The seventh-generation Honda Civic was not the icing on the cake of the Japanese compact classic. Rather, it looked as if a fly had sat on the cake.
Despite the initial resentment towards it, the car has become in demand over time and today it is of particular interest, especially with a Japanese diesel engine.
In 2001, Honda introduced the new generation of the Civic and some people doubted that this is what the Japanese compact would look like.
The car resembling a minivan completely broke away from the tradition lasting practically from the fourth generation. The old Civic has always had a low, sporty silhouette, which is why it was liked by young and older people.
Even Honda made the right conclusion and the next generation knocked everyone to their knees with its appearance.
However, the Civic VII turns out to be a very good, practical compact car, and the variant with a 1.7-liter diesel engine with 100 HP is particularly interesting from the market point of view.
Honda Civic MK7 1.7 CTDi Characteristic
The Honda Civic was a fairly inconsistent model in the sixth generation, when basically two different cars were offered.
In England, a 5-door liftback and station wagon were produced in a different style than the Japanese 3-door hatchback and sedan and coupe.
In Japan, a decision was made that the next generation would be coherent and pragmatic designed so that the car could compete with the best Japanese and European compacts.
On the one hand, this procedure was successful, because the new Civic turned out to be a very good, functional model, but on the other hand, a completely different sedan and coupé remained in the offer.
The car in the form of a 3- and 5-door hatchback was presented in 2001 and for the first time a Honda Civic did not look like a Honda Civic.
Production in Great Britain was left. What’s more, the design was very boring and bland, no better than the competing Golf of the fourth generation.
Only facelift in 2004 slightly improved the image of this model, but it still remained unattractive compared to what Honda owners were used to.
The advantages of the seventh generation will be appreciated only after taking your place inside. The car is very spacious and functional, then the most spacious hatchback in the segment.
Three people can travel on the rear couch thanks to the Civic’s removal of the center tunnel. The trunk has a capacity of 370 liters. The cockpit is also very ergonomic, and the driving position may not be sporty, but comfortable when overcoming long distances.
Honda Civic MK7 1.7 CTDi Construction
The Honda Civic is an interesting compact in terms of construction, because it has been using independent suspension on both axles for years, but in the front of the seventh generation, unlike its predecessor, a classic MacPherson strut with a lower wishbone and crossover was used.
At the rear, for a car with a rather conservative character, the suspension is simply sensational – it is a multi-wishbone traditional for Honda. Many cars have drum brakes on the rear axle, and the steering gear is electrically assisted (petrol versions only).
Honda Civic MK7 1.7 CTDi Engine
Honda’s problem on the European market was the lack of a decent diesel engine. Previously, Rover motors were used, but they did not gain recognition among customers.
In the seventh generation, it was decided to use the Japanese engine, but from Isuzu. At the time, Honda was just working on its self-ignition unit.
The main source of propulsion was the previously known 1.4-liter 90 HP engine and 1.6 VTEC-E 110 HP engine, also used in the Sport variants.
The most powerful engine was a 2-liter engine from the K20 family with 160 HP (Type-S) and a 200 HP, designed only for the Type-R.
The only diesel was the Isuzu 1.7 CTDi engine with 100 hp and 220 Nm of torque at 1800 rpm. And this is the engine that we will take care of.
Honda Civic MK7 1.7 CTDi Problems And Reliability
Let’s start with the exterior and interior. The problem in the Honda Civic VII is what you can see at first glance, i.e. the body and paintwork. A thin layer of varnish, in some cases even below 100 microns, is also delicate and not very resistant to stone impact.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that there are numerous visible chips in the front of the car. The spatter quickly exposes the sheet metal and corrosion occurs at these points. Corrosion also appears on the tailgate and on the front seat mountings.
The interior is exemplary, and although the materials do not seem particularly pleasant, they pay off with a long-lasting, fresh look.
Occasionally there is a problem with the control of the ventilation system, but the air conditioning is very durable and, interestingly, despite the completely different interior, its panel is interchangeable with the sedan version.
It is also worth noting that only manual air conditioning was offered in the Honda Civic. All electrics, like in Honda, do not cause problems. It is difficult to find a copy in which any piece of equipment is not working properly.
Anyone who is concerned about the complicated construction of the chassis with a multi-link structure does not have to worry about it if they buy a Honda Civic.
The solution used by the Japanese is durable, and only the rubbers and the upper control arm, which are easy to get in stores with spare parts, wear out.
At the front there is a simple triangle arm with a pin attached to the steering knuckle. Replacing the pin is of course not a problem, but it takes some time and the labor can be more expensive than with a wishbone with a pin.
Due to the design of the rear axle, replacing the shock absorbers will also take the mechanic more time than in systems with a beam. At the front, other shock absorbers are used for the right and left sides, which should be borne in mind when ordering.
The problem with the chassis of the Honda Civic VII is the steering gear that wears out quickly and it catches the play. If it is small, you should take care of it and delete it immediately.
With a bigger one, the transmission needs to be replaced. On petrol versions, the electric assist motor and transmission can be replaced separately. In diesels, the power steering is hydraulic.
Another problem, partly related to the chassis, is vibrations during braking. If the brake discs are new and of a decent quality, the reason should be looked for in the suspension, but most often the culprit is a worn steering gear that generates vibration when braking.
It is commonly believed, not only among users, but also among mechanics, that the 1.7-liter Isuzu diesel engine also used in Opel is a failed design. What is the truth?
At the beginning it should be mentioned that the engine that appeared in 2002 in Honda already has Common Rail injection and does not have much in common with the older generations that had problems with the injection system. It is actually a simple and successful engine with one camshaft driven by a belt, which is worth replacing before 100k mileage. km.
The valves have a plate adjustment and if you take care of all service activities along with regular oil change to synthetic 5W30, it is difficult to talk about any typical ailments. The engine is not compatible with a particulate filter and a dual mass flywheel. Therefore, it is not only a durable, but also cheap engine in operation.
Problems with gearbox failures, which are often mentioned in the Honda Civic VII topic, apply only to petrol versions.
Operating costs Of Honda Civic MK7 1.7 CTDi
The maintenance costs of a Honda Civic with diesel are to be considered low. The engine consumes no more than 6.5 liters of diesel per 100 km and is relatively durable.
The highest service costs relate to the suspension and braking system, for which it is best to choose high-end spare parts. High reliability plays to the advantage of the user, but often the result is that users neglect the usual maintenance activities.
The Honda Civic VII is no longer a model that is as popular with car thieves as the younger generations.
Honda Civic MK7 1.7 CTDi Parts prices and availability
There is no problem with both. Virtually all consumables are available in replacement stores and wholesalers, and the selection is wide. It is only worth remembering that in order to maintain the high reliability of the car, you should buy brand-name and good-quality replacements.
Items that are not available in the store are easiest to get from numerous used parts dealers – here the market is very well stocked and in this respect the Civic beats even such popular cars as the Volkswagen Golf. People selling used parts may surprise you with a very good understanding of the design of each version of the Civic.
Is it worth it to Buy Honda Civic MK7 1.7 CTDi?
The question about the sense of buying a Honda Civic is a bit awkward, because there is no such generation that would be unworthy of recommendation. However, the question remains about the sense of buying a Honda diesel. Here, of course, you have to be pragmatic.
If you are looking for a cheap car with a 5-door body, spacious interior and just such an engine, the Honda Civic 1.7 CTDi is a good choice.
However, if you are a young person who appreciates the performance and climate of the Civic, it will be better to buy a version with a 1.6 or 2.0 l engine. The operating costs of such cars can be easily reduced by installing a good quality gas installation.