Not simple, Civic

I KNEW this would happen, in fact I should’ve publically predicted it and made it look like I had this planned all along.

Hey, wait a minute… you don’t KNOW that I didn’t have it planned. Shoot. Oh well…

Yesterday I was prattling on about how I was increasingly favouring simple, functional things and slowly weaning myself off my techno-lust. I guess it can be best summarised by the phrase “simplicity loves company”. Of course, no sooner had I posted that than I go an shoot myself in the foot. Not really of course, as I don’t have a gun (Americans may note that this is an entirely agreeable way to live your life (he said, succumbing to stereotype)). Figuratively my entire left foot is just a bloody stump.

Hmmm, from the bewildered faces in the audience I guess I’d better explain.

[wibbly wobbly back in time sequence follows]

All in all we had a quiet weekend, with some gardening on Saturday, interrupted only by a haircut and the Scotland game, and we had similar planned for Sunday. So, after an early morning run (look, 10am IS early for a Sunday!) we headed home and started pottering. A little weeding, some tidying up in the house, and doing our best to avoid the “Everyone Loves Raymond” marathon on TV as we’d already lost an hour to it over lunch.

My parents had phoned to say that they were heading to IKEA so probably wouldn’t come over (although they did in the end and we all stuffed ourselves on Chinese food), and after a while we found ourselves sitting having a coffee, discussing the back garden and generally pondering what to do next. I’d picked up a copy of AutoExpress the day before, as we will be changing the car soon, and was leafing through it when Louise suggested why not just go and have a browse round the showrooms.

Some of you can probably guess where this is heading already. Don’t spoil it for the others though..

We’d already talked over a couple of different car options, both similarly priced and spec’d, both a ‘size’ up from our current Peugeot 206, and we’d narrowed it down to either the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, or Honda Civic. Neither of us are that keen on the Focus, and as there isn’t a local Vauxhall garage we decided to head to the local Honda dealership. 15 minutes later I’m sitting in the showroom in the new Honda Civic. This, it seems, was a mistake.

I do like the look of the car, although I guess it’s very much one of those ‘love/hate’ type designs, and have to admit it’s even better inside. Admittedly our current car was pretty cheap and is very low spec so the competition isn’t very high. I’ve been in the new Astra that our friends bought and it’s nice but as soon as I saw the inside of the Civic it didn’t take too long for me to revert to type. Less than 2 seconds after sticking my head inside the car I was smitten and all that “simplicity” nonsense I was talking about yesterday was out the (electric, tinted) window. It was a very quick process —Ohh no look at all those lovely buttons… shiny lights… digital displays… shiny… buttons… ME WANTS — and soon I had that all too familiar techno-lust glaze.

And Louise knew. I had no sooner gotten my bum on the drivers seat than she’d wandered to the front of the car to, you know, check the price and stuff, when she pointedly glared at me and made a strange upward movement with her thumb. A bit like if you were hitch-hiking to the moon.

I ignored her and continued to stroke and caress the beautiful, gadget-laden dashboard laid out before me. Murmuring softly, lulled into a somborific, lust-driven haze… which Louise smashed into, by yanking the drivers door open and suggesting that, unless I had £18k to spend on the car I should maybe get out of it. I don’t. So it was with a slow sweep of the curved dash that I slowly eased myself from the seat.

And I hadn’t even had a chance to make driving noises. I wasn’t happy.

“I didn’t even get a chance to make driving noises”, I sulked.

“Ohh good grief. Look. That one out there is a bit cheaper and looks the same”, was the suggestion.

Following her gaze I had to admit she was right, there must be a catch though. Still it would be petulant NOT to…

I harrumphed outside to the car and not only was it ‘the same’ (as in ‘the same colour’) it was a higher spec AND it was cheaper. Sure it had 3000-odd miles on the clock but that just means it’s nicely run in, right?

AND I was allowed to sit in this one, AND I was allowed to turn it on, bathing in the LED glow of the dashboard, AND it has lots of buttons with strange acronyms AND I was allowed to make driving noises!! Well, maybe ‘allowed’ isn’t the right word but hey, the salesmen must’ve heard that before, right??

Suffice to say that it’s a lovely lovely car and within our price range (just) and… I WANT!! I want all the gadgets, I want a nice big powerful diesel engine, I want, I want, I want.

I just wish it didn’t come in shitty grey, sorry.. galaxy grey (like the chocolate, but not). So, I’m currently stuck. Underneath the horrible paint job is a lovely lovely car that I really want and, for a change, can afford! But… but… the colour is ick!!

Of course it’s not really the colour that’s the problem here, it’s more the fact that it’s the colour that is the problem, that is the problem. Obviously. So I’m hunting for the same spec car (2.2 i-CTDi ES) but not in shitty brown/grey/metallic poo. It low emission, so my ‘green’ side is placated as much as it can be as I’m starting with the fact I need a car, it’s pretty cheap to run and in complete contrast to my increasing preference for simplicity/functionality it has gadgets up the wazoo! Individual climate control, cruise control, MP3/WMA cd player, trip computer, VSA, ABS, EBD, and much more.

I just wish it was easier quicker to buy, I want it now!

P.S. Yes, there will be other car related posts in the coming week, I’ll try and not gush too much…

14 comments

  1. 3,000 odd miles mean it’s most likely been just a demonstration vehicle, and should be fine.

    Buying brand new is just an invitation to lose money – it depreciates as soon as it leaves the forecourt! Much better to get one “pre-owned” – particularly if it’s only been ‘owned’ by the garage – and save that big chunk of instant depreciation.

    As for other options, have a look at local car ‘warehouse’-type places – that’s where we ended up getting my one from, and I’d wholly recommend the experience. That auto-trader of yours should have some details…

  2. Ummm, you are worried about THE COLOUR of the car…?

    Weird.

    Like hair colour in men: it doesn’t matter as long as everything else ticks along nicely, surely?

  3. That’s the weird thing, normally it wouldn’t bother me but it’s just… yuck. It’s a kind of silvery/brown metallic job and I just know that every time I walk up to it I’ll be thinking “should’ve waited to get the black one”.

    There is a similar priced one in “Bluish Silver” (yes that’s the official name) which is probably what I’ll go for… but I just cannot drive around in a silvery poo coloured car.

  4. I like my Golf 32, V6 3 litre , I feed it live squirrels and is just perfect when you stamp the right foot down..WOOf WOOF!

    Before that it was the Focus ST, now for £17k there you get a car that does 0-60 in 5 seconds and continues to 155MPH.

    Civic, yep nice car and a good alternative to the focus, but for 15K get a Type-R NOT a diesel, as there are MANY dealers and yes you CAN get a type R for 15k, trust me youll be glad you did.

    As for diesel, well its more expensive to run a diesel these days, the fuel costs more and the cars are more expensive to service and all bits cost more.

    And for the record diesel is WORSE for carbon than normal unleaded fuel is, just before all you ‘green’ types in your deiseld have a go.

  5. Type R may be same list price but the insurance won’t be, neither will the fuel consumption.

    I get more miles from a diesel so it’s not any more expensive to run (where DID you get that idea from?).

  6. The new civic is the first car since the Focus (first model) that I’ve really liked and can afford. I love the interior. It is a bit of a tarts car though *ahem*. But that’s according to blokey blokes at work who drive mondeo’s, vectra’s etc. Also the new Focus interior sucks – much less room but then I do need a lot of room.

    I do have a soft sport for Golfs though. My first car was a MkII 1.8 Golf driver. Far too fast for a newbie driver but it went fast. One day I will buy a Golf again but at the moment the civic wins for me.

  7. Yep over 100 miles the petrol will cost an extra £1.20, now when you consider people pay about £600 a month for a mortgage (Or if your down south your sole purpose for living is to pay for the box you may one day own when your too old to chew your own food) then the deiesl vs petrol thing kind of works itself out.

    Here diesel is 94P a litre and petrol is 86P a litre, almost 10p of a difference (Then again i live near farmland).

    Now insurance, yep an Extra £10 a month, but look at the ‘must have ‘ options for your mobile phones, and other gizmos that well… enable you to work, is £10 a month a sacrifice for a driving experience.

    Then the last nail in the coffin, the wife. A wife wants you to have a safe car and a bland car that does not turn heads, hell for years wives try to carry out what we in South Africa used to call the ‘Lion’ effect…

    Digression….

    A woman is like a lion and a man is like a wildebeest (In Afrikaans or at least an accent here please)….

    When a woman wants a man she goes to the pub, finds one that looks good with all the right things (House, fast car, money) drags him away and his friends never see him again…..

    Similarly when a lion is hungry she goes to the watering hole, spies a wildebeest and drags him away, and his friends never see him again.

    If its the wife that says you cant have the car, then the diesel is lovley, I know better than to pick a fight with a woman (And yours has a very authoritative thumb 🙂 )

  8. Wait for the new model year and you may be able to pick up a pre registered car which the dealer hasn’t been able to punt. I saved 3k on a Honda Civic last year, after stumbling into a Honda dealership on a rainy day – just for a look around. The dealer made me an offer i couldn’t refuse / understand !

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