Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - eustace

Hi Folks
It's me back again. Before Avant nudges (ahem, kicks) me out, let me ask my question.

As some of the regulars here will know, I had after a lot of research and deliberation, decided to buy a Civic.

Previously, I had taken a test drive on a 2009 1.4 VTEC Type- S Civic.
The driving experience on that car was quite good. It seemed very grippy.
Also the rear spolier appeared as a thin line in the rear view mirror, and didn't seem to obstruct visibility much.

Today, I took a drive in a 2012 9th Gen Civic (1.8 VTEC SE). For some reason, I was not very impressed with the ride. For want of a better term, I can only describe it as a bit unsettled.
Also the spoiler at the back, bugged me quite a bit, as it appeared quite thick and blocking part of the view.
I think part of the reason is that the part of the rear windscreen below the spoiler is bigger, in the 9th Gen. So more than half of the rear view mirror is occupied by the portion of the wind screen, below the spolier, which does not give much useful information while normal driving. The useful information, from the portion above the spoiler, is crammed onto the top half of the rear view mirror.

Anyway, I am not sure whether this is something I will get used to over time?

Also the drive did not seem that great. The car just did not seem to be as responsive as my Focus. The idling seemed to be less, and I even managed to stall the car a couple of times. Maybe, I was just not used to the gear ratios. Anyway, I would probably describe it as an ok drive.

Quite a different experience from the previous model of the Civic, which I had test driven.

So this has made me think again about considering the Toyota Auris 2nd Gen (2013+).The reason I did not previously consider the Auris was that I thought I would like a change from my current 1.6 Focus, for a car with a bigger engine.

I also seem to be able to get a bit more car for my money with the Auris, as comapred to the Civic.
For the price of a 2012 Civic (approx. £7000 - £7500), I can get a 2013 or even a 2014 (higher mileage) Auris.
Also the Auris seems to have a better (more expensive?) suspension, as compared to the Civic. (Independent double wishbone vs. Torsion bar)

Also one comment on this site's Car By Car Listing section regarding driving experience of the Auris is that the 1.6 Auris is racous at Motorway speeds (similar to the Auris 1.33).
I assume the reason is that the 1.6 engine needs to work harder than a larger engine to build and maintain motorway speeds. But given that the Auris has 6 gears, does it still need to run at that high revs?

Anyone here has expereince of motorway cruising on the 1.6 V-MATIC Auris vs the 1.8 VTEC on the Civic?

I am putting below my thoughts on the Pros and Cons of both the cars.

Honda Civic

Pros
1.8 litre engine
slghtly better acceleration (9.1 vs 10 sec for 0-60mph dash)
bigger (more spacious passenger compartment anbd boot)

Cons
compromised rear visibility
inferior ride and handling
lower long term reliability ranking compared to Auris (as per TUV rankings)

Toyota Auris

Pros
Newer car for the same money (less expensive)
Same fuel economy as Civic
better driver's visibility
better specced

Cons
Smaller car (particulalrly boot and passenger compartment)
smaller engine (1.6 vs 1.8)


Does anyone here have any experience of comparing the 2013 Auris with the Civic? Would they give similar performance and fuel economy on a motorway run? Any experiences / thoughts appreciated.

I will try to get a test drive on the 2013 Auris. However they are not very common and easy to find nearby.
Meanwhile, any thoughts / advice on these 2 cars are welcome...


Edited by eustace on 12/10/2017 at 00:37

Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - eustace

Also the Parkers review for the 1.6 v-matic Auris, says that the Auris is a "quite" cruiser at Motorway speeds. This is different from what the HJ site CBCB says, where it is described as racous on the motorway.

Any feedback from experience welcome...

Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - SLO76
The Civic isn't as dynamically well sorted as a Focus but makes up for its shortcomings with its reliability, longterm durability and highly efficient 1.8 VTEC motor. Every car has its compromises and while the Civic offers more power and better economy than a 1.6 Focus it doesn't handle, steer or in my opinion ride (less noticeable in the SE) quite as well. It will however outlast it and pretty much everything else on the road.

As for the Auris, well I've driven a 1.6 before and a Hybrid and neither seemed that noisy at speed but I never drove either to its limits and both felt as most Toyota's do a little numb on the road. Bland steering, slightly notchy gearchange and floaty ride. It's likely to still be around after the next ice age though. Simple and very robust.

If it's all about performance and handling then perhaps a Focus 1.6 Ecoboost might fit the bill? Fun to drive and it's basicallly a turbocharged version of the old Yamaha designed Zetec SE which has given great service since the mid 90's. Buy only with a full Ford service history though, as with all turbocharged motors they don't take kindly to neglect or the wrong grade of oil.

I base recommendations for used cars on reliability and longterm durability above all else. But always test drive any prospective purchase to see if you can live with it. It'll cost more if you tire of it and get shot after a year than if you bought something you enjoy driving to start with. Even a non-turbo 1.6 Focus Mk III would be a great family hatch as long as you're not in a huge rush. It's fast enough for 90% of drivers.

Edited by SLO76 on 12/10/2017 at 01:09

Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - eustace

Thanks SLO76. But how would you compare the Civic against the Auris? Given that both are likely to be highly relliable, what do you think are the major differentiators and where does one score over the other?

Is the higher cost for the Honda, mainly because of brand appeal, or are there tangible reasons to justify it?

Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - SLO76
Much of this is down to personal preference so you need to drive both and decide which one suits you best. I find the Civic with it's more powerful engine, more modern, better made interior and lower depreciation the better of the two but I would be tempted by the Auris which is the softer riding more relaxed driving car. The estate of both cars will hold their value better and to me both look better but road noise is slightly higher. I'd have a shot of a Focus Mk III too, as long as you avoid the 1.0 Ecoboost and the 1.6/1.5 TDCi it should be every bit as reliable as these two. If
Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - eustace

I guess the ride and handling isn't too much of a concern for me, comparing these 2 cars.

I can accept the harsher ride on the Civic as a trade-off for more passenger and boot space (which is I understand the idea behind them using a torsion beam suspension, as opposed to an independent multi-link).

However what I found more annoying is the restriced rear visibility and to an extent, the side visibility, due to the lack of a window near the C-Pillar (suac as a rear quarter glass).

I am concerned that there is a bit of a safety implication there.

Also the Auris seems to be a bit better safety wise, as it has more kit (dirvers knee air bag), as well as being the heavier car.

Given this, if there isn't a noticeable difference in engine performance between the 2 cars, then the difference comes down to Civic offering more space, whereas the Auris offering more safety features, both Active (drivers knee air bags) and Passive (visibility, weight, etc.)

The Civic engine seems to better in that Honda, has managed to engineer a larger 1.8 engine to give the same fuel economy as a smaller 1.6 engine.

But the key question is whether there is a noticeable degree of difference in the performance of these engines, partciculalrly for motorway cruising, etc.

And then I will need to take the call as to whether the better engine performance, makes up for any safety related short comings.

I don't intend to consider the Focus as I am not yet convinced regarding the longevity of either the ecoboost engines or any form of GDI engines. If performance downgrades in 10 years due to slow carbon build up, I don't think any manufacturer will care 2 hoots.

Edited by eustace on 12/10/2017 at 08:45

Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - catsdad
I can't comment on the Auris but I have had a 9th gen 1.8 Civic for four years and I rate it very highly. Its certainly a better car than my previous Avensis diesel estate which I disliked. The Civic is as economical as the Avensis in normal use, with more comfortable seats and nearly as much useable space in a more compact body. It also has a proper handbrake. The magic seats are great.

The visibility is not an issue for me at all. I can totally eliminate the over the shoulder blindspot without a lot of fiddling about. Passing cars are already seen in the door mirror just as they leave the main rear view mirror. As for the spoiler, well the total rear screen glass area is actually quite large ( I suspect its actually larger than many competitors where rear view never merits a mention). Occasionally I have rammed the boot full and the rear parcel shelf has ridden up to be level with the spoiler to leave an unsplit rear view which seems pretty much in line with the view from more conventional cars. So you could regard the bit below the spoiler as a bonus. Its all irrelevant if you carry adult rear seat passengers. The view out if most cars is then the same.

You do need to look past the spoiler rather than at it. I compare it to people who can't deal with heated windscreens because they can't help but focus on the wires rather than what lies outside. I also just have to accept that some people will never get past an initial irritation.

Its a nice motorway car. At 70 its turning about 3000rpm and this seems to be a good spot for the VTEC. Where permitted ( ....cough) you don't need to go down a gear if you want to accelerate further. It pulls strongly.

As for ride, mine is fine on 16" wheels, which are the norm for most Civics but a few are on 17" and will ride harder. Gen 9 is said in reviews to be a more compliant ride than Gen 8.

Obviously a lot will come down to personal taste. All I can say is that after 4 years of ownership I have no plans to change and that after 30 years of company cars, in the supposed brackets above, the Civic has not been found wanting as a private buy.
Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - eustace

Thanks, Catsdad! Your comments are very helpful. How do you adjust you wing mirrors?

Do you adjust it in a manner in which you can still see the sides of your car?

Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - catsdad
Re the Civic mirror adjustment. I simply set up the rearview mirror so that the extreme edge of the rear screen is included in view and the door mirrors to just show the outside edge of the panels behind the rear doors. Nothing fancy and very quick. The result is no blind spot as regards following or next lane traffic.

As in most cars this will probably not cover much of lane three when I am in lane one. So on motorway trips I will move the door mirrors out a little further if necessary. Nevertheless I still do an over the shoulder look to cover traffic swooping in from lane three. Actually I do look even in two lane situations as I don't want to get into bad mirror-only habits....or forget when I am in a another car.

As for others comments on performance I can see why people play it down. However I would say its about revs not speed. If you pootle along in top at 50 and 2000 revs it is pretty unresponsive. However drop a gear ot two and up the revs and it will show a good turn of acceleration. If test driving be sure to try it at higher revs (3500 plus) to see how it suits. The upside of the unresposiveness at lower revs is the exceptional economy for a 1.8 petrol.

Just to be clear, in normal driving you don't have to rev the nuts off it. But when needed the revs and acceleration are there. I happen to like this Jekyll and Hyde performance but its not for everyone.
Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - SLO76
The Civic offers more flexibility performance wise, with greater pull at almost every speed. It's no rocket ship and lacks the midrange of a turbocharged motor however. I personally would buy on condition, mileage and history between these two rather than a few tenths of a second on the stopwatch. Both will have enough urge for reasonably relaxed day to day driving and both will happily sit at speed limit bursting speeds on the motorway.

As for not trusting the Focus Ecoboost engines, don't get the troublesome 1.0 mixed up with the 1.6 (based on the old Yamaha designed Zetec SE) or the 2.0 which is based on the Mazda L series. Both will be reliable if looked after and both offer better performance than the Civic or Auris.

Get out there and drive a few, preferably back to back to see which one you prefer. If budget can stretch to it I'd add in a Mk II Mazda 3 2.0 too.
Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - eustace

Anyone here who has driven the 1.,6 V-Matic Auris? Any feedback on its performance, particulalrly for motorway use?

Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - SLO76
I have and found it fine. It's a bit low geared, so you get a fair bit of engine noise but i didn't find it too intrusive and as with most normally asperated petrol motors you'll have to change down in search of any meaningful acceleration. It was only a short run however. Ask for a decent test drive to check it for yourself.
Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - eustace

Did you driver the version with the 6 speed gearbox? Was it low geared, despite having 6 gears?

I thought a 6 speed box, would have more evenly spaced gear ratios accross the range...

Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - SLO76
I believe all the current model 1.6's have a 6 speed box. Yes, it was perfectly acceptable but seemed quite low geared for a 6 speed. Go try one, see what you think. What's acceptable to me might not be to you.
Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - Boroman
I have a an Auris 1.6 Excel on a 2013 plate. At an indicated 70mph it turns over at around 2800rpm in sixth gear. Dropping to fifth will increase this to 3200rpm. Engine noise is well muted at motorway speeds and I can highly recommend these as a comfortable and reliable car. No issues at all in the last three years. I run it on premium fuel and get mid 40’s mpg on the motorway and 32-33mpg town driving in Winter which increases to 36-38mpg during Summer.
Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - eustace

Thanks, Boroman, Good feedback. Is there any negatives you don't like about the car?

How is the all round visibility? Any significant blind spots?

Have you driven a Civic at all? Any thoughts on how it compares against a Civic?

Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - Boroman
Never driven a Civic so can’t comment. Rear 3/4 vision, in keeping with a lot of modern cars, isn’t great. Mine has a rear camera plus front and rear sensors so reversing and parking in general is fine. Best to have a drive and see what you think, as “SLO” says they do need revs to shift but that is normal for a normally aspirated 16v engine.
Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - bazza

Eustace, I have owned a 1.8 9th gen Civic for a few months. It's a 12 reg. We also own a 1.6 Ztec Focus , 2010 reg. And also an 03 reg Corolla, so I can speak for Toyota build as exceptional.

I had the same concerns as you over rear visibility, after reading too much on the internet. In reality it takes only a few miles to adapt, and I can honestly say I don't even think of it now. The door mirrors are superb. Everything said above by other posters is exactly spot on. The Civic is the most refined, the Corolla the most laid back and comfort--on a par with the Civic. The Focus is the best drivers car, but only really noticeable if you want to really push on across deserted roads, 95% of the time the Civic is the nicer place to be. The Corolla is an excellent all round pleasant car, it's actually my son's but i borrow it regularly, as it's just a pleasant thing. I'm very pleased with the Civic, it's averaging just under 50mpg over the 3000 miles I've put on it. It's so flexible, I can pootle in 6th gear at 1100 rpm and it will pull from there. 6th is fairly high but there's plenty of pull once above 2.5 to 3K. Being a Honda, it's a pleasing car to rev but hardly necessary, hence the 50 mpg. The magic seats are worth having if you carry any loads.

Our Focus has been with us for nearly 6 years, a very underrated basic car, that gets the job done and is in a class of its own dynamically. We've averaged between 39 to 45mpg, depending on the mix. The Corolla, around 40 average, 45mpg on a long run. Any of the cars on your list will be fine but as SLO suggests, the Honda or Toyota are probably your best bets.

Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - badbusdriver

As someone who drives a van for my work, and used to be a bus driver, i really don't see what all the fuss is about regarding how much visibility you have out the back window?. If not being able to see properly out of the back window was in any way hazerdous, we would have no vans, buses, or trucks on the road.

Reminds me of a time years ago while working at a car and van hire company in Aberdeen. I was showing a young lady round a transit box van she had hired to move house. She asked me how she was supposed to see behind her with no back window?!.

Toyota Auris - Honda Civic - Civic 1.8 VTEC 9th Gen (2012) vs Auris 1.6 VMATIC (2013) - bolt

As someone who drives a van for my work, and used to be a bus driver, i really don't see what all the fuss is about regarding how much visibility you have out the back window?. If not being able to see properly out of the back window was in any way hazerdous, we would have no vans, buses, or trucks on the road.

Reminds me of a time years ago while working at a car and van hire company in Aberdeen. I was showing a young lady round a transit box van she had hired to move house. She asked me how she was supposed to see behind her with no back window?!.

I agree with you there but there has always been moaners about the rear screen on the Civic since the 8th gen come out, personaly I dont see the problem with it as it does the job ok.

 

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