Using Shed Civic after prolonged exposure to modern cars came as something of a shock. Initially it was the sogginess of it, the basicness of the interior and the wonderful airiness afforded by so much glass (that's a blog subject for another day though).
But then it became all too apparent how much effort was required to get, well, anywhere really. Our Mountuned Fiesta ST has nearly TWICE the torque of the Civic (236lb ft versus 122lb ft) and you soon have to get out of the habit of expecting go in any gear.
And though this is a horribly predictable thing to say, a VTEC is just such an exciting thing to use when you do put the effort in and use a lower gear. As the turbocharged Fiesta begins to tighten at around 6,000rpm, the Civic is about to reward for keeping your foot down.
Of course there are compromises, I know. It's not particularly efficient, the torque deficit makes just pootling along too hard and the silly gear ratios means your ricer side can't be indulged too often. Having said that, in a world of small turbos, a high-revving atmospheric engine that needs commitment is something different and another challenge. Variety is the spice of life, right?
I'm confident the next wave of fast Hondas will be exceptionally good cars, but some of the appeal will be lost as legislation forces the introduction of turbos. However if torque's not cheap, then revs are; early EP3 Civic Type Rs are now under £3K. Yo.