Why does Honda make such terrible cars

Save fuel, drive slowly, small engines. That sounds a bit like self-chosen poverty. And who wants that, when we are all gnawing so terribly on hunger cloth at the moment anyway? Just. Nobody.

Overly spiritualized gasoline-saving concepts (electric, hybrid, hydrogen, lightweight construction) have so far not had a chance in Germany. On the whole, we only move towards increased economic efficiency when it comes to mobility if, in return, we can expect some quality of life in the form of added value. This is the main reason why high-torque diesel engines have the engine hood in the car classes close to the citizenry - both at the petrol pump and in the left lane of the autobahn.

Modernity through efficiency

Against this background, the new Honda Civic IMA can also be seen as a niche product. Hybrid drive? Electric motor? And where is the turbocharger? We hear the mean lead-footed Indian ask.

Well, in fact, this is really not about supremacy at the end of the acceleration lane. The IMA is primarily intended to appeal to savings artists who elevate the light-footed tip dance on the accelerator pedal to an art. Technology enthusiasts, for whom modernity is not reflected in performance, but in efficiency.

This has nothing to do with tight-lipped ecological righteousness, but can also be viewed as a variant of automotive enjoyment. Fuel efficiency as an intellectual challenge. On average only 4.9 liters of premium gasoline consumption. And in the back seat you have a good environmental conscience.

Smart and suitable for everyday use

The main plus point of the new Civic IMA, however, is that its petrol-saving technology does not always crack the silliest jokes at the wrong moment as in the Toyota Prius or VW Lupo 3L as a technological fool's cap, but is so smart, smooth and suitable for everyday use that it does can almost get boring.

So far, hardcore savers have always liked to make a monkey of themselves - turn off the engine downhill and zoom downhill with the mirrors on, pinched stinging to push the cut as far as possible, a lot of money for little equipment, but a magnesium Tailgate.

All of this falls by the wayside in the Civic IMA. The car feels completely normal when driving and looks like a conventional Civic with a notchback body. If the charge / discharge indicator in the cockpit wasn't flickering, you could almost assume you're sitting in a standard Civic 1.6.

That's how it's done

And that's the trick. The IMA doesn't have that much displacement at all. The Spar-Civic gets 83 hp from a meager 1.3 liters, the noticeable difference in performance is fed from a maximum of nine hp electric motor.

It sits directly on the crankshaft, conveniently also serves as a starter motor, and as soon as the ├ľko-Civic is in push mode - i.e. when taking off the gas - the electric motor even believes it is a bicycle dynamo.

Instead of illuminating a lamp, the dynamo simply charges the batteries housed in the backrests of the rear bench. When you press the gas pedal, the electric motor switches from eco to Rambo again at lightning speed, and it supports the small combustion engine as much as it can.

Lustful stinginess

This constant give and take goes largely unnoticed by the driver, the Civic swims with you in traffic without hesitation or shortness of breath and can even be moved very tightly if necessary. But then the swelling discharge indicator reminds you to be frugal: Listen, say the flickering light bars, you are driving around here quite disturbed. Couldn't that be a little more intelligent?

This strict traffic education becomes part of the flesh and blood after a short time. After all, the combustion engine switches itself off at every stop at traffic lights and starts up again in a fraction of a second with the clutch that is engaged when it is green. With so much frugality, you don't want to be seen as the faulty human factor.

This quiet driving pleasure is not even exorbitantly expensive: for 21,900 euros there is a fully equipped car that combines uncompromising suitability for everyday use and lustful greed. A lot of fun and highly recommended.