Wednesday, March 13, 2002
Honda Civics stuffed with DOHC VTEC engines have earned a reputation for being the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the compact car world. Behaving not much differently from its more docile stablemates, the Civic undergoes a transformation once you spin the engine past 6000 rpm. The second VTEC cam profile engages, the engine note turns into a Formula-One soundtrack, and you have about 2000 more rpm to go before reaching for the next gear. Suddenly the unassuming little Honda can give a BMW 325i a run for its money, at least on this side of 100 km/h.
Ever since the introduction of the Honda Civic back in the early 1990s, it became an overnight success. The ‘bug-eyed’ generation seemed to have no end as it seemed that everyone owned a Civic, whether it was an LXi, VTi or SiR. Funny thing is that when Toyota released its Corolla back in 1998 it had all the safety equipment and some of the luxuries like better plastics and an upgraded stereo system. Nonetheless, the Civic still ran away with the sales lead.
Tuesday, March 12, 2002
Critics said that it was the rear end that did it in; some claimed it was borrowed underpinnings; some even proclaimed that it was due to having only one displacement available. Whatever the reason, the Ford Lynx, after making a big splash in September 1999, soon became close to extinct in the 1.6-liter segment. Despite combining the sporty attributes of the Honda Civic and a bit of luxury and class that became the trademark of the Nissan Exalta, it didn’t quite threaten the leaders in its class.