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Two-model attack for new Honda Civic Hatch

Civic centre: Prices for the new Civic Hatch are expected to start about $2000 lower when it hits the market in June.

Honda’s new-generation Civic Hatch line-up to start cheaper, but still premium

Honda logo8 May 2012

By DAVID HASSALL

HONDA will expand its Civic Hatch line-up to two regular models in Australia when it introduces the new-generation model in mid-June, slightly earlier than expected.

The British-built Civic Hatch will be offered in VTi and VTi-L specifications, replacing the current single-spec Si model and mirroring the smaller and cheaper City sedan line-up.

By contrast, the entry-level VTi designation was dropped from the Civic sedan line-up when it was launched here at the end of February. Instead, the new Japanese-built sedan opens with the VTi-L and gets a new Sport variant.

Although the outgoing Civic five-door carries a premium price of $29,990 plus on-road costs, the new Civic VTi-L sedan is priced from just $20,990.

Honda Australia is again promoting the Euro-chic line for the hatchback, noting it has been “designed to meet European standards”.

A Honda insider has suggested the Hatch range will start at about the same price as the Sport variant in the sedan range – putting the VTi at $27,990.

Both the Civic Hatch VTi and more highly specified VTi-L will be powered by the same 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as before, but – like the sedan – it is officially rated with 1kW more power at 104kW and the same 174Nm of torque.

In 2013, the local Civic Hatch range will be further expanded with the introduction of Honda’s first diesel engine in Australia, almost certainly the all-new 1.6-litre i-DTEC four-cylinder that was presented at the Geneva motor show in March, which produces 88kW of power and 300Nm of torque.

15 center imageHowever, as GoAuto reported in March, the Type R hot hatch has been discontinued and may not be replaced.

The new Civic Hatch made its world debut at last year’s Frankfurt motor show in September and will be built at Honda UK Manufacturing’s modern Swindon plant, where the superseded model was also produced.

Standard equipment on the VTi will include six airbags (front, side and full length curtain), a tyre deflation warning system, a full-colour information display screen (the same i-MID system as in the Civic sedan range, which allows personalised wallpaper), extra storage compartments, USB and iPod connectivity and the addition of telescopic steering wheel adjustment.

The VTi-L will additionally get a reversing camera (displayed in the dash screen), leather upholstery, heated front seats, leather steering wheel covering and “more comfortable stitching”, and Bluetooth audio streaming.

With the inclusion of Honda’s Eco Assist system, which puts the engine and other power-using systems into a more efficient mode when the ‘Econ’ button on the dash is pushed, economy is rated at 6.1L/100km for the standard manual gearbox and 6.5L/100km for the optional auto.

Honda Australia spokesperson Lindsay Smalley said the all-new Civic Hatch has an elegant and seamless design, with improved aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, quality cabin materials, and a luxurious feel.

“The all-new Civic Hatch is a stylish and practical offering in the small segment,” he said. “It embodies style as well as substance.

“Its flowing character lines, improved aerodynamics, dynamic ride and handling along with clever packaging are what our customers can look forward to.”

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