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Honda takes Civic upmarket

Small wonder: The latest Civic has generated a lot of interest from Honda fans, with more than 4000 people expressing interest in the new model already.

Tenth-generation Honda Civic moves away from the $19,990 small-car brigade

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Honda logo19 Apr 2016

By TIM NICHOLSON

HONDA Australia has announced that its critical tenth-generation Civic sedan will kick off from $22,390 plus on-road costs when it rolls into showrooms in June.

The starting price is nearly $4000 more than the entry point of the outgoing Civic sedan that starts from $18,490 for the base manual Vi, but there is no such variant in the new line-up.

Honda is saving specification and equipment details for the media launch in May, but it has revealed the Civic sedan will be offered in five variants, starting with the $22,390 VTi.

Next up is the VTi-S from $24,490, followed by the VTi-L at $27,790 and then there is the $31,790 RS that acts as the mildly sporty variant, with the range topping out at $33,590 for the VTi-LX – a new variant for the range.

Honda has opted not to offer a manual gearbox for the Civic sedan, with the new Earth Dreams continuously variable transmission (CVT) the only option.

The pricing pushes the Civic further away from the circa-$19,990 brigade – the Holden Cruze, Kia Cerato, Hyundai i30, Nissan Pulsar, Toyota Corolla and Mitsubishi Lancer – towards the upper end of the sub-$40,000 small-car segment alongside the likes of the Ford Focus (from $23,390), the Subaru Impreza (from $22,990), Renault's soon-to-be-replaced Megane (from $22,000) and Volkswagen's Golf (from $22,490).

Honda Australia director Stephen Collins hinted at the positioning last month at a media event when he said the Civic was unlikely to play in the lower end of the segment.

“Mazda is a good example where you don’t have to be at $19,990 to sell plenty of cars,” he said in March. “Clearly we need to be competitive and we will be on price. In that $19,990 space our small sedan is the City. That market is quite small.”

Powering the VTi-L, RS and VTi-LX is a new 1.5-litre turbocharged direct injected four-cylinder petrol engine producing 127kW and 220Nm A revised version of Honda’s 104kW/174Nm 1.8-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine will power the VTi and VTi-S.

Mr Collins said that the car-maker has received more than 4000 enquiries about the Civic via the Honda website and added that the new model should continue the momentum built up by the popular HR-V crossover.

“The level of interest in the all-new Civic has been staggering,” he said. “It’s very clear the styling, packaging and dynamics of the Civic resonates with our existing customers but we’re also seeing a lot of interest from prospective customers who want more from their small car purchase.

“The all-new Civic really embodies the Honda spirit and customers will experience new levels of quality, technology, dynamics and performance. We are very confident that Civic will build on the momentum generated by the customer endorsement and popularity of the HR-V.” The sedan will be the first new-gen Civic to arrive in Australia as part of the global launch campaign, followed by the hatch – revealed at last month's Geneva motor show – in early 2017, while the yet-to-be-seen Type-R road rocket will lob in late 2017.

The sedan and hatch will be built alongside each other at Honda's Thailand manufacturing facility, while sourcing for the Type-R is yet to be confirmed.

This marks a change from the outgoing model that is sourced from the United Kingdom in hatch guise, while the sedan is imported from Thailand.

Honda has already announced that the Civic will be offered with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and USB ports.

It will also come with LED headlights on some variants and cargo space of up to 519 litres with the rear seats up.

Eager Honda fans can pre-order their tenth-gen Civic from this week, with cars arriving in dealerships from early June.

2016 Honda Civic pricing*
1.8 VTi (a)$22,390
1.8 VTi-S (a)$24,490
1.5 VTi-L (a)$27,790
1.5 RS (a)$31,790
1.5 VTi-LX (a)$33,590
*Excludes on-road costs

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