Honda Civic Diesel 2.2 CTDI SE-S

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Test Drive Report: Honda Civic Diesel 2.2 CTDi SE-S

In its lifetime the Honda Civic has gone through many design changes, never more so than the current model, particularly the hatchback version. Honoured with the title Semperit Irish Car of the Year 2006, the Civic appealed to the members of the Irish Motoring Writers voting panel for its futuristic looks and exciting interior design. At the time diesel power was promised and now two years later the 2.2 litre 140 bhp unit continues to be well received by Honda Accord drivers, has been squeezed into the Civic.

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As per the petrol versions, Civic drives superbly with the extra weight of the diesel block adding to a more positive steering feel. Over the 1122 kilometres covered in the week of my presence in the black 5 door hatch, 5.8 litre/100 kms was returned which averages out at 49 mpg. 

All round this civic is best described as a tidy car – roomy enough inside without taking up too much space in the car park. The steering column area design was described to me at one time by a colleague as “a dash to die for”. Yes, indeed, it is revolutionary in its design but has some drawbacks. For example, when seated behind the wheel some of the dials are not visible without stretching the head forward every now and again. On the subject of obstruction, due to the positioning of the rear spoiler on the rear hatch door, full view from the rear-view mirror is not available.

Within the surrounds of the dash area, I liked the eco-lights at the top right hand corner of the clocks console, which increase in numbers as you drive more economically. Power from the engine was plenty for this size of car aided by a flexible 6-speed gearbox that did not need to be used too much once up to speed.

I have no concern with this size or capacity of engine in that at 2.2 litres it is conforming economically from a motor tax rate point of view under our new CO2 rate system. At 140 g/km it comes under the Band B which requires payment of €156 per year. According to Frank Kennedy, Sales and Marketing Manager full availability of Civic diesels will come on stream for 2009. This vehicle will now generate renewed interest from the corporate and fleet sector thanks to the fitting of the diesel engine. Price wise at €27,995 the Civic 2.2 CTDi SE-S competes strongly with seasoned campaigners such as the VW Golf 1.9 TDI, Skoda Supeb 1.9TDI and Opel Astra 1.9 CDTi.

As an attractive alternative, the Honda Civic diesel is well worth considering.

The 2.2 –litre i-CTDI diesel engine in the Civic, though based on the engine originally used in the Accord and CR-V models, has been modified to achieve optimal match with the Civic, resulting in an engine that is a bench-mark in the segment, with outstanding performance, low consumption and environmental protection. It takes less than 9 seconds to reach 100 km/h from a standing start and it requires just 10.2 seconds to accelerate from 40 to 100 km/h, meaning it is at least half a second faster than the next best competitor.

With a displacement of 2204 cc, the i-CTDi engine’s advanced design and all-aluminium construction deliver 140 PS at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 340 Nm at just 2,000 rpm. It’s a transversely mounted, 4-cylinder unit, with DOHC, four valves per cylinder, balancer shaft, second generation common rail direct injection, and variable nozzle turbocharger with intercooler.  The strength-in-depth quality of the engine is rounded off by consumption figures in the combined cycle of 5.1 l/100 km.

Honda’s reputation for consistently bringing clever solutions and creative thinking to whatever new area of technology it has chosen to pursue continues with the 2.2 i-CTDi engine; producing a class-leading diesel engine has been as much about materials science and production technology as it has about engine architecture. Employing a series of advanced technologies and crucial attention to detail, both in terms of construction and operation, has delivered an engine that is light in weight, compact, yet immensely strong, and delivers optimum combustion characteristics.

JARLATH SWEENEY