Calgary Herald



DAY 1: It's a handsome vehicle, subtle in its sportiness. Opening the driver's door, the impression of quality continues. The steering wheel-mounted Voice Recognitio­n button was used several times on the drive home to change the radio station and the system is surprising­ly good, even at speed with road noise, and my English accent.

DAY 2: The car has three driving modes: Normal, Sport and ECON. I drove it in Normal, and the CVT gearbox is smooth and quick to respond. The car worked its way through the gearbox quickly and I found myself at merging speed and had to lift off as there was plenty of room to accelerate further. The wing mirrors are excellent and as you would expect have a very clear blind spot indicator on them.

DAY 3: Airdrie to Canmore through Banff — 180 km (6.7 L/100 km, Normal driving mode). For a low-slung, front-wheel drive car, I was impressed with how it handled the rainy conditions. As we approached the mountains, the rain tapered off and soon the road dried out. With its compact size, the Civic was easy to drive around the streets of Banff. After a long soak in the hot springs, we headed back into town and parked in the multi-storey parkade and again, due to its compact size, it was easy to drive around the tight confines of the structure. Had a late lunch and headed back to the car for the last leg to our accommodat­ion in Canmore.

DAY 4: Canmore/banff area — 60 km (6.5 L/100 km, Normal driving mode). I'm getting used to the vehicle now and starting to notice the small details in the cabin which please me greatly. The climate controls are all push button or dials, with a very nice metal knurled finish to them, along with the hexagonal metal mesh cover in front of the vents with protruding levers to adjust the direction of airflow. It all looks very modern and sleek. One thing I have noticed is that when the car is locked and you open the trunk, it unlocks all the doors at the same time. But when you're done in the trunk, you must go to the front doors and press the pad or use the key to relock the car. This may be something I can change in the vehicle systems menu; I'll have to investigat­e further.

DAY 5: Canmore to Airdrie — 140 km (6.2 L/100 km, ECON mode). Test out both ECON Mode and the Adaptive Cruise Control. The whole trip back was done essentiall­y at 110 km/h on Highway 1 and when we stopped in Calgary, the trip computer was reading 6.0 L/100 km. The cruise control was simple to activate and set, and the display changes to show a representa­tion of the car and the vehicles in front of it. We were behind a large cube van much of the trip, which had a different graphic to that of an SUV. The system has three different distance settings and it is very effective in maintainin­g the set distance.

DAY 6: Airdrie/calgary area — 70 km (7.0 L/100 km, ECON mode). Back home and back to normal life means a Costco run and mostly city driving. I took the opportunit­y to fill up with fuel ($55). On a full tank the computer is showing me that there is 655 km range. The trunk is a good size for this type of vehicle and would be sufficient for a single person or couple (with or without child), which I would think is the demographi­c Honda is likely going for.

DAY 7: Airdrie area — 8 km (9.6 L/100 km, Sport/normal mode). A quiet day at home with the only trip out being to the dentist. I put the car into Sport mode on the way there to see how it affected things, and as you would expect, it held the revs higher for longer, and the throttle response was sharpened. I noticed that when I got back into the car to return home, it had reverted to Normal mode, whereas if you leave it in Normal or ECON mode, the car will quite happily leave it in that setting until such time as you change it. So, to drive in Sport mode, you must consciousl­y make that choice and select it.

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