You know it’s a slow news day when we’re writing about European variations of cars sold stateside. Usually, we’d complain about some diesel or turbocharger engine option that stays in Europe, and whine about why American drivers should be treated with more than just apathy. In this case, it’s the newly refined UK-spec 2012 Honda Civic, which, despite being built in England, should be similar to our own Civic, released earlier this year as a 2012 model.
There are some well-known “issues” plaguing the US-spec Civic, but what should UK consumers expect for their edition?
Honda promises refinement in build quality, a reduction in road noise, and aerodynamic advancements that increase fuel mileage by reducing drag. Basically, the new Civic is quieter and glides through the wind as never before.
Will the UK version also be plagued by the same concerns listed by Consumer Reports? Chief among them, are lack of responsiveness, lower interior quality, long braking distances, rough ride and noisy interior.
UK designers addressed the aforementioned road noise issue by testing in an echo-free wind tunnel. Ultimately, the designers—many of whom had prior Formula 1 racecar design experience—improved roof and body insulation to quell the noise. Simple, right?
“We did not improve the noise and refinement of the new Civic through just one technique,” commented Kazuo Sunaoshi, the new Euro-Civic’s chassis development leader. “It was the accumulation of lots of little details. My big challenge was to match the noise and vibration levels of our European competitors. I am proud to say that we have achieved our goals.”
An additional UK-spec enhancement includes a new rear suspension design pulled from further driving research. Honda says the new Civic delivers “excellent high-speed stability,” something the Euro designers seem to have learned from critique of the USDM Civic.
Let’s hope American Honda can do the same for the 2014 Civic refresh, similar to how Acura addressed the TL.