Honda Civic Bloggers' Drive Experience

Similar to Honda's event last year (The Honda Insight Driving Experience), I had the opportunity to experience yet another Bloggers' Drive Experience recently. This time around, it was to test out the new 9th generation Honda Civic. We had a choice of the Honda Civic 1.8s, 2.0s, and the Hybrid 1.5L variant to "play" with that afternoon.


Let Your Intuition Take Over - Honda Civic Blogger Drive
Let Your Intuition Take Over - Honda Civic Blogger Drive


Arriving at the starting venue at Publika, we were placed into 7 teams of 3 bloggers each, with a total of 21 Honda Civics all lined up ready to take us to our test tracks over at Desa Parkcity. Never one to start any event on an empty stomach, it was nice to note we were properly fed before strapping ourselves into our cars.


My cool team consisting of Azfar, Yana and myself all ready to take on the challenge
My cool team consisting of Azfar, Yana and myself all ready to take on the challenge


When I found out my team was given the Honda Civic 2.0s version to drive, I was pretty happy as it meant I got to test the power of the VTEC 2.0 engine. I didn't know it then, but throughout the day, we would be happily revving our cars to the max during the test track runs. Honda Malaysia really wanted us to experience all of their unique VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) and the ABS (Anti Lock Braking System).


En route to our destination, Desa Parkcity
En route to our destination, Desa Parkcity


Driving from Publika to Desa Parkcity was by no means an easy task, as we took turns with the car. Honda Malaysia took us on winding village roads, to highways, for us to experience the comfort on bumpy roads, as well as the raw acceleration power of my Honda Civic 2.0 on the highway. No complaints there, as I found myself revving the engine on long straight roads.


An iPad was given to us to record our experience on video. Check out the video at the end of this post!
An iPad was given to us to record our experience on video. Check out the video at the end of this post!


Reportedly the first petrol engine vehicle that comes with ECO Assist function, it is a pretty nice feature to have in our cars. The ECO Assist functions on both petrol engine and hybrid are interactive guide that helps you to achieve best fuel-economy in the long run. After all, driving style is one of the determining factors in achieving optimum fuel economy.


Part of the instrument cluster, showcasing Honda Civic's ECON Assist
Part of the instrument cluster, showcasing Honda Civic's ECON Assist


ECON Assist
ECON Assist helps you drive more efficiently with your Honda Civic. There is an ambient glow on your instrument panel which coaches you to be light footed with your accelerator. To know if you are driving efficiently, the glow turns green. 

The greener it is, the more fuel you are saving. The moment you are heavy with your accelerator, the glow will quickly turn blue. This gives you real-time feedback on your driving, whether you are saving fuel or otherwise. 

There is also an ECON Mode which reduces variability of driving. It dampens the effects of the accelerator and the shift mapping of the transmission as well as optimises the air-conditioning system with the aim of increasing fuel efficiency.


Upon reaching the test tracks at Desa Parkcity we were given a briefing by the lead car Honda driver
Upon reaching the test tracks at Desa Parkcity we were given a briefing by the lead car Honda driver


The Civic is best in class in its Advanced safety systems that include Honda-exclusive Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE)™ body structure for frontal collision energy management and a long list of standard safety equipment including two-row side curtain airbags, dual-stage, multiple-threshold driver's and front passenger's airbags, driver's and front passenger's side airbags.

Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®), an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Brake Assist are included in as well, and a new Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering system that helps the driver steer in the ideal direction to mitigate oversteer or understeer situations.


There were tents set up by Honda Malaysia at every test checkpoint for our comfort
There were tents set up by Honda Malaysia at every test checkpoint for our comfort


After 3 switches of driver along the route from Publika to Desa Parkcity, we arrived under the hot sun, all ready to test out the Honda Civics to their maximum capabilities. We had 3 different set of tracks, one to test out the braking capabilities, another to test out the stability control, and the last one was a "time-attack" slalom course, where the fastest blogger to complete the obstacle course wins it.


The first course instructor teaching us how to slam on the brakes
The first course instructor teaching us how to slam on the brakes

All the macho male bloggers from my Honda Civic test drive group
All the macho male bloggers from my Honda Civic test drive group


Interestingly, my group was made up of all-guys, heavily built, testosterone charged bloggers all pumped up for the challenge ahead. Our first challenge was simple enough. Drive at top speed towards the "braking area", and slam fully on the brake pedals. With Honda Civic's ABS or Anti-Lock Braking System, the vehicle can still steer away from an obstacle while carrying out full braking.

On the other hand, a vehicle without ABS will understeer (or continue moving straight ahead) while the driver carries out full braking as the brakes are completely locked. With ABS, braking is done intermittently to enable steering of the vehicle, away from the obstacle.

The second Honda test instructor with his stop watch to time us
The second Honda test instructor with his stop watch to time us
It was a race against time to complete the obstacle course
It was a race against time to complete the obstacle course


The i-VTEC SOHC powertrain of the Honda Civic is capable of unleashing up to 155PS worth of raw revving power. It is also as powerful in performance as it is fuel-efficient. Now this was proven during my "time-attack" mode in the obstacle course, where I literally stepped "pedal-to-metal" at every opportunity I get. Hey, we were timed, so anything goes!


The third Honda test instructor who would be bringing us "drifting" in the Honda Civic
The third Honda test instructor who would be bringing us "drifting" in the Honda Civic
Vehicle Stability Assistance (VSA) feature in effect
Vehicle Stability Assistance (VSA) feature in effect


VSA
VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) is a form of an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) which ensures full stability of the Honda Civic. It works along side ABS and a traction control system. The system has various sensors on the car and the moment the system detects that the car is going to be unstable (by going into understeer or oversteer), the system will quickly intervene by carrying out selective braking in a blink of an eye to bring the car back into its stable form. 

When selective braking happens, braking will be carried out on 1 wheel only, out of the 4. Which 1 wheel will be determined by the system and it depends on the whether the car is understeering or oversteering, towards to the left or right. When brakes are momentarily applied on 1 wheel, it will create a pivot point to bring the stability back. 

Further more, VSA also works together with the Honda Civic's Electronic Power Steering system (EPS). When the vehicle is going into instability, EPS will also carry out mild corrective assist in the form of counter steer during oversteer. During understeer, it prevents the steering wheel from over-cutting (reducing the turn).

In a nutshell, you do not get to properly "drift" when VSA is activated, as it helps correct the understeer/ oversteer. Great safety feature if you asked me. Check out my Group 3 video below!



The top 3 winners of the time-attack obstacle course competition
The top 3 winners of the time-attack obstacle course competition


Overall, the Honda Civic Bloggers' Drive Experience event was truly an eye-opening experience, where I got to learn so much more on the technology behind the Honda Civic as well as getting a hands on driving experience. It was really great fun, thanks to Honda Malaysia for the opportunity. Do check out their website at http://www.honda.com.my.





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About Isaac Tan
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. My name is Isaac Tan and I cover mostly on lifestyle events with emphasis on happenings in Kuala Lumpur, food reviews, movies, tech and more. Subscribe to my feed and my facebook page. Do follow me on Twitter too at @isaactanjs , contact me via my email at isaac.tan@gmail.com

13 comments :

  1. wwoohhoooo.... i'm so scared when u-turn in wet! nasib baik Honda Team ada.. hahaaaa.. Nice HONDA CIVIC!

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  2. You drive one already, right? Your own Honda Civic... So kaya raya!

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    Replies
    1. Suituapui, no lo, couldn't afford the Civic. Driving the Kia Forte instead :)

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  3. wow, looks much better with body kit

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  4. vroom vroom....nice ride....

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  5. Honda civic Memang best, power wooo.

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  6. If I was the one driving through the obstacle, all those cones sure penyet one!!

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  7. ur picture really cantik la isaac...

    nice experience with you too, driving honda civic.. =)

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  8. wah..hensemnya i.. hahaha

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  9. Ooo I know Kenneth, a good friend! :D

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  10. Though I'm not a fan of Honda car, test drive seems so fun!

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  11. wah, they invite blogger go test drive~ macam very good loh~

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Always appreciate the comments. Thanks!

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