It's been a while since the last entry where I rambled on about the minor details but now for the all important part how does this actually drive. I've done over 5000 Km's now and I guess spend enough time with the car to give my honest feedback on how it handles etc.
I'm not going to dwell on the statistics and figures since that is readily available on the internet - but for formalities sake the Civic comes with the P10A2 engine - Honda's 3 cylinder turbo charged engine which has somewhere between 125-130 BHP.
So the overall driving experience ? Well it's adequate and after the break-in period it seems the car is actually quite eager than it was initially. There is a bit of turbo lag and coupled with the torque at low revs you feel a bit like driving a diesel ....no complaints though.
A question I usually get from some people is whether this model comes with the much maligned DCT - well surprise surprise it does not. Honda have mated the P10A2 with a CVT. Of course there is always the manual and that is actually supposed to be great as per reviews from the UK - but considering I use this car to drive daily to and from work in the colombo traffic I had to be a masochist to opt for a manual (which I'm not - and god bless future me when I try to sell a manual in Sri Lanka ) . Those who have driven the GP5's and Graces know that the Dual clutch set up is actually a blast to drive - which is not the case with the CVT. My previous car also had a CVT gear box and frankly I'm not a fan of them at all. But then given how DCT's fared locally I guess having a rubbery CVT over a DCT setup is not a huge deal.
All grades of the FK6 comes with paddle-shifters - now I know it's a bit funny to see paddle shifters and CVT in the same sentence but what the setup actually does is have more of a simulated shifting mechanism going when you use them. When you're in normal 'Drive' mode you can use the shifters to change gears but the car is too eager to override you and kind of spoils the fun. However if you change your gear to 'S' then the HUD will display an 'M' indicating that the car is ready to receive manual input and a blinking indicator also indicates when the time is right to shift up. Of course if you don't shift at the right moment the car will give you some time and after a while will override you. S mode, and the 7-Speed CVT with the shifters is a little fun time to time but I think it's there more as a gimmick to be perfectly honest. I will upload a video on this later on and update the entry.
There is an ECO mode which can be enabled/disabled by a switch on the gear shifter console. Turning off the Eco mode will give you a more fun driving experience as the car is much more peppier. For more fun on an open road shift to S and use the shifters.
I use the E03 expressway daily and that's where this car really feels home at. I mentioned the low end torque - around 2250 RPM there is a sweet spot and you can feel that pull. Due to it's dynamics the car feels very well planted and very stable at high speeds. You just feel the car hugging the road and hurtling forward - which is a really nice feeling. The handling is quite good -the steering is a little lifeless but adequately sharp and the ride is very controlled. I drive an SR which does not have the adaptive damper system found on the EX.
The ride is generally smooth even with some potholes - though I cannot give any feedback about the rear since I've never actually traveled in the back seat.
Road noise is something I've always associated with Honda's and once again this is no exception though the road noise insulation is comparatively better than that of smaller cars like the Fit. But it does a good job of cutting out the racket from that noisy 3 pot engine - which believe me is quite loud and rough when you actually open the hood and take a look. But inside the car it's generally quiet.
To sum it up ... Cars with downsized engines for the sake of reducing emissions and improving gas-mileage are not meant to be fast performance cars in the first place. But Honda have tried to give the driver a bit of feel-good factor with the fake air vents and the paddle shifters and the overall 'sporty' feel. I wish it didn't have the CVT gear box and the steering was a little less lighter. But the noisy little 3 pot engine pulls really well given it's size and the weight of the car. The 1L Turbo Civic is no Type R but for a bird with clipped wings it flies pretty well.
And now for the FAQ Section
 "Nice car bro how does it do on fuel ? " :
I drive in generally bad traffic I wouldn't claim it to be the worst since I don't travel to areas like Rajagiriya/Dehiwala etc. And the car returns around 7-8 KMPL. On general I get about 10 KMPL in a 50-50 City/Suburban drive. On the Expressway I get around 6L/100Km which means about 16.6 KMPL. On the average long distance drive on non expressways depending on the time of the day the car will do between 12-16 KMPL.
 "The car is a bit low isn't it? " :
One fear I had earlier about the car before purchase is it's low ground clearance - somehow I have found it to be ok so far. I recently traveled on one of the most horrible roads I have seen in the western province - it was a tiny impossibly narrow dirt road with immense pot holes and pieces of rock jutting out leading to an almost forgotten home for the senior citizens where we had to give dinner. It was a hellish drive in pitch darkness but somehow i got through without a single scrape. For a better understanding I will try to upload some daytime pics of the said road.
 "Aren't the back seats a bit cramped?"
Leg-space wise no. There's quite a lot of leg space . The thing is due to the curved shape of the roof some may feel that head-space is a bit lacking. The only person to complain so far was my 6'3" /125Kg cousin. So unless you're some behemoth you are OK. Having said that I must say the Civic is a little too driver oriented with a lot of care given to the driver and lesser focus to the passengers: for instance the seat height adjustment is not available for the front passenger. It's a little darker in the back too.