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Honda tweaks Civic hatch

Revised: The entry-level Honda Civic VTi-S has jumped to $20,650, but at least it now comes with Bluetooth and cruise control – two glaring omissions from the 2012 model.

MY13 upgrade means base Honda Civic hatch finally gets Bluetooth and cruise control

Honda logo31 Jan 2013

HONDA has launched an updated version of its British-sourced Civic hatch in Australia, just seven months after the new-generation model’s debut in June last year.

The company has rectified a pair of glaring omissions, with both Bluetooth phone/audio and cruise control now standard across the range rather than just on the flagship variant.

Base VTi-S variants also pick up the previously unavailable reversing camera as standard.

However, these additions add $1400 to the price of the base VTi-S six-speed manual variant, which now retails for $20,650 plus on-road costs, while the five-speed automatic remains $2300 extra.

VTi-S variants had been priced at $19,250 since last December, but the new price is still lower than the $22,650 charged when the car was launched.

The new $20,650 starting price means the VTi-S remains more affordable than base variants of small-hatch rivals including the Holden Cruze (from $21,490), Hyundai i30 ($20,990) and Volkswagen Golf ($21,990). Other key rivals such as the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 just edge it.

The hatch is also now slightly more expensive than Honda’s own Thai-built Civic VTi sedan, which can is priced from $20,490.

Honda has also lopped $1100 from the auto-only VTi-L variant, which now retails for $25,490, but has replaced the leather seats in the MY12 model with cloth.

The leather has been migrated to the all-new $29,590 VTi-LN variant (also auto-only), which inherits the role of range flagship and adds further specification including satellite navigation with live traffic updates and a DVD player.

There are no mechanical changes, with all variants powered by the same 104kW/174Nm 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.

As reported, Honda will introduce a 88kW/300Nm 1.6-litre diesel option in the second quarter of this year.

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