The car finally got cleared by customs and i picked it up last Thursday evening. I had to wait 2 hrs for the car to appear out from the customs gate, and it was also rather disheartening to see the Sri Lankan buyer being so traditional with the bulk of the cars coming out being Toyota’s (Vitz, Belta, Axio, Allion and Premio and a lone Camry). The only non-Toyota cars were a single nissan Qualis and two Honda’s, one an Airwave, and my Honda Stream.
The vehicle thus stood out in size and appearance and many a puzzled look wondering what this rather weird vehicle was! as it was not a traditional wagon in appearance, and neither was it a SUV considering its low ground clearance.
Have yet to get any significant miles under its wheels, and the first local service to change the engine oil awaits. The vehicle has been serviced with Honda Ultra Oil 0W-20. However this oil is thin for local conditions, and will need to use a 10-30/40 when servicing.
The quality of the interior is very good, and very practical and simple as Honda goes. The RSZ wheel being a key attraction. The seats are comfortable but still not great compared to one of the older cars i had before (the subaru legacy), though definitely better in comfort and support to the seats in my Honda Fit GD1. The seats in some ways were similar to the Honda Accord CF4 i owned prior to the GD1 Fit.
The engine seems a bit short on power at low RPM’s, i am not sure if its due to the change in conditions, or if the air filter is not clean. Need to check this during the service. However once you hit higher RPMs you hear the VTEC and the thrust though not anything wild to make your passenger hold on to their seats!
The ride is decent and very similar to the ES3 Civic RS i owned before, and not as capable of handling the bouncy and rutty roads in Sri Lanka. The RSZ maybe coming with a more sport suspension setup than the standard 1.8X, and the larger 17″ wheels with low profile tires also maybe a reason. I also found that the air pressure was 36, while we commonly use 28-30 due to the local road conditions. However i need to work the best air pressure that balances comfort with economy and handling as i go along.
The space is pretty decent that 7 could seat in relative comfort, and you could in theory have 3 seated in the rearmost seat if they were kids. However the car seat i have for my small chap is from the US and seems its made for the large SUV type cars which are wider than the standard 1695mm width set by Japanese standards for most of the cars. So sitting 2 adults with the car seat seems not a possibility, and for this you need to go higher to the CRV which has a wider interior. Legroom for the rear passengers is good, and some commented that the rear seats were more comfortable than the front, which is a very unusual situation indeed!
The car is yet to get used to local conditions, but with octane 95 fuel, the car is returning arond 8.5-9kmpl in the city under varying driving conditions, as i try to get myself familiar with the engine and car with my driving style.