I did my part, Jalops! Picked up a brand new 2017 Civic Hatchback LX a few days ago. Actual car pictured before my plates were installed.
Traded in my ‘09 328i xDrive with about 95k miles on the clock. Last pic of her.
It will be worry-free miles from now hopefully, because I’m about to start med school soon and will be driving about 520 miles each way every long break we get off. My BMW had some issues, most irritatingly the cruise control stopped working after a while on each drive as well as a washer fluid leak that could have been very pricey to fix, not to mention a slight oil drip from the oil pan gasket area. Plus those never ending sensors that could go off if you sneeze or go over a pothole (hyperbole). Not my problem anymore :)
Built in the UK, while the sedan and coupe are built in the US, these are sold in less numbers than the other two so manuals are naturally pretty rare for these cars and I ended up with the CVT. It is what it is, but the CVT also behaved kiiind of like an auto with fake gear changes. Of course, the ‘slip’ effect was apparent, a little more noticeable in the city at lower speeds. I still like its torque and efficiency though, it’s nice for what it is.
I personally love the funky European style hatchback look. Looks like something pulled straight out of England. Wait, actually, that’s literally the case here.
I was surprised by how stiff the chassis was and it reminded me of the BMW. The suspension was definitely on the firm side, but had more bounce after bumps and a little more body roll compared to the xDrive BMW. Coming from a hydraulic power steering BMW, the electric steering in this car is precise and direct, but with a quicker steering ratio, which took some getting used to on the Interstate because I was kind of wandering within the lane and had to focus more on tracking the car dead straight.
With a 1.5l I-4 direct injection turbo making 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, acceleration felt effortless around town. Apparently, it slightly out accelerates my BMW 0-60 in 6.8 seconds. I haven’t tried it yet, because something something break-in period. On the highway, there is adequate/decent passing power as well, but with the CVT and turbo it wasn’t as immediate feeling as in the BMW, which was an NA I-6 with 200 lb-ft. It was very driveable as long as I kept it out of econ mode, because around town econ mode tended to keep the revs lower under normal acceleration and it felt bogged down a bit.
I also really wanted something more fuel efficient. My fuel costs will be nearly halved from now, it’s amazing. Regular grade (87 AKI) gas now too instead of premium. I’m averaging 34 mixed now, which includes idling with the AC on while showing it to relatives and friends and being stuck in crawling traffic around here.
Check out this fueleconomy.gov comparison I did based on the EPA numbers (do not necessarily reflect real world of course):
Interior is a bit more roomy than the BMW and my rear passengers noticed easier entry/exit with slightly more leg room. I noticed that it’s also a little wider when I park it in the garage. I think the larger mirrors play a role here in width too. Definitely not very compact anymore, more of midsized car from a decade ago, but at least it’s a few inches shorter than the sedan (and supposedly sportier driving dynamics too, which I certainly believe). The hatch trunk combined with the seats that fold flat (with like a 5-10% incline) is certainly welcomed for moving time. Soft touch materials on the top half of the cockpit, yada. One touch up/down windows for the front two windows was a welcome surprise as well as the auto projector halogen headlights. Electric parking brake is noteworthy and easy to use. it also cancels automatically when you put it into drive. I think it’s a thing usually found in premium cars.
With this rambling done, all in all, I am VERY satisfied with this purchase. This really does feel like a step above its usual competition as a whole package. I didn’t need leather, nor a moonroof, but I wanted some hands free bluetooth audio streaming and a backup camera wouldn’t hurt. The LX Hatchback is a GREAT value, in my opinion.