Illustration for article titled Dads Due Diligence in car buying
Illustration for article titled Dads Due Diligence in car buying

I took my ‘04 TL to the Honda dealership to try out the 2017 Civic sport hatch. It’s rated at 180hp and has slightly deeper gearing than other models. Good power, excellent torque, but don’t like the CVT. Didn’t get a chance to work over the suspension, but I wasn’t overly impressed. Went to try out the ILX...more on that next. After that, I tried a Buick 2.0 turbo Regal. Rode nicely, pretty quick, nice handling, but a little less edge than I like personally. Nicer interior -if not simple. Just a little too big for us like an Accord would be.


I ending up picking up the 2016 ILX last night with 53 miles on it for $23k. 201hp, 180 ft./lb. 2.4 naturally aspirated. 8 speed DCT (with converter for starts). 3100lbs. It is based on the 9th Gen Civic, but the 2016 (vs the 2013) received 12.3" brakes and 12% better torsional rigidity. This is due in part to stronger subframes. Better shocks in front to match the rear. Stiffer bushings. Slightly thicker bars. Steering was retuned.

I’ve put about 80 miles on it and poured the coals on through a couple sweepers. It’s composed....good chassis and brakes. Engine is good. DCT is nice 98% of the time. You can trick it below 5mph if decelerating than accelerating. Sport mode is aggressive and it will skip over gears when you mat it. Flappy paddles are placed well.

In many ways, the ‘04 TL is better than any of them...wish they still made them new.

Next up is protective film for the front and a trip to Ziebart before winter. Hopefully a little auto-x.

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