Thanks to the continued trend towards downsized engines, carmakers are now adopting technologies once reserved for performance-oriented cars. One such technology is turbocharging. By forcing more air into the combustion chamber using an exhaust gas-driven turbine, the engine is made to produce more power despite a smaller displacement. Even the “every man’s car”, the compact car class is now home to three choices using turbocharged engines. The best seller among them is the all-new Civic RS.
The recipient of Honda’s first-ever Earth Dreams Turbo engine, the Civic RS has scooped up awards left and right including CarGuide.PH’s very own Top 5 Picks of 2016. Still, some would-be buyers and critics remain unsatisfied, saying that the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine is costlier to maintain versus a typical normally-aspirated engine.
Removing the guess work (like what we did with the City before), we asked for the Civic RS’s service menu straight from Honda Cars Philippines. And the results are quite encouraging.
Given the Civic’s 3-year/100,000-kilometer warranty, there’s minimal out-of-pocket expense outside of gasoline and Preventive Maintenance Service (PMS) for as long as the required service schedule is followed and performed by an authorized Honda dealer.
As it is, Honda has already halved the required visits to the casa from the typical 4 times a year (or every 5,000 kilometers) to 2 times a year or every 10,000 kilometers (whichever comes first). The Civic RS goes further, adopting an oil condition sensor that lets you know when the engine oil warrants a change. Even with the rough life of being a media demo unit, this particular White Orchid Pearl RS can go 12,000 kilometers between oil changes.
However, since HCPI requires a fixed rather than conditional interval between dealer visits, the oil condition indicator won’t be used as basis. Instead, in accordance with Honda’s prescribed PMS schedule, these are the jobs required to be done during the first 3 years of ownership:
From the chart, it’s obvious that the cost isn’t evenly split between intervals. The bulk of the cost comes at your car’s anniversary or every 20,000 kilometers with a smaller cost sandwiched in-between every six months or every 10,000 kilometers.
While the “lighter” service remains constant at P 3,810.55 (and a quick 2.75 hours turnaround time), the “heavier” service interval goes up steadily peaking at the 40,000-kilometer mark. At that point, it will set owners back P 15,849.20. It does cover a lot of work and parts replaced such as fuel strainer set, A/C filter, and the CVT fluid. It also takes around half a day (5 hours) to complete though.
To get a better picture of the Civic RS’s running costs, fuel consumption has to be factored in as well. Based on the actual tested 8.3 km/L (done in city traffic or 14 km/h), the Civic stands to consume around 1,205 liters of 91-octane unleaded per 6 months or roughly 2,410 liters per year. Pegging petrol prices at P 45 to a liter, it will cost P 108,433.74 to top up the tank annually. Interestingly, with a maximum tank capacity of 47 liters, it means at least 52 visits to your friendly gas station per year or around once a week. Adding up the cost of PMS and fuel, the Civic RS runs up to a 3-year ownership cost of P 372,544.98. Split by year, it comes out to:
- Year 1: P 120,400.84
- Year 2: P 128,093.49
- Year 3: P 124,050.64
At a glance, this looks a lot, but factoring in that you’ll be traveling to the tune of 20,000 kilometers annually, that comes out to just P 6.21 per kilometer. As a reference, this is P 1.37 more expensive per kilometer than the City (P 4.84). Compared to other compact cars though, it’s a bit more expensive than the Corolla Altis 2.0 (P 6.04 per kilometer)—mainly because of the Altis’s better fuel consumption and the Mazda3 Speed (P 5.13 per kilometer)—because of the all-inclusive Yojin-3 PMS. It is way cheaper though than the Subaru Impreza’s P 7.96 per kilometer running cost whether you factor in fuel economy or not.
Considering everything, the Civic RS looks promising even for long-term ownership. For what it’s worth, Honda has done their homework and brought down the price of turbo ownership to a level that even the every man can enjoy. The new Civic RS truly lives up to its nameplate’s promise.