Honda Civic Review: 2007 Model | Civic | Car Buyers Guide

2007 Honda Civic Review

As the debate surrounding CO2 emissions reaches fever pitch, going out to buy a new car over the next few years will involve most buyers having to take a look at just how much ‘icky’ stuff is coming out of the exhaust.

While up to now it was mostly only those people who wear very woolly jumpers and have beards and dogs on ropes that paid much attention to that kind of stuff, the fact that VRT is likely to have some form of CO2 emissions element by next year means that we could be hit harder in the pocket, depending on the cleanliness of our engine. While Toyota has been soaking up all the credit for hybrids up to now, Honda has been at it since 1999. The odd-looking and impractical Insight was its first effort, which sold in tiny numbers here, but Stateside it has a Hybrid Civic already and an Accord, too.

The Civic Hybrid is intended to take on the Toyota Prius saloon head on. Available as a saloon only –mainly because this is intended to sell in the US market, which tends not to like hatchbacks –the Civic IMA is more soberly styled than the radical-looking hatchback and apart from some rather flying-saucer-like alloys, you could be driving the regular Civic saloon. Of course, the crucial differences are going on underneath. The Civic IMA combines a 1,339cc petrol engine developing 95bhp and 122Nm of torque with an electric motor that adds an extra 20bhp and 103Nm of torque.

The batteries that drive the motor are recharged automatically through regenerative braking and you can see this happening via a graphic on the dashboard. When you stop in traffic the petrol engine switches off until you move off again and this whole process is very smooth. Sadly, what is less smooth is the CVT transmission, which can be ponderous and jerky if you try to make rapid progress. Speaking of which, the Civic really isn’t all that quick. Granted, the nice salesman in the Honda showroom will sell you a Type-R for just seven grand more if you want a fast car, but with 0-100km/h coming in 12.1 fairly unpleasant seconds and a top speed of 185km/h, you won’t be getting in too much trouble in your IMA.

On the plus side, the steering is well weighted and the overall ride and handling combination isn’t bad, with certainly more feel than you get from its arch-rival the Toyota Prius. The all-important fuel consumption figure of 4.6 l/100km is good in theory, if you can achieve it. And with a carbon emission figure of just 109 g/km, this is one of the cleanest cars you can drive, which accounts for the 50 percent reduction in VRT that the car is allowed. For the same price you could scrape into a Volkswagen Passat or have a diesel Jetta. And a very nicely equipped Toyota Avensis 1.6-litre will only cost you a smidge over €26,000. And let’s not forget the excellent Skoda Octavia. You could really take your pick of the range. A 1.9 TDI Elegance with DSG will come in at €27,740. So picking the Civic IMA is still a very deliberate and conscientious decision, even with the VRT reduction. You can have better cars for the money, but for now anyway, you can’t have cleaner.


Honda Civic IMA

Engine 1,339cc 4-cyl Hybrid 115bhp, 225Nm torque

Boot Capacity 350 litres

Acceleration 0-100km/h 12.1 seconds

Top speed 185 km/h Price €27,995*

Price includes 50 percent reduction in VRT

Transmission 7-speed CVT, front-wheel drive

Economy 4.6 litres/100km


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