CleanMPG drives the 2007 Honda Civic Turbo-Diesel.
Anticipation is making us wait …
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- July 2, 2007
Does anyone remember a particular toy or gadget from years past that they simply had to own as soon as possible? I remember more then a few yet as an adult, what could possibly create the same yearning? I cannot say if the following falls into the same category but if it does, it may also satisfy the need.
It has been a long 3-year wait for the chance to drive one of the premiere Turbo-Diesel’s of our time available only to those currently residing on the European continent. That being Honda’s 2.2L iCDTi in a European sourced 2007 Honda Civic 5-door hatch. Although only a pre-view, this sneak peek should demonstrate the turbo-diesels capabilities long before they actually arrive to our shores.
Past Honda 2.2L iCDTi achievements: Honda Diesel Sets New World Records.
- US based mpg of 78 mpg.
From the Civic 5-door’s sleek external silhouette to the interiors magic rear seats similar to those found in the 2007 Honda Fit, this automobile is not only a good looking and utilitarian people hauler but is also a relatively high performance fuel miser courtesy of its famous 2.2L Honda turbo-diesel. Let us take a closer look.
2007 Honda Civic 5-door hatch - 2.2L iCDTi - S basic specifications:
2007 Honda Civic 5-door hatch - 2.2L iCDTi - Impressions
|Max Power||138.1 HP@4,000 RPM|
|Max Torque||251 ft.-lb’s@2,000 RPM|
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|GHG - CO2 (g/km)||135|
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|Fuel Economy - Euro based|| |
|Urban (mpg US)||35.6 mpg|
|Extra Urban (mpg US)||54.7 mpg|
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|Basic Performance|| |
|0 – 60 mph||8.5 seconds|
|Top Speed||127 mph|
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|Weights and Capacities|| |
|Curb Weight||2,960 pounds|
|Fuel Tank (US gallons)||13.2 gallons|
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|Wheels and Tires|| |
|205/55 R16 Z-Rated||16” Steel Wheels|
Since the instrumentation was somewhat European centric, it took some time to find what tools were available and how to enable/disable them to our liking. In other words, it took a few blocks to find and then reset the Trip aFCD’s. Rear seat headroom and legroom were compromised with the 5-door hatch design but the magic seats and various storage areas underneath the rear floor more then made up for it. The lack of CC (Cruise Control) is something that will be remedied before we would see a similar equipped Civic released here in the states. Air vents and dash/appointment plastic had a less expensive texture and feel then the US sourced 8th gen Civic’s many own today. During a NICE-On, the iFCD pegs to max fuel consumption which was a bit unnerving at first but I am not sure it registered on the aFCD as the same? There is a std. fobbed key to boot the European Civic up but to actually turn her over; you have to press a Start button ala Prius. This is yet another sequence to get used to? Also, you have to hold the START button down for a period of time similar to holding a standard key in the Ignition III position in order to ignite the ICE. If you let go too quickly, she will not pick up the RPM’s necessary to light off.
As far as driving a diesel is concerned, the latest Common Rails do not smoke upon acceleration nor clatter while sitting at a light under idle conditions which made our short drive in the Honda Civic iCDTi all that much more enjoyable.
And the real kicker. At a relatively steady state 90 - 95 km/hour (55 - 59 mph) while DWL over very small undulations, I was viewing a steady 2 L/100 Km (117.6 mpg US) as displayed on the dash located iFCD. Whether or not the displayed 2 was 2.2, 2.5 or 2.9 L/100 Km actual or not, who knows just yet? I have not seen an iFCD camped at that level while at a somewhat steady state speed since driving the Insight and even then you did not see it at that high a speed or for any type of extended period! That somewhat steady state result has me pondering what this performance oriented Turbo-diesel actually has in store for us with regards to her actual FE capabilities?
2007 Honda Civic 5-door hatch - 2.2L iCDTi - Ride
Typical Honda/Acura sporty ride with larger road imperfections being absorbed with a solid but not harsh impact as well as great road feel over any number of varying paved surfaces.
2007 Honda Civic 5-door hatch - 2.2L iCDTi - Handling
With 3 in the vehicle and not being at all familiar with downtown Detroit, we were coming up on a right hander which I thought was yet a block away. We were moving at an approximate 20 mph clip when I was instructed by both Rich (Pravus Prime) and another Auto Journalist in the back seat to “Turn Right - Now!” I swung the wheel hard to the right and with the low profile, 16” Z-Rated tires, she clung to that piece of pavement far better then any domestic Civic or Accord that I have ever driven could have. There is something to be said for performance rubber. On a side note with regard to these tires, there are some negatives. While in downtown Detroit maybe 3 blocks from the parking garage where we had to turn her in, I shut down the ICE to wait out a light. When it turned green, there was enough of a slope that she should have picked up speed to the next light ahead ICE-Off without issue in the 70 + degree temps we were experiencing. In this Civic’s case, she simply sat there waiting for an ICE-Start and tranny engagement in order to get her to move. I honestly believe the FE capabilities of this iCDTi were hampered to the tune of at least 3 - 5% while shod with the Z-Rated 16’s given the poor down slope glide experience.
2007 Honda Civic 5-door hatch - 2.2L iCDTi - Short term results
Although the ride and drive consisted of just 28 miles round trip from downtown Detroit to a local suburb and back, it was long enough to show that this little beauty has more potential then most would have previously suspected. From downtown Detroit to a gas station to do a quick press up of the tires in relatively light early afternoon traffic, she allowed 3.1 L/Km or 75.87 mpg US. After attempting to press up the Z-Rated tires, resetting the Trip B aFCD and in far heavier and congested traffic heading back into downtown Detroit, she offered even better FE performance.
3.0L/100 Km over 22.6 Km or 78.4 mpg over 14.0 miles
The above was achieved in an automobile with just 529 miles on the odometer, on a road course of our choosing but out of and back into a heavily congested downtown Detroit on a weekday afternoon, 3 people possibly weighing in at over 550 #’s in total, not even close to being set up properly and using less then half the techniques available to us. On the plus side, the highway portion of this drive was almost optimal w/ temps in the mid 70’s and just enough traffic to hold speeds down. CleanMPG is currently trying to acquire this iCDTi for a full review so as to discover a little more about how she ticks as well as what she is capable of in the real world. With the right driver and commute, this little diesel powered beast may just be the new Sheriff in town? Stay tuned …
2007 Honda Civic 5-door hatch - 2.2L iCDTi
I would like to thank Honeywell for their turbo-diesel presentation as well as supplying the European based turbo-diesels for the ride and drive. I would also like to thank the APA for hosting the Turbo-Diesel event. Without either, this pre-view would not have been possible.
To view the final installment, you can read the following: CleanMPG reviews the 2007 Honda Civic 2.2L iCDTi Turbo Diesel.