Transforming an icon is never easy. However, the designers and engineers at Honda have done an outstanding job of keeping alive the spirit of Soichiro Honda with the 2006 Honda Civic coupe. When Honda first entered the American market in 1962, they manufactured motorcycles, but the manufacturer expanded to automobiles by introducing clean, economical, and reliable cars. In 1963, Honda spent $350,000 on two 90-second commercials that appeared on the Academy Awards. The ads, though deceptively simple from longtime ad agency Rubin Postaer and Associates, claimed: “You meet the nicest people on a Honda.” Within months, the company sold millions of dollars in motorcycles, but it was not until the introduction of the 1973 Honda Civic did the company achieve its first automotive breakthrough. The American made 2006 Civic is elegant, speedy, safe, and fuel efficient car averaging 40 mpg (51 mpg for the Hybrid) that happily keeps with tradition. Winner of Motor Trend magazine’s 2006 Car of the Year, the 2006 Civic offers a challenge to the Toyota Prius, as Honda’s icon reborn.
If you walk around the 2006 Civic coupe’s exterior, you can’t help but notice the aerodynamically sculpted front nose that resembles a menacing bullet train at speed, hints at where the soul of this car is at. (The car is powered by a naturally aspirated 1.8 liter i-VTEC engine.) The beautifully contoured taillights are wide and arch inwards into the trunk, suggesting an approachable, friendly disposition. Step inside the cabin and the ergonomically designed interior lives up to the hype with stylized, center mounted, backlit RPM dials. The seats are firm and immediately make you feel comfortable as a rogue navigator contemplating his or her next move. The sum purpose of the 2006 Civic coupe is to enhance driving to the fullest, enabling you to keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and foot on the gas.
At the heart of 2006 Honda Civic coupe is its outstanding 140-horsepower i-VTEC engine that comes standard in all Civic DX, LX and EX models. Honda’s racing heritage is vociferously felt in i-VTEC technology that gives you more efficient acceleration across the entire RPM bandwidth, while achieving an EPA estimated fuel economy of 40 miles per gallon. However, the most practical 2006 Civic is the Hybrid, capable of achieving 49 mpg in the city, and 51 mpg on the highway without spoiling any of the fun.
The Civic showcase is the Si, offering the performance envelope of 197 horses from a naturally aspired 2.0-liter engine. The Si is only available in a 6-speed manual, with limited slip differential, and a lowered suspension.
Acceleration is only half the battle in today’s nanosecond world. How the car brakes, corners, and stops are also equally important. As a result, the 2006 Honda Civic coupe is also big on safety. All new Civic models feature side curtain airbags, front side airbags, advanced compatibility engineering™ and body structure reinforcement – to redirect energy around the passenger compartment in case of an accident. For active safety, an automatic seat belt tensioning system is in place to securely hold all occupants in case of collision, and the anti-lock, 4-wheel disk brakes (ABS) will enable you to maintain steering control during hard stops as the Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) will even out braking forces at each wheel. With such a diverse commitment to safety, the 2006 Honda Civic has earned the 5-Star Crash Test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
If that wasn’t enough, the new Civic further rewards your senses with a state of the art audio entertainment system. The car is pre-wired for XM® Satellite Radio, MP3 players and WMA and also has an Apple® iPod® adapter that connects directly to the car’s audio. The 160-watt AM/FM/CD 6-speaker audio system amplifies the sound in the cabin for a fantastic effect. The Si boasts a 350-watt system with subwoofer and has an added amplifier for mega bass. Simply download your favorites, plug in your music and press play.
Soichiro Honda understood the desires of the open road. He understood the language of cool, and the needs of the youthfully minded sports car enthusiast. The 2006 Honda Civic fulfils his legacy for an inexpensive road car, with superb lines, a fuel efficient engine, and sound ergonomics. If you have previously owned a Civic, the MSRP of $14,360 – $20,900 for the reinvented 2006 Honda Civic will awaken all senses. If you own a higher priced luxury car, you may be tempted to trade it in. Whether you choose the Hybrid, the Si, or the DX/LX models, you will be purchasing one of the finest, fuel efficient icons in Honda’s history.