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Queen of the road

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But, even with its looks and monstrous size, the car handles like an absolute dream on Kimberley’s crappy roads.

IT WAS an honour and privilege to drive the Honda Civic 2019 this past week. The reason why I say this is because I felt like the Queen of the Road. 
A word like ‘wow’ falls short of describing this beast. And trust me, it is a beast of a car. With a length of over 15 feet, just looking at it I felt intimidated. 
It’s sleek look adds to its ‘monstrous’ presence. The front of the vehicle has these almost menacing lights which would put the fear of God in me if I saw this car approaching in my rear-view mirror.

But, even with its looks and monstrous size, the car handles like an absolute dream on Kimberley’s crappy roads. 

What was nice about the vehicle which I drove was that it was automatic. This is the first time I have been exposed to this type of gearbox, but the next time I buy a vehicle it will most certainly be an automatic.

Been exposed to manual all my life, it is actually a bit frustrating driving one now. With the automatic, you just give gas and off you go. With a manual vehicle you still have to get the car in gear and then rev the crap out of it to take a gap. And, regardless of the size of the vehicle, it just does what it is supposed to do – make it safely into that gap.

Speaking about the size, this is the perfect family vehicle. As far as I can ascertain, the average family is two kids and, obviously, two adults. The Honda Civic is the perfect size for the average family.

Traditionally, it is the responsibility of the mother to ensure that the children get to school on time with all the added extras of school bags and sports kits. This doesn’t even faze the car. Even if there are three children with all their baggage for the school run, pfff … the Honda Civic can accommodate this and then some. The size of the boot is absolutely incredible. Mom can do her weekly shopping and then there will still be space for all the luggage. 

Cabin space is also one of the highlights of this car. There is more than enough leg and head room and if you have squabbling children in the back seat, just bring down the seat divider to separate them.

If you are just travelling as a couple, you can lower the back seats by just pressing a button. You will then be able to pack your luggage for a round-the-world trip with ease.

Buttons are my new favourite thing and this car doesn’t disappoint. There are buttons on the steering wheel, there are buttons on the console screen, there are buttons on the door … I love pressing buttons. It’s just a great pity I only had the car for a week and didn’t get to play with all the buttons.

This is also the first time I have driven a car where I can answer a phone call by just the press of a button regardless of where my cellphone was – as long as it was in the car and my Bluetooth was on. It’s just a pity nobody phoned me during the time I had the car. 

The other button I liked was the one where I could change the music I was listening to. I could either listen to my favourite radio stations or, if they were playing rubbish, I could go to the music on my cellphone. I know for many this is par for the course, but to me it was a novelty. 

I saw that there was also an HDMI cable connector. I wonder what that did?

Another feature, which is probably common in most cars, is the fact that I could change the skin on the console.

Why all these things are a novelty to me is the fact that none of the cars I have owned in my life have been anything close to this. I come from the Uno and Datsun class. That in itself should tell you a whole lot.

As mentioned, the handling of this car is absolutely a dream. I just drove the car along the city streets – work prevented me from taking it out on the long road. However, be that as it may, I managed to push the car to 110km/h between robots. Just for the record, it was quiet on the road. Even reaching that speed and then having to “slam” on the brakes at the red robot, the car didn’t even shudder. What I can understand about the braking mechanism of the car is that the ABS brakes automatically sense when a tire has stopped rotating under extreme braking, and will modulate the brake pressure to allow the tire to rotate. This increases the vehicle’s ability to turn while braking.

Stability control automatically senses when the vehicle’s handling limits have been exceeded and reduces engine power and/or applies select brakes to help prevent the driver from losing control of the vehicle.

I also knew that if I had hit something or somebody that I would probably just walk away with a couple of teeth missing as the side airbags and the front airbags would have deployed. The seatbelts, which I can attest to, would have locked and might just have prevented me from losing my teeth.
Another great feature of the car is the reverse sensors. I wish every single car came out with that. Reverse parking was an absolute dream. It is a great pity that it doesn’t have front sensors. 

You must be wondering about fuel consumption on this car considering it is a 1.8 and with the constant high fuel prices in the country. Well, I am delighted to tell you that I was impressed. Just doing all the town driving, the fuel tank only went from half to quarter tank in the week I had it.

Now, let’s get to my least favourite part. The technical side of it all. I don’t know anything about horse powers and the like … but here goes.

Honda tells me that acceleration (0-100km/h) can be reached in 10.4 seconds. The maximum speed is 200km/h and that fuel consumption is 6.3l to 100km.
The front suspension is McPherson Strut and the rear, multi-link.

The steering, which I was strongly considering removing because it has such a nice feel to it, has a turning radius of 6mm.

As for the engine it is a 16-valve in-line 4, a displacement (cm3) of 1 799. The fuel supply system is programmed fuel injection, the power (kw @r/min) is 104/6500, torque (NM @r/min) is 174/300, the compression ratio is 10.6, bore and stroke (mm) 81.0×87.3 and the C02 emissions (g/km) is 150.

I don’t understand any of that, all I know is that I felt like the Queen of the Road for a week and this car is definitely perfection redefined.

The Honda Civic 1.8 2019 is available at Honda Auto Kimberley in Phakamile Mabija Street. It retails from R364 500.
For further information, contact the dealership on 053 802 0400.