Day 1: North Vancouver to Seattle
While I initially cut to the chase with us already on the road on Wednesday evening, let’s roll back the tape a bit and talk about packing. One thing Honda hasn’t changed with their new model is the interior spacing or trunk size.

As father to a five-month old, I can tell you that while babies are small, they come with accessories. Lots of accessories. Thank goodness at least my wife is organized, as our road-trip supplies (stroller, spare clothes, diaper-bag, crib) soon overflowed the Civic’s 353 L trunk and spilled into the back seat.

Road Trip: 2013 Honda Civic, Vancouver to Portland travel car test drives honda
Road Trip: 2013 Honda Civic, Vancouver to Portland travel car test drives honda
2013 Honda Civic Touring. Click image to enlarge

Good thing I spent all those hours as a kid honing my Tetris skills. An annoyance though: Honda still puts only a single-piece folding rear seat in base models – as opposed to 60/40 split available in LX trims and higher. With a child seat in situ, the inability to put the smaller section down to deal with long objects could be a problem.

On Canadian highways, smoothly tarmac’d, the Civic performs admirably. To get to the border, you first have to navigate Vancouver’s busy upper-levels highway, then thread across town through the most densely populated sections of the Lower Mainland. Luckily, we’ve got a late start, and traffic is easing up. Doubly lucky, my wife spent a bit of time doing house calls in this area, and is happy to provide navigational support. Completing the trifecta, the kid’s off to dreamland without a peep.

This is a comfortable car, relaxing, and fairly smooth for a compact. With the Econ button depressed, it’s not in any way quick to react, but ground fog rising up from the Fraser Delta has me watching my speed anyway. Moments from joining Highway 99, the benefits of cruise – and self – control show themselves: we move over to let a tailgating Ford Fusion past, and as it speeds off into the orange fuzz of the sodium-lamp-lit mist, an undercover police car lights up the red-and-blues and nabs him.

We sail on past, smoothly through the Peace Arch border crossing with minimal wait, and into America, land of the mid-sized sedan and super-sized soft drink. After stopping off for a quick and questionable burger, we breeze into Seattle’s outskirts, where we’re staying with friends for the night.




About Brendan McAleer

Brendan McAleer is a Vancouver-based automotive writer, a member of AJAC and a ginger.