Economy without excitement
None yet. It's a new vehicle
This car is very economical. It averages 36 MPG with about 80% highway and 20% in town driving. The information display indicated 37.6 MPG average, which is a bit optimistic.
Fit and finish are pretty good. The interior materials appear to be of good quality, and the interior looks good.
The exterior fit and finish on my car are OK, with the front bumper skin that is not quite aligned properly with the wheel arch. Not a show stopper...
Instrumentation and controls are well laid out and easy to reach. The Bluetooth works well, and having the back-up camera is great, since the rear view is partially obstructed by the rear seat head rests. I also enjoy the ability to plug in my MP3 player via USB port.
The front seats are OK as far as comfort. There is plenty of leg and head room. Rear seats are pretty roomy as long as the front seats are not adjusted all the way back. The rear seat folds down for additional cargo room.
Cabin noise on roads with coarse/rough pavement is pretty loud. Perhaps due to the inexpensive OEM tires that come with the car. On smooth roads, road noise is pretty well controlled and engine noise is minimal when compared to other vehicles I test drove.
The engine is quiet, but power delivery is not as smooth as I would like, especially when the "economy" mode is active. When in "economy" mode, the engine loses quite a bit of its already limited power and responsiveness. I guess that is the price paid for a few more MPG.
The transmission (gear ratio selection) is my greatest complaint so far. In my opinion, it's not geared well at all: The first 3 gears are very low (for quick acceleration off the line) but 4th and 5th seem too tall for the 1.8L 4 banger (1500 RPM at 45 MPH in 5th and about 2200 RPM at 70 MPH in 5th).
It is just barely OK if most of your driving is on fairly level country roads or level highways. If you drive on country roads or highways with moderate hills as I do, the car is constantly downshifting and upshifting, searching for the correct gear (which many times does not exist).
All in all, a pretty decent little car, but I wish the transmission gear selection was better suited to the 1.8L engine. If you want spirited driving with decent performance, choose a Civic with a manual transmission.
I hope that the transmission will hold up over the long haul, due to the extra stress put on it due to the low gearing.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th September, 2013