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Exclusive: Honda Australia pensions off Civic diesel

Manual laboured: Honda’s inability to source an auto transmission meant the diesel Civic was always going to struggle in Australia.

Manual-only orphan banished from Australia as Honda downsizes Civic hatch fleet

8 May 2015

HONDA Australia has cut the diesel-powered DTi-S Civic hatch from its local line-up, exactly two years after it went on sale.

A source close to Honda confirmed to GoAuto that the model would be discontinued. Honda Australia declined to offer an official comment.

The variant was not listed in a recent release outlining updates to Honda Australia’s petrol-powered Civic range, prompting speculation that the oiler’s time was up.

Sales for the diesel have run at just three per cent of total Civic sales since its launch, a number predicated by the fact that the $27,990 (before on-road costs) hatch has only ever been available with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Based on the VTi-S’s spec levels, the DTi-S was the first diesel-engined Honda to be sold in Australia. Powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, the British-built oiler is good for 88kW and a healthy 300Nm of torque.

It’s this high torque figure, though, that meant the diesel Civic had to wait until a suitable transmission was launched before it could be sold as a two-pedal option. Unfortunately, the company’s latest eight-speed dual-clutch transmission has an operational upper torque limit of 270Nm.

Its relatively new continuously variable transmission (CVT) can’t handle that amount of torque, either.

The entire Civic line-up has been languishing in the sales race for some months now, recording just 218 sales for April 2015 67 per cent down month-on-month from 2014, and 271 down on its March figure.

Civics accounted for just 1447 sales for the first four months of the year, more than 50 per cent down from 2014.

Its new HR-V compact crossover, however, is notching up healthy sales, selling 2981 units in the first four months of 2015, despite only being on sale since February.

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