2001 Honda Civic – product description – Brief Article
Imagine someone handing you a paintbrush and asking you to make a few fundamental improvements on the Mona Lisa.
I have to believe this is the same pressure that was on Honda’s Civic team when it was challenged to reinvent its already near-perfect sub-compact car. And reinvent is the right word: it threw away the existing platform and started with a clean sheet of paper.
Size is the number one improvement. Without gaining inches on the outside, the ’01 Civic moves from sub-compact to compact in the EPA’s eyes. From the driver’s seat it is less obvious since the dimensions were good on the old car, but unlike some of its competition, the back seat is not just a trim item.
On the engine front, Honda bumped up displacement from 1.6L to 1.7L, boosted horsepower by nine and certified those engines as ULEV in all 50 states. Did I mention improved mileage? Yep, that’s up five to 10 percent as well, depending on the model.
And if you liked the road feel of the old car, you won’t when you chive the new one. Good as it was, this ’01 is much more stable thanks to a trick steering rack mounted to the firewall instead of the cradle. Steering wheel shake is precisely zip and the system’s long tie rods let tires “walk” over bumps without creating steering inputs.
Who knows, if Da Vinci had it to do all over again, maybe the Mona Lisa would be driving a Civic. At least we’d know why she was smiling.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Cahners Publishing Company
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group