November 18, 2011

DRIVEN: Honda Civic 2.0S vs Toyota Altis 2.0V !!!

Honda Civic and Toyota Altis have been destined to be two 'samurais' battling each other ever since their birth. However, both are different kind of samurai. One sided the handling while another sided the comfort. Both have their own pros and cons though. So this comparison will be judged based on the overall package of the Honda Civic 2.0S and Toyota Altis 2.0V, where both are top of its pack.


EXTERIOR DESIGN:

At one glance, youngster or even young at heart customers will be in love with the futuristic styling of the Civic. Sharp and shaped like an arrow, the Civic's design still looks like it can last for few more years despite being in the market for more than 6 years already! Fast-forward cabin design, sporty 17 inch design and aggressive styling enable the Civic to stand out from the crowd.


On the other hand, Toyota decided to play safe with the Altis and as a result, the 10th generation Altis bears some resemblance with its predecessor. However, after a mid-life facelift for the Altis, it looks spectacularly elegant and sporty at the same time! A huge melioration compared to the dull pre-facelift design of the Altis.

Civic: *****
Altis: ****


CABIN:

Space age concept was incorporated into the Civic's cabin design. The two-tier instrument panel, although need some time to get used to, was easy to read and unique. With a wheelbase of 2700mm, the Civic triumphs the Altis (wheelbase of 2600mm) in cabin space. Rear legroom is definitely more ample in the Civic, but headroom was hampered by the low roofline.

All the parts in the cabin has good fit and finishing. Although high quality materials were used for the Civic's cabin, I found that some materials were still a bit plasticky to me, especially the dashboard and door handle.

Different things can be said for the Altis. Top notch quality materials were used throughout the cabin, a mini Camry or even Lexus I would say. Although the Altis' dashboard doesn't look as amazing as the Civic's, it was user friendly and ergonomics were great. Rear legroom loses out to Civic, but still it has reasonable amount of it to provide a comfortable journey to its rear occupants. Both rear headroom of the Civic and Altis leaves much to be desired.

Civic: ****
Altis: ****


PERFORMANCE & HANDLING:

This is the part where the Civic excels. The 2.0litre Civic mated with a 5 speed automatic gearbox is capable of producing 155bhp at 6500rpm, making acceleration from zero a brisk. Floor the pedal and the responsive powerplant will bring you to high speed even if you are going up a slope. 2.0litre Civic has Electronic Power Steering (EPS), where I think is a boon in low speed and it slowly weighs up when travelling faster. Firm suspension also helped improve the handling of the Civic, where body roll is almost not noticable in low speed.


Altis was also equipped with EPS, but it was too light for my taste, and barely weighs up when going faster. Feedback was inadequate from the steering wheel and the feel provided by the EPS was a tad of artificial. The amount of body roll, albeit apparent, was still acceptable when cornering. The good news is, the Altis was equipped with a new Dual VVT-i engine which produces 147bhp at 6200 rpm. Although it was 8bhp lesser than the Civic, it still provides a zippy acceleration and overtaking was no less difficult than doing it in the Civic.

Something worth praising the Altis was the super smooth 7 speed Super CVT-i gearbox, and the paddle shift which was easier to use and shifted quicker than the Civic.

Civic: ****
Altis: ***1/2


COMFORT:

Let's start with the Civic. It absorbs road imperfection well, and that's the end of the good stuff. The suspension setup was firm, which was good for handling but bad for comfort. Huge humps (no thanks to its low ground clearance) and worse road condition unsettle the Civic, making it not so suitable as a family car. Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) of the Civic was good in relax kind of driving (but most owners of the Civic rarely does that, right?), but engine noise became very harsh when pushed. Sound dampening effort was not that great in filtering the noise from outside too.

Altis shone in this department. What its predecessor is famous for - comfort, continues in this generation. Generously padded seats welcomes your first contact with the cabin. Engine was barely audible and no vibration when the car is idle with its engine on. The same happened when the Altis was on the move. It glided over the road imperfections while the passengers are cocooned inside the cabin, isolated from the outside world. Altis is one of the best C-segment car for chauffeuring, where the boss and relax in the back seat after a tiring day of work.

Civic: ***
Altis: *****


OVERALL:

It won't go wrong buying either a Civic or an Altis since they are selling well in the market for so many years and their proven reliability and resale value. However, requirements of the buyers will be the key in purchasing either the Civic or Altis.

Civic: 16 out of 20
Altis: 16 & 1/2 out of 20

Based on the result of my test drive, Altis outperform the Civic by just a mere 1/2 stars. Both are equally capable cars, but for me Altis is more of an overall package car where it performs adequately well in every aspect.

*Follow me @simon_har and subscribe SiMon HaR_ ya ;)

9 Gossips:

Anonymous said...

so fun
please do this again:)

Anonymous said...

Thanks... am think' to change my Vios to jeng, jeng, jengggg...

rina said...

Thanks for info..already booked for altis 2.0v..:-)

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