It is never easy to transform an icon. Honda’s designers and engineers, on the other hand, did a great job keeping the spirit of Soichiro Honda alive with the 2006 Honda Civic coupe. Honda first entered the US motorcycle market in 1962, but the company quickly expanded into cars by introducing clean, fuel efficient and reliable vehicles. Honda spent $350,000 on two 90-second commercials that aired during the 1963 Academy Awards.
Within months, the company was selling millions of dollars worth of motorcycles, but it wasn’t until the 1973 Honda Civic that the company made its first automotive breakthrough. The 2006 American-made Civic is an elegant, fast, safe and fuel-efficient car that averages 40 mpg (51 mpg for the hybrid) and proudly follows tradition. The 2006 Civic, winner of Motor Trend magazine’s Car of the Year 2006, challenges the Toyota Prius as Honda’s icon is reborn.
The 2006 Honda Civic is available as a sedan or coupe (the hatchback version will be discontinued this year) and is available in a variety of trim levels. This Civic redesign doesn’t necessarily include more of everything, which is unusual for a Civic redesign. The Civic’s new design features a relaxed windshield, short front and rear overhangs and narrow tire-to-fender clearance.
A brief overview of the various 2006 Honda Civic models
The 2006 Honda Civic is available in two body styles: sedan and two-door coupe. DX, LX and EX are the three main trim levels available. The DX is equipped with a tilt/telescopic steering wheel and a height-adjustable driver’s seat, but lacks other features. The LX has 16-inch wheels, a CD player that can play MP3/WMA files, air conditioning, full power accessories, keyless entry and cruise control.
The top-of-the-line EX adds alloy wheels, a moonroof, a 60/40 split backrest, two additional speakers, steering wheel audio controls and a port for a portable music player. There are also three special models: the Civic Hybrid sedan, the Civic GX sedan and the Civic Si coupe. All are fitted to a level similar to EX equipment, except for the Si, which includes sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch wheels and special interior trim, and the Hybrid, which has automatic climate control but no sunroof. Satellite radio and a navigation system are optional for the EX, Hybrid and Si.
The 2006 Honda Civic, an engineering masterpiece
Horsepower increases on all models. The SOHC 1.8-litre inline four-cylinder engine with Honda’s i-VTEC system powers all DX, LX and EX models. It has 140 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. The GX is powered by a natural gas engine that produces 113 horsepower and 109 pound-feet of torque. In terms of performance, the previous Civic Si hatchback was a disappointment. Fortunately, the 2006 coupe version is an improvement over the previous model by being the fastest production Civic ever. It has a 197 hp engine, sporty-tuned suspension and a six-speed manual transmission with a limited-slip differential.
The Civic Hybrid sedan is for those who are more concerned about fuel economy than 0-60 mph times. It also uses Honda’s IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) system, which consists of a 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a single overhead camshaft connected to an electric motor and a continuously variable transmission. The Civic Hybrid has a combined power output of up to 110 horsepower and a mileage of 50 mpg in the city and 50 mpg on the highway.
The improved fuel economy is largely due to the fact that the gas engine can now be completely turned off during deceleration and stable driving, allowing the electric motor to propel the car on its own, as in Toyota’s Prius. The Civic GX is another fuel-saving option. It runs on compressed natural gas and can even be topped up at home using a “Phil” natural gas home kit.
The interior design of the 2006 Honda Civic guarantees leisure and comfort
Honda’s designers and engineers prioritized refinement to create a high-quality, sophisticated and sporty interior with advanced technology, extensive storage space and innovative ergonomics. More standard features and new features available, such as a voice-activated DVD navigation system, demonstrate the commitment to take the interior to a whole new level.
Priority indicators, such as the speedometer, are positioned high in the driver’s field of view on the dual instrument panel. The wider body width makes the seats wider and more supportive, and a spacious multifunction center console holds up to 25 compact discs and serves as an armrest for both front seat occupants. Active front head restraints are used to reduce the risk of whiplash injury in a rear-end collision.
The saloon’s main interior dimensions are similar to the generous proportions of the 2005 model, with improvements in hip and shoulder room. The interior volume and rear seat space have been shrunk to create a more personalized space consistent with the coupé’s streamlined styling, as the Civic Coupé has become more sport-oriented with unique exterior dimensions.
Sources: Edmunds, HondaNews, AutoBlog
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