2019 Honda Civic sedan will consolidate the Japanese company’s premium portfolio in India and is likely to capitalise on the already popular nameplate
Honda was mulling over launching the Civic sedan in the domestic market for quite a while after studying its market feasibility and understanding customers’ desire. The company has been hit vehemently with the unavailability of high-end premium products ever since the phasing out of Civic and consequently plans are on full-swing to bring back the Civic early next year.
In recent years, Honda was focussing on the volume segments and endured modest success with the entry-level Brio hatchback and BR-V besides new Amaze, City and WR-V helping in getting good volumes. While Amaze and City are two leading vehicles for the brand in sales, the brand has shifted its focus towards premium products again as part of expansion.
The Civic, currently in the discontinued phase, was a popular model in the executive class and its re-appearance will fill the gap that has existed for several years. Honda believes that the customers who are seeking upgrade from the City sedan will have the Civic as a logical transition and it would help focus on high-end of the scale instead of unsuccessful mass market exercises.
So, why would Honda pull the plug on a popular model like Civic in India? Here is a little history lesson:
Honda decided to withdraw the eight-generation Civic executive sedan from India in August 2012. The discontinued model was first introduced in 2006 and soldiered on till 2013. During its reign, it was considered by many as the best sporty sedan in the country and a dream for aftermarket tuning and customisation. In its peak, the Civic used to garner 2,500 unit sales monthly.
Brought into the country as CKD kits and assembled locally, Honda discontinued the Civic due to the following reasons: 1. Non-availability of diesel powerplant when the industry shifted towards more diesel models 2. The succeeding generation Civic launched globally in 2011 received underwhelming response.
The Japanese automaker did add a 1.6-litre diesel motor to the Civic’s engine line-up and made it available to European countries but it was deemed to be incompatible for our domestic market. Back in the day, the Civic executive model’s image as a stylish and aggressive sedan didn’t fade away through its lifespan as it was leagues ahead of the competition in terms of the wider appearance, Corvette-ish rear, sportscar-like windshield and sloping coupe-like roofline.
Despite the unrelenting popularity, the lack of diesel engine and model upgrade and towering Yen against Indian rupees took the toll on the existence of Civic. From its sales surging over 2,500 units a month in 2007, the numbers met a drastic depletion and were down to below 200 units by the time it was stopped from rolling out of the assembly lines. With a brand new version arriving soon, here is everything you need to know about it:
2019 Honda Civic Exterior Design
The tenth-generation Civic waiting to be launched in India made its world debut last year and unlike its predecessor Honda went to the drawing board to bring up an all-new car. It’s sleeker and bolder in appeal whilst being wider, more spacious and lower than the ninth-gen model with 25% increased torsional rigidity.
2019 Honda Civic Engine, Specifications and Mileage
|Engine||1.8-litre petrol / 1.6-litre diesel|
|Power||140 hp / 120 hp|
|Torque||around 290 Nm / 300 Nm|
|Transmission||six-speed manual / automatic|
As for the powertrain, we might get 1.8-litre petrol making 140 hp and 1.6-litre diesel while the brand new 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol producing 170 hp could be deemed very expensive. To keep the selling costs competitive, the new 1.6-litre Earth Dreams i-DTEC diesel debuting in the CR-V could be plonked on to the Civic with local manufacturing.
The Euro 6 compliant engine is expected to develop 120 hp and 300 Nm as in the upcoming CR-V but expect Honda to bank heavily on the petrol engine as well. In US, it’s offered with a 1.5-liter direct-injected and turbocharged 16V, inline, four-cylinder engine mated to a CVT producing 173 hp. The 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, i-VTEC on the base variants develop 158 hp and comes coupled with a six-speed manual or CVT.
2019 Honda Civic Interior and Features
On the inside, it features seven-inch high-def Display Audio touchscreen for Honda’s Android-based infotainment system that with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functions. Amidst market shifting towards SUVs and crossovers, Honda seems to have spotted underlying potential in the executive sedan class.
2019 Honda Civic Price
|2019 Honda Civic India Price||Rs. 18-20 lakh|
It is likely to be priced in the vicinity of Rs. 18 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh to compete against main rivals like Hyundai Elantra and Toyota and could meet locally production lines to keep the costs down.
2019 Honda Civic Key Rivals
The all-new Honda Civic is expected to be priced competitively against rivals such as Toyota Corolla, Skoda Superb and Hyundai Elantra. It made its local debut already at the 2018 Auto Expo in February.
2019 Honda Civic India Launch
|New Honda Civic India Launch||February 2019|
It is confirmed to arrive during FY2018-19 and we are more likely to see it after the entry of the new-gen CR-V which will share some mechanical underpinnings with the big sedan. It is one of the top-selling products for the Japanese company worldwide as over 24 million units are sold thus far in around 170 countries.
Is it the right time for Honda to step up and stop being conservative for the Indian market? Will the resurgence of an evocative name like Civic put them back in the fray? Have your say below!