The Honda Civic sedan is going great guns. The car has just managed to stay ahead of competition for the third month in a row, beating the likes of the Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla Altis and the Skoda Octavia in terms of monthly sales. Honda Cars India sold 368 units of the Civic in May 2019. In the same month, the Toyota Corolla Altis sold 134 units while the Hyundai Elantra and Skoda Octavia managed 234 units and 105 units respectively. The Skoda Octavia has put up the strongest show in response to the Honda Civic while the Toyota Corolla Altis and the Hyundai Elantra are fast becoming slow sellers in the D-Segment sedan space, which has been contracting over the years thanks to compact SUVs and C-Segment SUVs making deep inroads.
In fact, most car buyers in India looking to spend Rs. 20 lakhs on a car now overwhelmingly prefer a SUV that has enough ground clearance to take on what Indian roads can throw at them rather than a low slung sedan. While this hasn’t stopped automakers like Honda, Toyota, Skoda and Hyundai from persisting with D-Segment sedans, the segment is clearly losing the battle with similarly priced SUVs. Coming back to the Honda Civic, the car was launched in India a couple of months ago. Launched with petrol and turbocharged diesel engines for the first time in India, the Honda Civic sports a premium price tag. Prices of the Civic start from Rs. 17.72 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi, making it a lot more pricier than the likes of the Skoda Octavia, Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla Altis.
Yet, the sheer novelty factor of the Civic, along with the badge value of Honda has made the sedan a top seller in its segment. Sales are likely to taper off in the coming months though, and the evidence of this is the Rs. 25,000 exchange bonus Honda dealers are already offering on the car. In the coming months, Civic sales are likely to settle between 100-200 monthly units. Notably, Honda was spotted testing the Civic Si 3 door coupe at its factory in Greater Noida. The Civic Si coupe, which features a 205 Bhp, 2 liter turbocharged petrol engine can be a great alternative to the Skoda Octavia vRS. However, it remains to be seen if it’s launched in the price conscious Indian market, which doesn’t really favour high performance, sporty cars in the sub-Rs. 30 lakh segments. The current Honda Civic is offered with a 1.8 liter petrol engine with 138 Bhp on tap and a CVT automatic gearbox option, and a 1.6 liter turbocharged diesel engine that makes 118 Bhp-300 Nm, and that’s paired with a 6 speed manual gearbox. In terms of outright pep, the Civic is behind the second best seller – the Skoda Octavia.