It’s finally happened – I have at last changed my faithful petrol engined Lexus IS200 to a diesel Honda Civic.
And it sounds like a tractor.
I’ve had the Lexus for 4 years now and it has been a genuinely great car – never missed a beat in 60k miles, looks the biz:
It also drives like a dream. Six speed gearbox on a straight six cylinder engine, rear wheel drive, and all the gadgets in the cabin. Here’s another view after a bit of photoshopping (hey, I’ve got to bring photography in here somewhere!).
So why get rid? It comes down to running costs. The IS200 is not exactly known for it’s frugal use of petrol – you do well to get 30mpg out of it. I’m doing 90 miles per day with about 2/3 of those being on the motorway. It was also knocking on a bit, and would probably start to need things like new tires, exhaust, and more frequent service intervals.
So, I’ve been sensible and switched to a diesel. In choosing the new Honda Civic ES 2.2 CTDi I went for practicality in a Battlestar Galactica wrapper. All it’s missing now is Number Six draped over the bonnet…
Only had it a couple of days, but I’m averaging 50mpg to and from work.
Truth be told, it is not as nice to drive as the Lexus. The seating position is hard to get used to – or maybe it’s just my dodgy leg. But the damn thing flies when you stick your foot down – it’s actually quicker than the Lexus. It also looks great, and has a good equipment level. If I could just transplant my Lexus seat and the six CD autochanger to this car…
But changing cars is always an excuse to get the camera out – firstly to take snaps of the old one, and secondly to record what the new car looks like when it is clean. Most of the pictures here are straight snaps, and not very interesting. The two exceptions are the black & white background image of the Lexus, and the background-blurred Civic.
The first of these was done by simply masking out the car in Photoshop Elements, taking care to keep the straight-through windows unmasked. And then a saturation adjustment layer took the colour out of the unmasked area. It’s not brilliant – I was just playing with technique rather than spending time getting the mask pixel-perfect.
The blur on the Civic is a simple trick. First separate the car into a new layer. Then apply a radius-blur filter to the background, and then blend in the car again. I’ve probably not softened the mask enough on the roof, and so that looks a bit poor. Originally I had a crystaline pattern to break up the number plate, but this looked very odd with the blur and so I replaced it with a low noise fill. Still could do with some work on that area though.
The image showing the rear view of the Civic has suffered aliasing problems on scaling the picture for the web. It’s not a very well balanced picture either in terms of both composition and light levels.