The Honda 1,8 VTI.
What a car, it corners like its on rails, difficult to unsettle and the noise it makes when the engine engages VTEC in the upper rev band, its fantastic.
I'd always seen these cars around and thought they were just like normal Gti's- in fact they are something completely different. The 1.8 power unit has similar power to a V6, but with a lighter engine coupled to a much lighter car, it makes for some embarrassed faces when you pass.
It is like Jekyll and Hyde, you can poodle around town at low revs and when on the open road and getting near the 5,500 rev mark it simply takes off and leaves (or puts distance on) whatever is behind. The only niggle is that in straight line "off the lights" performance it does tend to need winding up - but once your in the power band of the VTEC, every time you need to change gear the next gear is right where it needs to be for the power. This makes for easy overtaking, it can almost be intoxicating at times and can really motor.
The rev line is way up around the 8,300 mark, although you rarely need to take it that far since the power comes on strong at about 6,000 and tails of after 7,500. You have to be careful in this car with the performance, since you can quickly exceed even motorway speeds and the engine wants to keep on going.
As for problems, the only thing that has gone wrong in a year is a rear wheel bearing, which apparently is common on these "a touch expensive" when only the dealer stocks the item, but then it is a Japanese made car, although the 5 door is from Swindon.
If your after a 5 door family run-around with a bite, then this car would definitely be for you. Take the kids to school and then take the long route home!!