When in Manila, and you happen to see the new Honda Civic on the road or any new car for that matter, wouldn’t you want to have the chance to drive it yourself? I had the chance to test-drive the brand new Honda Civic one gloomy Saturday morning and it surely brightened up my day. The demo unit that I was given with was white and I couldn’t help but feel giddy with excitement as soon as I saw it. Prior to seeing it up-close, the only times that I’ve seen the 2012 Honda Civic was in newspaper ads and the happenstance that I chance upon some while driving on the road. One thing that I noticed offhand is the drastic change in the car’s body design from the 2007 Civic that I own. Gone were the graceful curves that made the old civic design look so sleek, elegant and yet streamlined for speed, instead the new 2012 release is a more angular and somber looking sedan that is almost similar to the Honda City. A quick survey with friends revealed mixed results but heavily in favor of the old design look. I guess that one was really nothing short of revolutionary but the new 2012 Honda Civic was packed full of features that I wish I can also put in my own car. So armed only with the electrified excitement to be driving a new car, I headed out to the busy streets of Manila.
The dashboard had also been given a make-over with a noticeable two-toned color scheme of dark gray and beige. Mind you, it still looks and feels like you’re inside the cockpit of a small plane. There are three main features of the car that got me all amused and excited as soon as I noticed them. One is the Eco-Assist button on the left side of the dashboard panel. This little green button does wonders in helping you squeeze the most miles out of every gallon of gas that you put in your tank. This feature guides the consumer with visual cues about whether he/she is saving gas while cruising on the road. The visual cues I’m talking about are the “coaching bars” beside the speedometer. Like the old Honda Civic, the speedometer is shown digitally. The bars become blue and green, with green being the color cue that the Eco-Assist is functioning. You can easily turn this feature on and off with the push of a button but while driving I noticed that it didn’t really hamper the performance of the car when this was turned on, so it’s safe to leave it at that.
Next big feature that is worth mentioning is the iMID or the intelligent multi-information display. This digital hub has all the settings that a customization junkie (like myself) can ever wish for in a car. You can choose to control and display the radio station or cd track information that you’re listening to here. You can also choose the fuel gauge, the temperature, trip meters and if you have a phone installed in your car, this is also where you’ll see the contact info of the person that you’re talking to.
Another big plus is the rear camera feature. Personally, I dread driving in reverse for a long distance, I can admit that it’s something that I have yet to master even after years of driving. I can do reverse parking okay but it’s just when it goes farther than that when I begin to get nervous. I also hate that sometimes I have to re-check several times if I have enough clearance from the car’s rear to the parking wall. Aside from the sensors that can aid a driver in reversing, the new 2012 Honda Civic iMID instantly gives you a rear camera view as soon as you put the car gear in reverse. Just look, there’s even yellow parking guide lines to help you gauge the distance. Now that’s a smart feature that I wish all cars can have.
Needless to say, my driving experience with the new 2012 Honda Civic was something I won’t forget soon. The shift in design might not be fully welcomed by the discerning public who are still favoring the previous design but in my experience, the features and sheer engine power that they’ve built into the car’s engineering makes it stand out. Driving it was almost effortless. While cruising, the car barely protests when I step into the gas pedal harder to speed up. The engine is an almost inaudible purr and when you accelerate you can barely tell except that you feel a sudden burst of power and speed. The car will immediately adhere to tech-driven users and they weren’t kidding when they said that the digital hub will feature a lot of information that will help you on the road. Now if only there was also a feature to automatically reprimand drivers who cut you then this will be a shoo-in.
If you want to see the full specifications for the car, you may see it with this LINK. When in Manila and if you want to experience driving the new 2012 Honda Civic yourself, you may visit the nearest Honda Car dealer and schedule an appointment for a test-drive.