straight, not the type-S) with the 160hp i-VTEC (takes regular) and 5spd stick would be a hoot too, but good luck finding one in the shape you want or with low miles.

This is why I keep looking back to the Mazda3 hatch as my possible next car.  155hp or 184hp, both with great gas mileage and a 6-speed automatic (no CVT).  I should test drive one some time, just so I don't build up hype and get disappointed.

I had one as a rental and it was ok.  That is a great way to try oot a car.

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while they "require" it, if you don't use it, it will just retard the engine timing when it realizes you're not doing it.  It's not a warranty requirement.

Ah, didn't know that. When I was shopping for my CR-Z the salesman just said the Si "required" it, so I crossed it of my list and didn't dig any further into it.

The CR-Z looks cool.  However, I'd likely take a mint condition final-year CRX over it for all of the same reasons I like my Civic.  And those don't exist.  (By the way, why is it that "fly-by-wire" fighter planes can be so agile --and "drive-by-wire" cars feel so, well, not?)

I like it well enough, but am kinda' bored with it. If I sell it, I might get another motorcycle, or take that money, trade my truck in and put them both toward a truck I like better than the Wonder Truck. The sweet 6-speed is the only thing I'd really miss. I hate automatics. (Well, the 6-speed and the 40mpg....)

Drove a Mazda 3 as a rental, was unimpressed. Felt kinda' cheap. More and more, I'm looking at  cars as "transportation appliances" and nothing more.

 

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I have to have a transportation appliance --I just don't want something that's Corolla-Camry-Prius boring. Plus most Toyotas I've driven have very mediocre seats, and predictable but sleepy steering.

Still need the gas mileage (I put in 60-80 miles a day 5 days a week).  Still need the reliability.  I just want something that has responsive handling and reasonable (not sports-car) acceleration.  The 2004 Civic actually does that well; the 2015 wasn't as good at that, but was comfortable and well thought out.

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My usual response on these car threads is to make sure you compare apples with apples. Trim levels vary greatly on all makes and models. Often rental cars are mid grade at best. While I can live without the faux wood grain accents and electronic gizmos, the more comfortable seats are often worth the additional price. Especially if you plan to keep the car for several years. As for driving appliances, we all have different wants and needs from our cars. My favorite brand's motto is, "Driving matters." ;)

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My usual response on these car threads is to make sure you compare apples with apples. Trim levels vary greatly on all makes and models. Often rental cars are mid grade at best. While I can live without the faux wood grain accents and electronic gizmos, the more comfortable seats are often worth the additional price. Especially if you plan to keep the car for several years. As for driving appliances, we all have different wants and needs from our cars. My favorite brand's motto is, "Driving matters." ;)

Both were the Civic EX model.  Standard cloth seats, but Honda just does cloth seats well, even on their base model cars.  My plain-as-stick 1991 Acura Integra RS 5spd coupe (which didn't even have A/C - I joked that RS stood for "Really Stripped") had great seats, and was a hoot to drive.

Examples of bad seats were the Chevy Impala (up until the redesign, I think that was in 2013, where it improved greatly), a lot of Toyota sedans I've driven, and probably the worst I've had was a rental Saturn SL2; I could feel what felt like tensioning springs under the cloth.  I want good lumbar support and side bolsters that will hold me in place on a corner, as well as keep me from being sore after several hours on the road, like last weekend's trip to Indianapolis (a tad over four hours each way).  We had the mid-2000s Impalas as fleet cars for a company I worked for a few years back; I couldn't see how anyone could like those wide, unsupportive things

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