2021 Honda Civic VTi-LX

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HONDA has released its all-new Civic model in Australia as a single-body style, solitary- derivative proposition that is not only more refined and athletic than the equivalent outgoing model –  but also considerably more expensive.

Honda says the move is about offering Australian buyers a more upmarket Civic that will compete with European rivals and that the Japanese brand no longer wishes to be measured by the number of vehicles it sells in our market. Well, considering how poorly the last generation Civic sold compared with its contemporaries, that’s probably a good thing…

But, in its attempt to bring more “joy” to its die-hard private customers, Honda has effectively priced many Civic buyers out of the market. The new Civic VTi-LX five-door hatch now starts from $47,200 drive-away, which is $7600 more than the previous range-topping Civic RS.

The single-spec Civic comes to market at a time that Honda Australia is “repositioning” its business to focus on private and premium small car buyers as part of a broader decision that will see the brand sell just 20,000 vehicles annually moving forward – or around 10,000 units less than the number of sales the Toyota Corolla range usually garners in the space of a year.

The eleventh-generation Civic is powered by an updated version of the 1.5-litre VTEC TURBO four-cylinder petrol engine. The 1.8-litre naturally aspirated four-pot has been discontinued. 

The output figures of the VTEC TURBO engine are rated at 131kW (+4kW) and 240Nm (+20Nm), the figure rising to 134kW on 95 RON premium unleaded fuel. The front wheels are driven via an automatic continuously variable transmission, which Honda says has “redeveloped and improved” for 2022. 

The brand claims the Civic VTi-LX will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 7.5 seconds and the model’s average fuel economy figure is listed at 6.3 litres per 100km (ADR Combined).

The MY22 Civic range will be further bolstered when the e:HEV (petrol-electric) hybrid and sporty Type R arrive in the latter half of next year.

The new Civic places an emphasis on innovation, design leadership and outstanding driving dynamics, Honda says. Its clean modern design is paired with a high-tech, human-centred interior equipped with the latest Honda Sensing active and passive safety systems.

The Japanese-built model rides on 18-inch alloy wheels and Honda supplies a tyre-repair kit in lieu of a spare wheel. As a result, the Civic’s claimed luggage capacity has grown by 45 litres, with an under-floor tray taking the place of the space saver spare wheel. 

The Civic also features a larger cabin than before with “ample head, leg, shoulder, and hip room for all passengers”, Honda says, which is a considerable feat, given the coupe-like styling of the sleek five-door model.

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