It’s now 10 months since I bought my Honda Civic 1.8e CVT Limited Navi (SRP Php1,133,000) in the stunning Brilliant Sporty Blue Color. This option showed up last June 2017 in their website as a limited edition variant, with an intention to buy already a Civic I opted for this variant for its added features and unique color that I love.

While I’m now owning a unique colored Civic FC that gets a lot of attention, it’s not all glory as the interior is drastically changed for such “Limited Edition”. Unfortunately, seems Honda Philippines sacrificed the Civic’s unique selling features combined with lack of coordination to their dealers for a product that is feeling a disappointment.

At the variant specified, the press release highlighted the following unique to its package

  • Honda’s 7-inch touch screen Audio-Visual Navigation with HDMI and Miracast
  • Modulo trunk tray
  • Modulo door visors
  • Modulodeck lid spoiler

The fact where Honda disappointed me is their lack of coordination to their dealership of the difference in features inside. It turns out, instead of getting a good deal, I ended up sacrificing the best feature of Honda Civic which is the Honda Link system and the TFT Screen Instrument panel. The fact I added more than 25,000 pesos, Honda decided to trim down the supposedly “Limited Edition” to a less superior Honda Navi system by Garmin which is technically outdated now in maps.

All in all, I lost the following features with this so-called “Limited” Edition

  • TFT Screen Center Instrument Panel

Admit it, you will take the TFT screen panel anytime since its the latest trend.

  • Honda Link System

All features that link to the car is here, a feature I can’t have since Honda changed the center console.

  • Volume touch sensors in the steering wheel controls
  • Honda Link security system
  • No walk away to lock / auto-lock mechanism
  • No Speaker Tweeters 

Now I don’t know why Honda Cars Philippines even discriminated us of this feature, but it just shows their lack of affection to their car purchasers.

All these features can simply take Php100,000 in difference, a huge disappointment with Honda Cars Philippines for not properly communicating the difference of the “Limited Edition” to the regular 1.8e model. If I ask any car enthusiast, anyone will simply just take the 1.8e model and spend less than additional 50k for the so-called upgrades and even get a paint job to change the color of the car.

SRP before TRAIN LAW – Php1,118,000 for 1.8e Regular Variant

SRP before TRAIN LAW – Php1,133,000 for 1.8e Limited Navi (15k difference)

I tried researching if Honda declared these changes, to until this date of writing the Honda Philippine website is outdated and still offers the 2016 brochure of the civic. They didn’t have any dedicated page for the Limited Edition Navi and even my dealership was not aware of the differences. At one time, my dealership and I even got to an exchange of conversation confused where is the USB port which is just supposedly at the center console but of course, this is different where it’s not at the glove compartment.

To their defense I tried sending an email of my disappointment, HCPI said that not to compare a “Limited Edition” to the base 1.8e model as they are never positioned to each other. But if we take this based on marketing history, this is technically a first “Limited Edition” of any model which is more expensive to get technically a downgrade in features.

They do have a point not to compare the 1.8e to the Limited Navi. But to offer a product that is INFERIOR to the regular variant is something weird for HCPI or even logic. I still argue the lack of coordination to their dealership, they defended that they provided a brochure for the variant but my dealership didn’t even get such brochure. Plus their website should be transparent and source of information for any model of Honda, this is where HCPI lacked and disappointed me and perhaps other customers as well.

Still, its a stunner outside. Despite the downgrades, I have as compared to other Civic owners overall I can still be happy with my purchase. Of course, being with co-members of Civic Philippines makes me the envy of their setups as they can dress up their units faster with better color compatibility or even modifying the interior since the Honda Link is easy incompatibility.

Enough of my rant, to make it short do check with Honda Cars Philippines first before buying. If its a limited edition model, compare the regular to the limited to MAKE SURE everything is an upgrade than a downgrade.

So what’s my experience?

Handling and Control

The steering wheel of the Civic is a tad smaller as compared to other cars like the Altis or even to a Mazda 3. The smaller size is a sign of sportiness, for better wheel grip and overall cockpit-style driving.

What I like about the Civic is the light steering, slight movements are very responsive and aren’t heavy. As long as you have the right tire pressure, it handles well and quiets as it is designed for. A crunchy spring sound will be encountered for deep potholes which you should really avoid.

Accelerating and Speed

The 1.8e Navi has a good accelerator, speeds can go easily to 60kph when overtaking. What’s a bit lacking is the push to go higher than 80kph as the CVT transmission will adjust first before reaching 100kph. A disadvantage of a CVT transmission, but it compensates for comfort and less jerking of the engine.

Engine sound is very minimal, if you don’t listen to music then that’s the only time you’ll hear the engine. Something I adore with Honda Civic, it’s very much like when I got to experience driving the Mazda 6, Ford Focus and even the Subaru Impreza.

To put it in layman’s terms, I would say that the Civic is far better than the Altis in acceleration but it’s not the best. I would still prefer the handling and speed of the Mazda 3 over the Civic, but again it’s not the overall reason why I bought a Civic. I bought mine for class, quiet cabin, and smooth driving performance and that’s what the CVT transmission is good at.

The electronic brake hold is a lifesaver along with the electronic handbrake. In very traffic conditions, I thank the electronic brake hold especially for 60 seconds stoplight moments. This avoids the user to keep on adjusting the shift to neutral when idle.

Comfort

Driving or riding the Civic is a delight, despite the heavy traffic in Metro Manila. Everyone has their own cup holders, large leg room, and ample roof clearance. My gripes for the Civic are the center console and side panels which are made of fiber cloth, these things are subjective to acid sweat which stains obviously especially. So make sure to buy a leather seat cover to solve this problem.

Sounds System

If you are an audio junket like us, get a subwoofer as additional like the one underneath the seat. Even an additional 150W subwoofer is enough to add power to the sounds system installed.

Clarity and power, there is no problem. You will just have to tweak and adjust the equalizer settings for your preference.

Gas Millage

I rarely go outside of town and mostly use the Civic for everyday work. Using regular 93 octane gasoline, I get an average of 6 – 7km per liter mileage. In my recent trip to Laguna UPLB, I got a mileage of 10.3km per liter which as a mix of light to moderate traffic and running at 75km on average.

One full tank gives me an average of 250km – 270km depending on the traffic conditions. With 3 generations already using the same engine, we hoped Honda already fixed the “Gas Guzzler” reputation of the Civic…but it seems still there.

Safety Feature

Image result for civic fc remote start

The Civic’s FOB key is responsible for the push to start and even the remote auto-start feature. Opening the trunk is also possible while the open/close button is prominent. I say the Civic lacks in alarm as it doesn’t have an alarm system for vibrations or even bumps when parked. Plus ironically, the Civic doesn’t have a walk away to lock feature which makes you really paranoid to keep on locking your car when walking away…ironically this is present with the CR-V and other models above 1M.

An airbag is available for the front driver and passenger, but curtain airbags will be available for higher models such as the RS model.

Paint Condition

The paint on the Civic in overall is thin, be careful of scrapes and bumps as they are easy to be encountered. In my unit, I availed a ceramic coating to combat weather based harmful elements. But still, my worst encounter are people inconsiderate opening their doors and hitting mine, these leads to minor dents with paint scratch unfortunately.

Maintenance

So far I already bought my Civic to Honda for its 1st month and 6th-month periodic maintenance service. In total, I already spent around 5,500 for the maintenance for change oil and check of parts. In my 1st year, its expected I will spend around Php8,700 pesos according to forum reading.

Issues?

In my 10 months of using the Honda Civic 1.8e CVT Limited Navi, here are the things I observed not only in my unit but also among other Civic FC owners.

  1. Battery Drain Issue – So far I’ve seen three Civic FC owners had their battery replaced due to battery drain. They either had to call Motolite for delivery or have it jumper charged to turn on again. But the instrument panel will reset and will require a service center visit.
  2. Steering knocking sound – When turning the steering at full, especially when reversing will encounter some knocking sound. I am already at my 2nd visit about this problem but I will know in my next maintenance check what is the solution.
  3. Front Bumper Gap Issue – Forum friends said that this is a common issue for the Civic’s design, amplified by people seating in front of the car. The gap of the front bumper is having a big gap which according to the forum, the Honda after sales will attend to repair when the gap is very obvious. 
  4. Electronic Brake Issue – Although I haven’t experienced it, one co-member in our forums already encountered this issue about the electronic brake system. After 5 visits since June 30, the electronic brake isn’t still working until the time of writing.

Conclusion

Don’t get me wrong, the Honda Civic 1.8e Limited Navi is a nice car but it would have been nicer if Honda Cars Philippines did their job properly. Overall the Civic FC is a great car to drive, looks a stunner and does its job inside just don’t buy the Limited Edition Navi variant and make the same mistake as me.

What I liked about it

  • Unique and Stunning design/color
  • Auto-start Feature
  • Electronic Brake Hold and Handbrakes
  • Above average engine performance
  • Quiet engine

What I hate/needs to improve

  • No walk away to lock feature (You’ll be paranoid to always lock your car)
  • No Honda Link (For a more expensive model)
  • Gas consumption is 6-7km/liter
  • Sound System lacks bass power
  • Aftersales is…meh

If you are having the Honda Civic in your list of choices then you would also have the HR-V, Mazda 3, Mazda CX-3, Toyota Altis and even perhaps the Volkswagen Jetta in your considerations.

Major factors why I selected the Civic are the electronic brake and auto-start feature since I always encounter entering my car on a hot day which the auto-start fixes for me. Plus, the design is the latest among what models I mentioned.

If you are curious about buying a Civic, I will try to help you out. Ask me questions and I’ll be more than happy to accommodate your inquiry. For more information about the Honda Civic, you can go to Honda’s Website or you can even download the OUTDATED 2016 brochure of Honda Civic here.

 

 

 

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Eason de Guzman is a technology enthusiast who likes to test out the latest gadget and gizmos. Plus he dreams of testing out the latest gadgets with a hint of parkour in the future. Twitter & Instagram : @easondeguzman