CIVIC-MINDED ALL THE WAY TO PENANG

Published on August 9th, 2012

I tried my best to wiggle out of the Honda Civic test drive, asking the rest of the Traffic crews to go as my beloved wife’s enduring her morning sickness. I felt obliged to accompany her through this ordeal but it turned out that despite my effort to get a replacement to go on behalf of Traffic, it seems that I had to do it myself.

Yoichiro Ueno, CEO of Honda Malaysia

the perfect car for tree-huggers - Civic hybrid

Surely Honda has something up their sleeve as while the rest planning for Buka Puasa with the medias, the organize a test drive instead. Arriving early in the morning at Saujana Hotel in Shah Alam with an empty stomach, the urge to break fast and smoke at least three sticks of ciggies to endure the infamous congestion getting worst during the fasting month would surely be more than enough to convince me to stay in bed instead. In fact, it was the only thing playing in my mind repeatedly like a broken record player. Nevertheless, I was one of the earlybirds to arrive and register.

the Civic drove itself to 200km/h

Honda had all its fleet of new Civics ranging from the 2.0 to the hybrid for us to test drive all the way up to Penang. Would I survive this without breaking my fast? That would remain to be seen. There will be two groups. The first will be driving up to Indulgence in Ipoh while the second will be driving from there on towards Penang while the first group will be chartered via bus.

love the rear... can't say the same about the front though.

arriving at Indulgence, Ipoh

Luckily Dinesh, the jolly-good fella who is also the editor of Hypertune was willing to be my partner throughout the test drives. We started off with the Honda Civic 1.8. Both of us didn’t enjoy the seats as the seating position felt a bit awkward as we wiggled our butts into the seats. We’re flagged off by Yoichiro Ueno, the CEO of Honda Malaysia and off we go led by Ian Khong and his teams making our lives easier without getting lost before arriving at Lone Pine, Penang.

Lone Pine, Penang

Jacuzzi at the balcony... schhwweeettt!

The design cues does not appeal to me it’s way bit close to the City and Accord but the amount of technology and thought put to it ensures both comfort and an improved road-handling. It’s more streamlined compared to the the bulky 8th generation Civic with a shorter wheelbase and yet the cabin’s bigger for legroom hence comfort is not compromised.

Dinesh at work!

Looks can be deceiving as it drives well enough on the B-roads for a spirited drive. It would be great if we get to drive on the B-roads a tad longer. Surely enough it’s easy to reach 200km/h even for the 1.5L hybrid without having the feel of flying off to the roadside. If only the 1.8 and 2.0 Civic comes with a six-speed gearbox instead, it would surely be a fun car to drive. Nevertheless, fuel efficiency is way much better and the power delivery is exceptional in its class.

SOHC instead of DOCH for better fuel efficiency and power delivery

As for the cabin, it sure felt like a cockpit with all the digital meters blaring. There’s also the five inches of information screen for ICE lovers to go through their lists of songs via the radio or even the iPOD and such with the addition of USB port in the centre console. With all the technology and effort put onto the development of the Civic, I can’t wait to get my itchy fingers on the steering of its Type R brethren. Surely, there will be one of the 9th Generation Civic right?

words & pix: Hage’

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