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2006 Honda Civic SI Road Test

By CharlesOfria

Category: $23,000 - $30,000 Front-Wheel Drive Mid-Size Sedan
Who should buy this car: A person looking for a mid-sized European sport sedan with front-wheel drive, plenty of room, great performance and solid construction.
Comparable cars in this class: Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Malibu, Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Stratus, Ford Five Hundred, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Mercury Milan, Mercury Montego, Mitsubishi Galant, Nissan Altima, Pontiac G6, Pontiac Grand Prix, Saturn Aura, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Camry
I am not

With current gas prices the way they are, many of the major car companies are taping into their arsenal of sub compact econoboxes that have been so popular in Europe and other parts of the world where gas prices have always been high.  These cars are finding their way to our shores at a blistering pace. 

Japanese manufacturers are leading the charge with cars like The Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa and Honda Fit.  All are extremely competent and, above all, thrifty.  This article focuses on the Honda Fit, a versatile small car that has an EPA rating of 33 miles per gallon in the city and 38 miles per gallon on the highway.  Those are the kind of numbers that car buyers today are taking notice of.   The Toyota Yaris gets a bit better mileage, 34 city and 40 Highway, but it is not quite as versitle.  The Versa gets slightly worse mileage at 30 city and 36 highway, but it is roomier and is priced a bit lower.

The Honda Fit has been a very popular vehicle in Europe and Japan and is sold under the name Jazz.  As sold in the US, it is available with one engine, a 1.5 liter VTEC 4 cylinder that is rated at 109 horsepower.  It can be mated to either a  Standard 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 5-speed automatic transmission.

Acceleration was leisurely, but adequate for most driving needs with 0 to 60 times estimated at around 9 seconds.  Handling and steering feel was typical Honda spot-on accurate and precise.  I found it to be a fun car to drive. The ride was surprisingly good compared to the Civic's fairly choppy ride.  The ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes felt strong and were easy to modulate.

The Fit is priced a bit more upscale than the average econobox cars from the other manufacturers.  There are two well equipped models, the Standard and the Sport.  Both are equipped with air conditioning, power windows and power door locks as well as a full complement of safety equipment like 6 air bags and Antilock brakes

However, the real interesting stuff is with the interior versatility and it centers on the rear seats.  Flip a lever and the seatback flips down normally to form a flat load floor.  Nothing unusual here.  What is unusual is that, instead of flipping the back down, you can lift the cushion up, like the seats in a movie theater, to make room for tall items in the rear seat area.

Another feature is that the rear seats are adjustable for and aft and the rear seatback reclines a bit.  If you move the rear seat back as far as it will go, the front seatbacks can be reclined (after removing the headrests) to form a (somewhat lumpy) bed.  You can seat yourself in the back seat and have the feeling of sitting in a chaise lounge.  Where was this during the days of the drive-in movies?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Specifications

2006 Volkswagen Passat

 

Passat 2.0T

Passat 3.6

Engine Type

2.0 liter Double Overhead Cam 16 valve turbocharged, direct injected 4 cylinder

3.6 liter Double Overhead Cam 24 valve V6

Horsepower

200 @ 5,100 RPM

280 @ 6,200 RPM

Torque

207 @ 1,800 RPM

265 @ 2,750 RPM

Fuel Recommended

Premium Unleaded.

Transmission (std.)
Transmission (opt.)

6 Speed manual transmission
6-speed shiftable automatic

6-speed shiftable automatic
 

Drive Type

Front Wheel Drive

Front Wheel Drive or All Wheel Drive

Tires 

P215/55HR16 all-season tires

P235/45HR17

Overall Length

188.2"

Wheelbase

106.7"

Width

71.7"

Turning Diameter

35.8 ft Curb to Curb

Curb Weight

3,305 lbs.

3,576 lbs.

Fuel Tank

18.5 Gals

Miles Per Gallon

23 mpg city, 32 mpg highway (man)
22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway (auto)

19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway

Acceleration 0 to 60

6.9 sec. (manual), 7.4 sec. (auto)

6.6 Seconds

Base Sticker Price

$22,950 + $630 destination charge

$29,950 + $630 destination charge

Standard Equipment
Value Edition (Partial List)

  • 6-speed manual transmission

  • Steel rims with full wheel covers

  • 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS

  • Traction control

  • Stability control

  • Electric parking brake

  • Dual front side-mounted airbags

  • Front and rear head airbags

  • Tire pressure monitoring

  • Leatherette upholstery

  • Tilt and telescopic steering wheel

  • Power windows with auto up and down

  • Remote power door locks

  • Heated power mirrors

  • Cruise control

  • Climate control air conditioning

  • AM/FM in-dash single CD player, CD-controller with MP3 stereo & 8 speakers

Standard Edition 2.0T Adds:
(Partial List)

  • Alloy rims

  • 2-way power driver seat

  • Overhead console with storage

Passat 3.6 Adds:
(Partial List)

  • 3.6 liter V6 engine

  • 6-speed automatic transmission

  • 17 inch wheels & tires

  • Power glass sunroof

  • 10-way power driver seat

Major Available Options
(Some items are only available as part of a package)

  • Automatic transmission

  • Rear Side Airbags

  • Power glass sunroof

  • Upgraded audio system with 6-disc in-dash CD player

  • 12-way power (including 4-way power adjustable lumbar) leather seats

  • Heated front seats

  • Satellite radio

  • DVD Satellite Navigation

  • 17" x 7" "LeMans" style alloy wheels

  • Sport package

  • Adaptive Front Lighting System with Bi-xenon headlights

  • 18" x 8" alloy wheels with P235/40WR18 all season tires

For more information on the Passat, visit vw.com

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