The Road Ahead : October 2012
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 50 THE ROAD AHEAD OCT/NOV 2012 MOTORING ROAD TEST FOUR MONTHS AFTER launching its ninth-generation Civic into Australia -- and more than 3400 sales on -- Honda has released a Series II sedan version, available in four variants: VTi, VTi-L, VTi-LN (navigation) and Sport. The latter is alone in featuring a 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine with five-speed auto. The Thai-built Series II Sport is the same mechanically as the Japanese- sourced Series I (as tested), though it is now better equipped -- but at a higher price -- all of which has been taken into account in our twin test with Subaru's new Impreza sedan. Impreza comes in three spec models: 2.0i, 2.0i-L and 2.0i-S. A new-generation, 2.0-litre horizontally-opposed Boxer four-cylinder petrol engine is common across the range. A six-speed manual transmission is available in the 2.0i and 2.0i-L, with a CVT standard on the 2.0i-S (as tested). In this guise, Impreza is 22 per cent more fuel efficient and emits 24 percent less emissions than the superseded Impreza automatic. VALUE FOR MONEY Though Civic Sport is $500 cheaper, crunch the numbers and there's little between our duo in value for money stakes. The pair is line ball in terms of Glass's Guide's forecast retained value after five years/75,000 km (Honda 43.9 percent, Subaru 44 percent), though predicted running and servicing costs over the same period favour the former by just under $400. While Impreza's ADR combined cycle fuel economy of 6.8 litres/100 km shades Civic's 7.5, our test produced a reverse result with the Honda returning 7.6 and the Subaru 7.7. In terms of optimising fuel conservation, Honda has opted cause is assisted by its Eco drive system, while Subaru has turned to stop/start technology. Both companies offer a three-year warranty, however Subaru's stretches to unlimited kilometres compared to Honda's 100,000 km coverage, and is about $200 cheaper to insure annually. In addition to the items listed in the separate stats panels, Civic's standard equipment list includes smart entry, four-speaker audio system with an MP3/WMA compatible CD player, USB and iPod connectivity, auxiliary jack, multi-information display, auto on/off headlights, satellite navigation, front fog lights, rain sensing wipers, sunroof, leather steering wheel with paddle shifters and black leather interior. The Impreza's 'extras' include USB connectivity, multi-function display, centre console box with sliding armrest, leather trim steering wheel/ gear shift, rear privacy glass, upgraded speedometer, upholstery and trim; alloy pedals and side skirts. Sat nav, leather and powered sunroof are optional. civic vs impreza STORY BARRY GREEN | PHOTOS AUTONEWS TESTERS: BARRY GREEN, JOHN EWING STARTERS: Honda Civic Sport, Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S IMAGES: TOP: SUBARU IMPREZA. BOTTOM: HONDA CIVIC.
August 1st 2012