2007 Honda Civic Vti 1.8


Very good quality, sensible motoring choice


Nothing so far, only 2,500km covered.

General Comments:

The new Civic is very good quality for the money, and performs its task of being a primary car very well.

I bought the Civic after much deliberation, and weighing up the pros and cons of new cars in the $15k - $25k AUD range. The following qualities are of note:

Best in class build quality; I certainly couldn't find anything as good without spending over $30,000.

The fuel consumption of the engine is exceptional for what the engine can do (I will expand on this below).

The interior design is quite forward thinking, and I found very easy to use and pleasant place to be. I was a fan of the digital 'multimeter' setup from the first drive, and it makes traditional instrument arrangements seem quite old fashioned. The interior space is very well used, and the rear seats are extremely accommodating for adult sized passengers in a small/medium car.

The Honda ownership experience - I have never heard a bad word about a Honda, and if you look on this site there are very few unhappy owners. They are bullet proof in reliability, and have generally above average resale value.

The car drives quite well with reasonable communication of how the car is handling. While it is not as sharp or inspiring drive as say a Mazda 2 or 3, I found that the overall package made up for this.

The downsides of the car in my opinion are:

Fairly bland styling. Don't get me wrong, it certainly isn't unattractive, but it won't stir much passion walking up to it.

Some have commented on the high noise levels when driving over course chip roads, and I must say that it is fairly loud. however, I'm sure this partly comes down to tyre choice and is not the sought of problem that would detract from the overall ownership experience.

The engine:

I just want to elaborate on the engine in this car, as it is quite a ingenious piece of kit, and certainly not understood by Honda sales staff. The engine is the R18A, and it is a new engine design launched with the Civic. The brochure says it delivers 2 litre power with 1.5 litre economy, which is actually true. The engine delivers 103kw @ 6200rpm and 174Nm @ 4200rpm. This compares very favourably with the Mazda 3's two litre engine, very favourably, with the difference only 4kw and 8Nm. However, the Civic engine has combined fuel figures as 6.9 litres per 100km (for the manual), whereas the Mazdas' two litre engine is 8.5 litres per 100km. As a comparison of how good that is, the Suzuki Swift 1.5 litre engine has fuel consumption of 6.7 litres per 100km, which is only marginally better, and the Civic is a much more substantial car.

The way it does this is through use of i-VTEC. Most people would be familiar with VTEC in it ability to provide screaming top end power. However, in the R18A engine, it is used to create a frugal engine and a 'normal' performance engine. Basically, under 3500rpm at up to 75% throttle load the engine works on a slightly different cycle, which is far more efficient than a normal engine cycle. The use of this part of the rev and power range (where most normal driving occurs anyway) is the key to the Civic's exceptional fuel economy; highway cruising in the low 5 litres per 100km is not unusual.

At the same time, the Honda engineers designed the engine to provide greater torque availability across the rev range, so the car feels easy to drive in city settings. The result is very impressive considering the engine is only 1.8 litres.

Enough about the engine...

Overall, I found the Honda provided the most economical choice if you are in the market for a frugal yet practical everyday car, and would highly recommend to anyone in the small/medium car market AUD$15-25k.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th December, 2007

27th Dec 2007, 06:01

Excellent review - accurate and useful facts. Thanks.

1st Apr 2008, 21:49

Very true. I have now done 25k in mine. Still a lovely car to drive and the fuel is cheap! The driver power window is squeaking which is rather obnoxious at times. No complaints otherwise.

19th Mar 2009, 21:15

I was the original reviewer here, just an update.

I actually sold the car after around 20k. Not because of any fault on the car, and I still stand by everything I wrote. But after making the choice to buy the Civic with my head, as a car enthusiast at heart, I found I needed something with more character to keep me satisfied. I now own a Ford Focus XR5/ST, which is great and does all the stuff the Civic did, admittedly not as good on fuel and a bit more expensive, but I'm happy to pay the extra for the satisfaction I derive from it.

So the only extra advice I would add is, don't buy the Civic if you love cars with enduring character, you may sell it sooner than expected.

2007 Honda Civic VTi 1.8 petrol


Some minor issues, but still a great car


Loud metallic "click" from transmission when shifting from R to D, and vice versa when the car is stationary. Sound can be reduced by waiting about 2-3 seconds before changing gears.

Minor rattles from the sun-visor and within the front doors (only on (very rough) coarse chip roads, it is fine on smooth roads).

Tyre noise in cabin when on coarse chip roads.

Ride is slightly on the firm side.

General Comments:

Engine revs smoothly and is fuel efficient.

5 speed automatic transmission is refined.

Air conditioning is efficient and quiet.

Interior design and layout is funky and modern (e.g. digital speedometer, blue dash lighting)

Cabin is roomy (by compact car standards).

Fit and finish generally top notch. Good quality materials used.

No stability control available (available in some markets).

Audio system sounds great (it is part of the dash so it is not changeable). Includes auxiliary socket.

Cabin is reasonably quiet by small car standards.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 8th October, 2007

14th Nov 2007, 19:35

I totally agree with your write up and was wondering if anyone else had that click when shift from R to D.

11th Jan 2008, 05:44

Hi all,

An update on the original review after 8000 kms of motoring.

Anyone else who also has the same car, please share your thoughts and observations. Thanks.

Some observations:


- Great car for long distance driving. Seems quite stable.

- When doing a fairly hard stop, there is a loud "spring" sound coming from the engine bay. ABS?


- fuel economy and throttle response have improved. AC is on most of the time.

- when engine is under load (e.g. going up a hill) there is a faint "rattling" from the engine. Is this normal?


- good tyre wear. Will change to a quieter tyre (less sporty) as OEM tyres seem to be noisy over gravel roads.


- no parts or bits have broken or fallen off or stopped working (which is good)

However, I'm starting to get a few interior rattles, pops, squeaks here and there. The car was rattle and squeak free until about 1500 kms. I do travel on coarse gravel roads sometimes so maybe this makes it worse? The car is also parked in the hot sun most of the day (but with a sunshade). Anyone else had similar rattles, squeaks? Here they are:

- Radio / AC console - occasionally makes plastic popping sounds going over bumps in road and creaks if you press on the plastic.

- Dashboard - occasional pop and squeaking from the vicinity of windscreen vent / air bag cover area. Seems to be sensitive to ambient temperature.

- Something near the steering wheel is popping/ rattling when I go over bumps.

- Doors - continuous metallic buzzing sound in door trims when going over rough roads (otherwise quiet)

I am intending to get the above rattle/squeaks fixed during the major service (10,000 kms). Note that when travelling on a smooth road, the interior is very quiet.


I believe the above issues are relatively minor and fixable so this shouldn't dissuade prospective Civic buyers in considering one. This car is feature packed and great value for money. Remember, cars are a mass-produced item and nothing is going to be perfect!