A test mule of the hotly anticipated Honda Civic sedan has been spied testing in India. And the car has been caught on video. The all-new Honda Civic – the 10th generation model – will be launched in India early next year. It will be assembled by Honda through the completely knocked down (CKD) kit route. Meanwhile, here is the video showing an on-test Honda Civic.
The 10th generation Civic will come with a localization of nearly 70 %, which should allow Honda to price the D-Segment sedan very competitively. However, don’t expect Honda to undercut rivals such as Toyota and Hyundai. The Japanese automaker is likely to go with a premium pricing strategy for the new Civic. The car will be meant for existing owners of the Honda City interested in upgrading to a larger car but staying in the Honda fold.
Notably, this is the reason why Honda is bringing back the Civic at this juncture. The current Honda City, which was launched in 2014, will turn 5 years old in 2019. Many Honda city owners would be ready to upgrade to a larger car, which is what the Civic represents. Like the City, the 10th generation Civic will be feature-rich. The car also gets a refreshed design thanks to a recent facelift.
As for mechanicals, the 1.8 liter i-VTEC petrol engine, a familiar sight across generations of the Civic, will be offered on the new car as well. This motor makes about 140 Bhp-174 Nm, and Honda is likely to go with an automatic-only option on the petrol powered Civic. The gearbox in question is a CVT automatic unit with 7 stepped shifts, similar to the one offered on the City.
The major mechanical change on the new Honda Civic is the addition of a diesel engine. The engine in question is the same unit that the new CR-V features. On the Civic though, the 1.6 liter i-DTEC motor will be detuned to make 120 Bhp-300 Nm, which is much lower than the CR-V’s 158 Bhp-350 Nm outputs. The turbo petrol engine, much popular abroad, will not come to India either – as far as we know.
A 6 speed manual gearbox will be standard with this motor, and Honda is expected to skip the 9 speed automatic gearbox on the diesel Civic. The Honda Civic will go up against the Toyota Corolla Altis, the Hyundai Elantra and the Skoda Octavia.
As for pricing, we expect the new Honda Civic to start from about Rs. 16-17 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi. The D-Segment sedan space narrowed considerably when the Mahindra XUV500 was launched, and small SUVs like the Renault Duster eroded it further. Among the many D-segment sedans, only the Toyota Corolla (that too with a diesel option) managed to sell in some respectable numbers through the last years. The Honda Civic has a lot of fans, and the last generation Civic is still a hot favourite with car enthusiasts and modders who tweak their cars’ aesthetically as well as performance-wise. But is all that out of a love for the old Civic – which can be bought in the used car market today, with just a couple of lakh rupees? Would they plonk down Rs 16 lakh-plus for a new sedan, however smart it is? And is Honda looking at limited numbers only, and not a big impact? Only time will tell. The pricing of the recently launched Honda CR-V, so close to that of the market leader Toyota Fortuner, does not inspire too much confidence in us.