2007 Honda Civic GX: Easily Upset
January 07, 2010
Our natural gas Civic does not like rough pavement. Last night I was puttering home and rolled up to a stop sign. The pavement leading up to the intersection was riddled with small potholes and choppy asphalt and the Civic did not take kindly to it. Under normal braking, I felt the front wheels wash away as the tires struggled to find grip - almost like I was trying to stop on gravel. It was something I hadn't noticed before, so I began paying closer attention to the car's suspension. Next was a right turn that forked-off of the main boulevard. I knew this turn well, since in my earlier years, I used to use a mid-corner bump to gleefully pitch my old musclecar into a brief little slide. Even at sensible speeds without intentionally trying to upset the Civic, it too stepped out just slightly as it rolled over the bump. I was not impressed.
I checked the tires first. The stock Dunlop SP Sport 5000s looked fine with plenty of tread. I can't imagine the shocks are already worn, since we don't beat on the Civic like a sports car, nor do we load the trunk with heavy cargo (especially since the trunk is tiny). According to our specs, the Civic GX only weighs about 100 pounds more than a gas-powered EX, so I can't write it off to any added natural-gas weight. It's a mystery to me, so I'll let keymaster Schmidt know about it. Maybe it needs a second opinion.
Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor @ 36,922 miles