Sunday, March 12, 2017

2017 Honda Civic 1.8L E CVT - Bootiliciously Impressive

The Hills Are Alive with the All New 2017 Honda Civic!

Bootilicious!


By Monch Henares


At First Glance

Oh My God! What a HOT behind! Those were the first words I uttered when I saw the 2017 Honda Civic that evening. Its glowing red-angled hips made my head do a 360 as it gracefully did a turn around me. My heart was beating so fast knowing that soon I would be behind its wheel for one exciting week.

2017 Honda Civic's Hot Sexy Behind

Midnight Burgundy was its color, it looked jet black to me that evening. The following morning, a magical transformation caught my eye... as soon as the morning sun caressed its sleek curvy body, it turned into a mouth-watering and juicy plum color . What an elegant eye-catching shade shrouded in mystery.

I have always loved how Honda designers create such provocative front profiles. The Civic didn't waste time in alluring me to its squinting LED eyes, seductive smile, and  its jaw-dropping lip, yet, it still created that aerodynamic feel. Its body stood symmetrically low with almost perfect proportions. This new Civic grew a bit bigger compared to its older siblings. For me, it's the sexiest Civic ever.





The Interior

I was handed the Key Fob (with a tucked-away key) that could lock and unlock the doors, the trunk, and remote-start the engine. I can just keep the keyfob in my pant pocket, and simply walk away, and the car would lock itself and the headlights would automatically turn off, too. This comes in handy, if I happen to forget to switch them off, in which case I always do.  I also tried locking the car with the key fob left inside, good news, it won't lock! I can also remotely start the engine from my kitchen window on a super hot day. and it would simultaneously activate the Automatic Climate Control to lower the interior temperature while the car remains locked. Cooool feature huh?

The Roomy Interior sits 5 adults comfortably with each having individual headrests and 3-point seat-belts. Its handsomely styled Front Bucket Seats when pulled all the way back still leaves ample legroom for the rear passengers, while its Rear Folding Seats increase the already large trunk space. The driver's seat was snug and comfortable. Seat height adjustment, properly placed pedals and a foot rest to boot, set the tone for a relaxing ride experience.


Rear-folding seats with 3-point seatbelts.

The Telescopic Height-Adjustable Multi-Function Steering Wheel, though looking like an old school game controller, had a lot of  useful features. The left side houses Bluetooth Connectivity, Voice Command, Menu Selection, Touch-Sensitive Volume Control, and a 2-axis Selector Pad. while the right side housed the Cruise-Control pad.


Multi-function Steering Wheel and LCD Instrumentation

A smart-looking, animated, and well laid-out LCD Instrument Panel is the main attraction of  its cockpit type dashboard. An On-Board Computer also runs most of the Civic's hi-tech features and a 7-inch Infotainment Touchscreen, placed the center of the dash, sets and monitors most of them. Included are Audio Connectivity, Smartphone Connection, Bluetooth / WiFi, Internet Browser, Settings, Info, Climate Control and Downloaded Apps to name a few.


2017 Honda Civic 7" Infotainment Screen

I'm sad for the CD lovers out there. I didn't find a CD slot. Maybe its time to shift to the more compact memory cards instead.

Just connect your smartphone via Bluetooth to play your personal music, or use your phone's mobile data to listen to your favorite online music Apps or radio stations. You can even surf the internet via WiFi, or play downloaded movies via HDMI connection. The movie theater experience just went mobile.  Bring out the popcorn and drinks guys! There are a lot of cup holders and water bottle holders too, Eight to be exact!


Connectivity and Gadget Tray w/ 12 v power outlet, USB, and HDMI

I'm glad Honda thought of giving all of us gadget hungry people a Gadget Tray to store all our techie paraphernalia. They made use of the then useless space (now very useful) behind the center console. I connected my memory stick full of mp3 music via USB. All my gadgets were connected and charging through the 12 volt Aux Power Outlet. I could have connected a mobile TV box or a laptop and watched movies through the HDMI Port. All these ports and gadget space, all hidden from view but controllable through the infotainment screen. Neat!





The Journey

This time, we set our eyes on the cool weathered, pine filled, city of Baguio which is 250+ kilometers from Manila. The drive was a combination of three hours of high speed NLEX/TPLEX driving and thirty minutes of a uphill zig-zag climb. With me were 4 of my good friends from Pete's Place Musicroom. We left Pasay City at about 5:30 AM to make it just in time for our 9 AM breakfast at a friend's cafe. The car was packed with 5 adults and a trunk full of luggage for a 3-day vacation. My friends at the rear enjoyed the roominess of the Civic. Even Patti, who was sitting in the middle, said it was surprisingly very comfortable. There was one complaint though that came from my 5'8" tall friend, Jeffrey, who sat at the right rear. His head kept hitting the grab-handle in the ceiling every time I swerved to the left. If the Honda engineers moved it an inch to two inches forward, he would be fine. I told him it was his head's fault and not the car's. Kalbo kasi!


Driving up Kennon Rd., to Baguio City


When we got to NLEX, I switched ON the ECON feature with the Cruise Control set at 100 km/h for the 1st hour. ECON uses the on-board computer to precisely control the engine, CVT transmission, air-conditioning, and cruise control for maximum fuel efficiency. I averaged 16 km/l on that run. Then I tried it manually for the 2nd hour, ECON ON and Cruise Control OFF, and keeping my foot steady at 100 km/h,  I averaged 18 km/l. Awesome! Does that mean I'm smarter than the on-board computer? I have a feeling I could have bettered those results if I lowered my speed to 90 km/h.


2017 Honda Civic...every control is within easy reach.

The car handled great and had a lot of excess power even though it was filled to the brim with friends, their luggage, and a ton of junkfood. It's 1.8L 141hp i-VTEC Engine and its seamless shifting CVT  (Continiously Variable Transmission) are a match made in heaven. It is a far cry from the problematic CVT's they encountered a decade ago. I strongly believe that they have perfected the technology.


1.8L 141hp i-VTEC Engine 

Climbing the zig-zaggedy Kennon Road was a breeze, I had the VSC and Traction Control ON, and turning those sharp curves was clean and precise. The 4-Wheel Disc-Brakes with ABS and Brake Assist assured me of my safe stopping power. I just loved the Electric Emergency Brake which made the car stay parked on a steep incline when a vehicle, a few cars ahead, stalled. All I had to do is press on the accelerator to release it... no more hanging and balancing acts between the brake and gas pedals. Another cool feature is the Brake Hold, which applies the brakes while in stop-and-go traffic. Applying it with the brake pedal and released with the press of the accelerator. It did not work well on steep inclines though, but perfect for flat city streets.


Brake Hold - Makes Stop-and-Go city driving a pleasure.

This trip felt so safe in the Civic with more standard safety features like Dual Front Airbags, Dual Seatbelt Warning system, Automatic Lights, Anti-Theft / Engine Immobilizer, Rear Camera Parking, and Automatic Front Passenger Window.


My Overall Rating

There were a few tiny things that bothered my almost pleasant ride.... first to mention is that loud "thud" noise from the steering rack every time I would come to the end of a full turn of the wheel. The steering was light but I think Honda has to dampen the end stops. Second would be the low front passenger seat. My 85 year-old mother had a hard time alighting from it. Third is the super bright Engine Start/Stop button, which is distracting at night.  I wish it were half as bright. Fourth is the missing trunk lid back cover. I could see its every working detail. Lastly, of course is the "Jeffrey" grab-handle I talked about earlier. Maybe next time I would make him ride in the middle instead.


Jeffrey giving the grab handle the evil eye.

My most-liked features outweigh the least-liked. I am in awe with the larger and roomy interior which sat 5 adults comfortably. The spacious trunk that when in the hands of a master packer like myself, can be filled with double the amount of luggage which we drove up with. That includes all the fresh produce, jams, fresh strawberries, Baguio Walis Tambo (broom), dried flowers, and  21 pieces of  assorted jackets from the Ukay-Ukay.


Yes! lots of luggage packed into its large trunk...with more room to spare.
Do we stop by the market one last time?

The 2-part rear folding seats, make even more room for long, odd sized items. The Gadget Tray that stores most of the techie gadgets in one neat area. The Brake Hold that makes driving in traffic an ease. The Remote Engine-Start that makes you cool down your car before you get in to drive. Lastly, the sexy and eye-catching angled rear lights, I just can't stop thinking of that behind.


Sexiness? Check!

You got me at "HOT". A whole new Honda Civic...The Civic is Reborn! For the listed price of P1,093,000, with a whole lot of safety and convenience features, ample power and great fuel economy, roominess, great ride, and its overall sexiness, its worth every centavo. A truly great driving experience for me. In a scale of 1-10, I will rate the  Compact 2017 Honda Civic 1.8L E CVT a  9.8




'Civic Action'
photographed by my talented friend Vincent Garrucho


Special thanks to:

HONDA CARS PHILIPPINES

Professional Photographer Vincent "Magnivincent" Garrucho of Eye Q Media Productions

Social Media  Specialist Jeffrey Enriquez for their awesome photo contributions.


More Photos























Monch Henares is a tech and motoring specialist, and managed the motorpool for a limousine company in Las Vegas, Nevada.  He is now based in Manila, Philippines.
You may e-mail him @ monchnrs@gmail.com
To follow him on Facebook, please click here.   

6 comments :

  1. Excellent reviews. Congratulations!

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  2. Great review... its really a great ride. You should feel its comfort/stability over tough rough terrain. The other class cars cannot come close.

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    1. Thank you Benjie! Honda sure did a good job on this new civic.

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    2. Thank you Benjie! Honda sure did a good job on this new civic.

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