Thursday, 31 January 2008


Notwithstanding its ‘Wrong Wheel Drive”; layout, the SS7 family car dilemma has finally been resolved in the form of a new Honda Civic 2.2 cdti. The Civic is a small-medium 5-door hatch-back, but appears to be big enough for family duties.

I was intrigued, therefore, to compared its dimension with those of a 1967 Ford Cortina 1.6 Delux - as it happens the first new family car my father owned. I was 6, my brother 4, and as a family we toured the length and breadth of the Malay peninsular in it for nearly 5 years.

Cortina: Length: 4267mm, Width: 1648mm
Civic: Length: 4245mm, Width: 1765mm

Or in old money, the modern hatchback is an insignificant 7/8 inch shorter, but 4 ¾ inches wider than the 60’s family car.

So perhaps the Civic’s front-wheel drive architecture gives it a longer wheelbase?

Honda Wheelbase: 2330mm
Ford Wheelbase: 2489mm

Hmm, interesting, contrary to expectation, the Ford has a longer wheelbase. My guess is that the lack of fwd and crash zones means Ford could stick the front wheels right in the corners.

But Honda must have found some more interior room, inspite of the lack of room between the wheels?

The site: quotes something called ‘Passenger space’ for both.

The Cortina is given as 4,280litres, but the Civic is 5,260l, or an additional 23%. It explains the room in the modern car….

But in many ways, most revealing is the weight figures:

Ford Weight: 857kgs
Honda Weight: 1400kgs

Now the Ford figure is probably dry and sans everything, and the Honda will be a DIN number (plus ½ tank fuel, 80kg driver), but you really have to wonder what they built those things of, Walkers crisp packets?


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