I?ve recently shifted to Vitz from 7[SUP]th[/SUP] Gen civic, both of these cars are different in almost every way, but since they fall in the same price bracket, I think that demands a review. Either it?s a downgrade or an upgrade boils down to personal preferences. There?s no ?Vitz all the way? or ?Vitz is crap? answer like mostly seen on this forum, and I think it holds true for all comparisons. I?d be brief and push the pointers for further discussion.
Last Ride: Civic VTI Oriel Manual 2003, CNG fitted, totally stock (except CNG obviously).
New Ride: Vitz 2006 1.3 2szfe, CVT, F Package, totally stock.
Build Quality (Upgrade): Vitz feels very well built; doors show lesser flex, quality of upholstery, quality of paint, in all the little details Vitz takes the lead. All these added up to be the most convincing reason for me to shift to it. Civic is however not bad at all, Vitz is just better, which in my opinion holds true for all JDM.
Cabin Noise (upgrade): Civic is good but Vitz 1.3 is much better at keeping the cabin quiet. I?ve driven 1.0L Vitz too; it?s the worst amongst the three. It?s in fact the worst in local market. I might not have shifted to Vitz at all if only 1.0L was available, it?s this bad (just my opinion, your Vitz might better than the one I drove
Grunt/Aggressiveness (Downgrade): Civic is way better than Vitz, especially the manual version I had. Vitz is very ?uneventful?. Constant Acceleration, no wheel spin, no cabin noise, mellow exhaust, put simply it?s not that fun to ?drive?, doesn?t give you a hint that it needs to be pushed and isn?t satisfying if you push. There?s a rubber band like feel between the throttle and response, may be because of the Drive by wire, or the CVT. Even S mode is just boomy and no show. In terms of speed its good & constant acceleration till 130 kmph, but without any hint except the speedometer. This in fact is the most major downgrade I feel, I drove a 1.0L and its worse, I don?t know why people put bumper extension and spoilers to cars which require one to turn the AC off for merely climbing a bridge (Just my opinion, no offence, your 1.0L I?m sure is better than that).
Cockpit / Seating position (Downgrade): 7[SUP]th[/SUP] Gen Civic?s dials in my opinion are the best looking amongst the local market, just the right balance between elegant and cheesy. Seating position is also better in Civic, down low, but that?s just personal taste. Vitz is again ?uneventful?; there is one speedometer, yes, in the middle. I?ve got white display and it looks better than the orange one. If the seat is pushed all the way up, it seems you?re sliding towards the steering wheel, lowest setting is ok.
Grip/Braking (Downgrade): Although both are good, Civic feel much more planted. Civic?s braking was also phenomenal. Vitz brakes are acceptable, keeping in view the 205 tire width I was running on Civic. Overall Civic might be same, keeping the tire width/quality parameter constant.
Compartments (Upgrade): In real life, they are important; I never kept tissue paper on the dashboard on the civic because of its reflection in the windscreen, however with Vitz it goes in. Many compartments add up to be quiet handy. Cup Holders are placed nicely too. During transition from Civic to Vitz, I had to drive Cuore for a month, without cup-holders and a kid on board; it feels that cup-holders are more important than the windscreen.
Space (Upgrade): With CNG installed, adequate space was available in Civic. Vitz however is a different dimension. With foldable seats the space is huge. Without folding the seats the space is same I had in Civic, a little shorter in width though. Great convenience for occasionally shipping large stuff, like washing machine .
Ground Clearance (Downgrade): Fully loaded Civic was okay for 95% of the speed breakers, Vitz is good for 40%. I don?t worry for about 80% of speed breakers if driving solo.
Petrol Fuel Consumption (Upgrade): Civic on CNG was cheaper than Vitz on petrol; however for petrol Vitz takes the lead; Civic did around 9-11 km/l with AC intercity, here are numbers I?ve observed during 3k run of Vitz.
Inter-city with AC: 14.75 km/l
Intra-city with AC, M2 Lahore ? Islamabad: 16.7km/l (Could?ve been better if I were coming back from Islamabad)
Hill Climb - 50% with ac, Islamabad ? Muree ? Abbottabad - Islamabad: 13.7 km/l
Reliability (Don?t know): Vitz hasn?t given me any problem except boomy water pump, got it replaced, so far everything going good and solid. Reliability is definitely connected to year of production & previous owner, but for the sake of comparison and keeping in view the build quality of JDM, I feel Vitz would be more reliable in the longer run.
Driving Skill (downgrade): I don?t know how to name this, it?s very easy to drive Vitz, I don?t have to increase throttle gradually like in Civic to achieve optimum fuel, just push the throttle fully and it?d manage all by itself, likewise no gear shifting at optimum RPM, no precise movement of the clutch. I personally liked mechanical feel of Civic or driving a manual. Vitz is just a big, good quality toy that takes you from point A-B comfortably. I miss the raw feel.
Comfort (Same): Comfort is more or less the same, I?d say not noticeable, seats in civic were slightly better, suspension (comfort-wise) is slightly better in Vitz. Vitz comfort is closer to corolla in my opinion. Long drive is good too, had no problem doing the chores in Islamabad after driving 400km that day.
Safety (Upgrade): I think everyone knows how Vitz thrashes civic in this department. One of the major reasons for me to shift to Vitz, and goes without saying that this should be a major reason for all car purchases, safety can?t be bought back after the incident.
Bottom line: I?ve moved to Vitz because I needed safety, reliability, fuel efficiency and comfort. I?ve moved to an ?uneventful? car, I think we do this as we grow older.
I do plan getting an additional totally opposite rubber-burning ride for the soul when the budget permits. I?ve learnt a lot from Pakwheels, and hoping that people learning from my little experience might be a pay-back of some sort.