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Car reviews - Honda - Civic - Breeze 3-dr hatch

Used Rivals

9 May 2003

THIS front-wheel drive, 1.5-litre package spanning two generations ('90's X2 and '94's X3) sold hugely, but that doesn't mean it was very good. Durability, reliability and refinement issues tarnished any space, performance and manouevrability advantages. A classic example of getting what you pay for.

A cloned German Opel Corsa, the 1.4-litre front-wheel drive hatch comes in either four-speed auto or five-speed manual versions. Power steering was standard, but then so were patchy quality, recalictrant electrics, soggy dynamics and a slug of a 44kW engine. It still looks great though.

THE basic Lancer coupe is powered by a carburettor-equipped, 1.5-litre engine, driving the front wheels through a three-speed auto or five-speed manual box. Later models featured power steering but not much else. Dynamics, refinement and comfort are average, but it still offers a contemporary small car package.

CONSERVATIVELY styled, the last "full-sized" Charade grew in size, refinement, safety and comfort, but suffered for its dull apprearance. The four-cylinder engine (a zippy 62kW 1.3) is a better bet than the struggling 41kW 1.0-litre three-pot. Equipment levels are sparse, but improved as the decade wore on.

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