The thrill of freedom

End of the summer… The first leaves are falling… Green and yellow colors mix with soft sunlight…. And I have an urge to leave the city and discover new roads, new places and just enjoy the scenery and the freedom.

One thing I have learned about myself in this summer’s detox road trip is that I love the trip as much as I love the destination (sometimes even more). I love driving, the thrill and the sense of freedom, the fact that any trip can transform spontaneously into an adventure.

With this feeling in mind I decided to start a new category of posts about one of my biggest passions: cars. Once in a while, when I’ll get my hands on a different car, I will write for you my impressions about it and the story behind the photos.

For the first post of this kind and for an amazing experience I give special thanks to my friends at ASKO International, Honda Dealer Romania, who gave me the opportunity to test drive a gorgeous diesel Honda Civic. (1.6 Sport M/T)

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If I were to choose one word to describe the driving experience, this would be Smooth. The suspensions are just right for our bumpy roads, soft enough to provide comfort but still feel that you’re driving a sports car. Because it was a diesel and I am more of a gas fan, I found it to be less punchy than I was expecting it to be, not reacting as aggressive and quick as I would have liked (Type R, I am looking at you 🙂 ). Nevertheless, it is a very powerful yet fuel efficient car. From the eco point of view, I guess I will almost never use the auto engine stop because I find it too noisy and stressful when waiting in traffic (sorry penguins), but I was pleased with how little fuel it used.

Civic is also a very quiet car with an increased performance in reducing the wind noise while moving. And while we’re on the subject, the default audio system is quite nice, although at a volume higher than 60% the quality of the sound is not that good (then again, the volume at 45% is high enough, with a good sound quality and not being able to hear yourself singing).

I was always intrigued by and attracted to Honda Civic because of its unique body and its fierce look. The aerodynamic exterior design is well reflected in the interior design, where the entire front part of the cabin is oriented to face the driver. It is really easy to use all the controls on the steering wheel, and the multi-info display is quite nice and useful. The one thing which made my life difficult regarding the display is the fact that the front passenger cannot see it easily, thus making long road-trips quite difficult if you are trying to catch an FM station or if your passenger would like to handle the music. Also, in bright daylight the display is quite hard to see, so I hope that future models will make it bigger (using the space occupied by that truck-sized passenger airbag sign) and brighter. Another design feature I find confusing is the fact that the rear window is split in two by the rear headlights. Even if this is one of its strong features regarding the exterior design, from the inside the horizontal rear lights make it harder to look through the rear window, which is actually smaller than other similar cars. I’ll let you decide if this is a feature a driver can get used to.

Other than that, the interior is big enough for everybody to stay comfortably, and the trunk is big enough for all of the luggage (or 2 labradors in my case). I also like the fact that when you step intro the driver’s seat you are quite higher than your typical sports car, making it an even more beautiful experience when driving along picturesque views as I did near Brasov.

Finally, I can say that it is definitely a smooth ride with an edge, small and efficient enough for a busy city like Bucharest and also great for long trips.

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