"Car of the Year" award from Motor Trend, and "Top Safety Pick - Gold" award from The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) - here are two reasons why the 2006 Civic might worth your attention. And if we consider that arround 7 million Civics were sold over the last 22 years and that this years price is from $16800 to $23000 when you deffinetly should buy one.
For 2006 Civic is available in two body styles - coupe and sedan - and four distinct models: the Civic Coupe, Civic Sedan, Civic Hybrid (sedan only), and the racy Si (coupe only).
"The all new 2006 model delivers Civic’s trademark value and enhances safety, performance and refinement beyond anything we’ve ever offered in this segment to meet the growing expectations of our customers," said John Mendel, senior vice president, Auto Operations.
2006 Civic Sedan Overview
The Honda Civic is the cornerstone of Honda and its automotive heritage, earning recognition and acclaim as an icon in the automotive industry since its introduction in 1973. The Civic represents the first high volume production automobile that showcased Honda’s spirit of innovation to a North American audience ready for something new. Cumulatively, Civic has reached 16 million customers globally and 7 million in the United States, where it has been the best selling retail compact car for the past nine years. The Civic was the seventh best selling vehicle overall in 2004 and third best selling passenger car. If the Civic were its own individual brand, annual sales in excess of 300,000 would make it the 13th top selling brand in the United States out of more than 40 possible brands .
As the Civic has been re-invented throughout its previous seven generations, each new model has consistently set new standards in the automotive industry with its innovative packaging, attractive styling, high fuel economy, low emissions, fun-to-drive performance, reliability and safety. The pioneering eighth generation 2006 model amplifies the defining character of the Civic with a long list of Honda technology and engineering innovations, resulting in a vehicle that is pure Honda, exclusively Civic and outside the boundaries of traditional small car thinking.
The 2006 Civic represents an extreme transformation of design and dynamics. Multiple powertrains for 2006 range from 197-horsepower (2) high performance to 51 mpg gas-sipping hybrid to an all-around performer with two body styles, representing one of the most diverse vehicles in the industry. An expressive and futuristic design with exciting performance and a dedication to providing advanced safety technology set the Civic apart from the competition.
Compared to its 2005 predecessor, the 2006 Civic Sedan has grown 1.4 inches in overall length (176.8 inches) and 1.5 inches in width (69.0 inches). Its 106.3-inch wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer, while the rear overhang is 3.1 inches shorter and the front overhang is 1.8 inches longer. Height has been reduced by 0.2 inches. The front track is 1.1 inches wider (59.0 inches) and the rear track is 2.2 inches wider (60.2 inches). Vehicle weight has increased by approximately 5 percent on each trim level - a relatively small gain considering the addition of extensive standard safety equipment, new features and greatly increased bending and torsional rigidity.
The Civic Sedan is classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a compact car based on its passenger volume, yet the interior feels larger in part due to its smart packaging and careful attention to details like knee room, shoulder space and hip room - among many other factors. Often, when a new model is introduced, the focus is on how the interior has grown, as was the case with the previous generation Civic Sedan that grew from a subcompact to a compact class vehicle. For the 2006 Civic, consumer research indicated that the Civic did not need to grow any larger inside, so designers focused on increasing interior utility and the perception of space. The end result is a Civic Sedan that continues its tradition of top-of-class space and comfort with even more sophisticated functionality.
The steering wheel on the Civic conforms to its new sporty character with a smaller diameter (360mm) that accents the vehicle’s quick ratio steering. For comparison, the steering wheel is the same size as that used in the Honda S2000. All models feature manual tilt and telescope steering wheel adjustment in order to better accommodate drivers of various sizes. Civic Si, Civic Hybrid and Civic EX models include audio controls on the left side of the steering wheel for volume and channel selection. Civic LX and above trim levels include cruise control buttons on the right side of the steering wheel for set, accelerate, decelerate and cancel. Civics equipped with the available navigation system also have buttons on the steering wheel for inputting voice commands. Civic Sedan models use a two spoke design.
The front seats of the Civic have been completely redesigned with wider (+0.8 inches) and more supportive seat construction thanks to progressively tuned foam bolsters. The driving position has been optimized in relation to the steering wheel and vehicle controls. An innovative front seat active head restraint system enhances the seat’s ability to minimize the potential for a neck injury in the event of a rear collision.
Both front seats manually recline and move forward and back. The driver’s seat features a manual height adjustment control with two inches total of up and down travel. A ratchet-style lever on the left side of the seat makes adjusting the height easy - just pull up or push down to move the seat in increments.
Seat construction integrates several new technologies. High strength steel now comprises the majority of the seats internal steel framework. Composite components are used in the base and the seatback to minimize weight and proactively influence seat cushion feedback. The foam cushions employ various densities in the bolsters compared to other areas in the seat to provide the right level of comfort (softness) and support (firmness) in all the right places.
The rear seats provide generous seating surfaces that are both comfortable and functional. To increase storage space, the seats can be folded down to extend the trunk’s storage space and accommodate long, bulky items like a snowboard, a 19-inch mountain bike or moving boxes. Civic DX and LX models feature a one-piece folding rear seat. Civic EX and Si models feature a 60/40 split folding rear seat for enhanced people/cargo functionality.
A trunk-mounted handle allows the seat to be folded more conveniently, replacing the key access on the rear deck lid of the previous models. The interior has a flat floor, eliminating the typical tunnel that runs the length of the interior. This is most noticeable in the back seat as the flat floor design provides considerably more foot room for middle passengers.
Center Storage Console with Armrest and Beverage Holders
A generous center storage console with a large sliding armrest highlights the expanded and more sophisticated list of interior storage functionality. Even when extended forward its full 3.2 inches, the armrest still provides enough clearance for the cupholder to accommodate a large-size beverage cup. The gearshift lever is positioned centrally and within easy reach, and its compact size allows for thoughtful packaging of additional features on the console such as a storage tray in front of and behind the shifter (with room for wireless phones) and a business card holder on the right side. The instrument panel provides multiple storage zones - a spacious traditional glove box, a center stack lower pocket/tray. Additionally, every door on the sedan and coupe has a large pocket ideal for maps, papers and the coupe has a dedicated spot for water bottles.
As the world’s largest engine producer, continuous improvement to vehicle powertrain technology is an integral part of Honda’s engineering culture as every new engine design tends to become more powerful, efficient and cleaner while also becoming smaller in size and weight. Advancements in powertrain technology lead the way to improvements in vehicle packaging, interior space and overall desirability that give Honda products an edge in an ultra-competitive automotive industry. The 2006 Civic is no exception, and the new powertrain technology on all models delivers in true Honda fashion.
The Civic is available with three powertrains that consist of a 197-horsepower, 2.0-liter i-VTEC engine in the Civic Si; a 110-horsepower and ultra-efficient 1.3-liter i-VTEC engine with Integrated Motor Assist in the Civic Hybrid; and an innovative 140-horsepower, 1.8-liter i-VTEC engine in the Civic Sedan and Civic Coupe. The 1.8-liter i-VTEC engine provides off-the-line acceleration performance at low rpm equivalent to that of a 2.0-liter engine, and efficiency that is up to 6 percent better than the current 1.7-liter Civic engine, making it one of the world’s most efficient 1.8-liter engine designs. The Civic Sedan is equipped with a standard 5-speed manual or an available 5-speed automatic transmission.
Next Generation Global Compact Platform
The Civic is built on an all-new version of Honda’s Global Compact Platform. The solid unit body of the Civic was designed from the outset to define a new standard for torsional and bending rigidity in the compact segment. The new Global Compact Platform implements advanced body construction technologies for enhanced safety, better rigidity, improved ride comfort and a quieter cabin. Advanced new structural engineering and manufacturing methods utilizing 50 percent high-strength steel, of which 38 percent is high-grade (590MPa), results in a torsional rigidity increase of 36 percent, even as the wheelbase and width have grown. The body structure, including the important mid-floor cross members and floor gussets, are also made of high-grade high-strength steel. The longer wheelbase serves to increase its stability during straight-line running, as well as when braking and turning.
The Civic features a 4-wheel independent suspension system that, for 2006, has been completely reengineered to provide even more agile handling and refined ride comfort. Up front, the Civic features a compact Control-Link MacPherson Strut suspension for outstanding handling, ride and packaging. The Control-Link MacPherson Strut design delivers quick, responsive handling by helping to maximize each front tire’s contact with the road throughout the range of suspension travel. In the rear, the Civic is equipped with a double-wishbone multi-link suspension that helps provide a smooth ride, excellent handling, and good cargo space.
ACE Body Structure and Related Safety Construction
Body construction now includes Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering(TM) (ACE)(TM) Body Structure that enhances frontal collision energy management through a network of load bearing structures in the front of the vehicle. This newly developed front-end frame structure (similar to the all-new 2005 Honda Odyssey ACE Body Structure) incorporates new upper and lower frame members to significantly enhance energy dispersion in a frontal collision throughout the upper and lower load bearing channels in the body. The ACE concept differs from traditional crash designs that guide a high percentage of collision force through a vehicle’s two lower channels in a collision. The ACE design with its polygonal front structure helps reduce the potential for misalignment with the frame of the opposing vehicle. Taken together, these features are designed to increase compatibility between vehicles of different size categories for enhanced occupant protection in the event of a collision.
The Civic’s ACE body structure is configured for high energy absorption. In the event of a frontal collision, the body structure with its front-mounted polygonal main frame is designed to prevent structural penetration while distributing forces evenly through multiple major load bearing pathways - and away from the passenger compartment. For comparison, a conventional body structure generally concentrates the loads from a collision through two pathways running longitudinally through the lower portion of the frame. In the ACE body structure for example, frontal impact force can be distributed from the front of the vehicle through the side sill, floor frame and A-pillar in order to reduce the cabin deformation.
The bottom line is that the ACE body structure enhances energy distribution during a collision because impact forces can be distributed through more vehicle mass and away from the passenger compartment.
For side impacts, all models now incorporate high-grade, high-strength steel body side frame structure. Additionally, coupe models apply special gussets used to further help direct forces throughout the frame for side impacts.
For safety, all Civic doors feature side impact protection beams. For quality, the doors are built on a robust structure that provides a solid feel and sound when closing. The door latches themselves are carefully engineered to latch securely with a light closing pressure, and to emit a quality sound. Honda engineers also designed a special "bumping door seal" that purposefully transmits a certain low-frequency vibration to the door itself. This desirable vibration is heard as a substantial sound as the door closes that confirms the impression of substance and quality. Additionally, the Civic’s front doors use triple-stage stopper construction for ease of ingress/egress in tight parking situations.
Honda’s commitment to safety extends to pedestrians as well as vehicle occupants. To help reduce pedestrian injuries in the event of a collision, the Civic’s hood and fender areas are designed to deform if contacted by an adult or child pedestrian. Energy-absorbing collapsible hood supports, wiper arm pivots and fender mounts are designed to allow substantial deformation in an impact.
To maximize gains derived from its stronger body, the front subframe of the new Civic has structural enhancements that improve ride and handling characteristics, while reducing noise and vibration. The front subframe is a completely new design with hydro-formed elements that substantially increase both strength and rigidity. Hydro-forming is the state-of-the-art method of creating complex shapes from steel. To make Civic’s major subframe components, hydraulic water pressure forces the steel tube into rigid dies (molds) under tremendous pressure. The result is a precisely made part that is stronger where necessary and precisely the right size and shape. The subframe is attached to the Civic’s body using special rubber floating mounts that minimize the level of road and engine noise and vibration transferred to the passenger compartment. However, the Civic Si utilizes stamped and welded components for the subframe due to its unique engine and transmission.
The Civic Sedan comes in four trim lines: the DX, DX-G, LX and EX (ranging from $16,800 to $23,000), all powered by a new 1.8-litre four-cylinder with i-VTEC, Honda’s "intelligent" variable valve timing system. The new engine makes 140 hp, a substantial leap from the 115 hp (127 Si sedan) generated by the 1.7-litre engine in the 2005 sedan.
The DX sedan ($14,760) is the base models. Standard equipment is confined to power windows, tilt-and-telescope steering wheel and height-adjustable driver’s seat. Buyers wanting a radio must supply their own or order from the dealer, but a rear window-integrated radio antenna is standard.
The LX sedan ($16,710) expands the standard equipment list to include air conditioning; power mirrors; central locking; cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls; a center console with sliding armrest; overhead map lights; a 160-watt, four-speaker, AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 and WMA playback and speed-sensitive auto-volume control; front passenger seatback-mounted magazine pocket; and floor mats.
The EX ($18,460) is the nominal top of the line. Added to the no-extra-charge features on the LX are power moonroof; variable windshield wipers; a second 12-volt power outlet; a 60/40 split folding rear seatback; a seven-speaker, 350-watt, XM-ready, premium stereo with auxiliary input jack and steering wheel-mounted controls; and outside temperature indicator.
Careful tweaking of the electronics managing the 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine’s variable valve timing (and enlarging displacement by a miniscule 0.1 liter, from the 2005’s 1.7 liters) pumped up the horsepower from 127 to 140 and torque from 114 pound-feet to 128. According to EPA estimates, the sedan’s fuel economy with the more popular automatic transmission has lost one mile per gallon in city driving from the 2005 model but has gained two mpg in highway driving.
The LX sedan is the most comfortable and confident Civic to drive, and a refreshing improvement over the 2005, which had lost some steam and enjoyment in Honda’s drive to reduce complexity and costs. A ride in the LX is solid but comfortable, with less road noise and wind whistle expected for the class. Shifts are smooth, if not entirely transparent. Brake feel is solid, steering response certain, if not sports car-quick.