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by Tim Beissmann

The new Honda Civic hatch will continue to command a significant price premium over its sedan sibling when it lands in local showrooms next month.

Honda Australia’s Lindsay Smalley told CarAdvice the all-new British-built Civic hatch would start at roughly the same price as the Civic Sport sedan, which costs $27,990 before on-road costs.

That will make it considerably more expensive than the Thailand-sourced entry-level VTi-L sedan, which is priced from $20,990 for the five-speed manual variant and $23,290 for the five-speed automatic.

Smalley said the exact prices for the incoming Civic hatch (which drops the Si suffix) were still to be finalised, but revealed its new pricing and specifications would make it more competitive with other European-made hatchbacks, like the Volkswagen Golf.

The new Civic hatch should be at least $2000 cheaper than the outgoing Civic Si hatch, which is priced from $29,990 for the manual variant.

Honda Australia slashed between $3700 and $4300 off the price of the VTi-L and Sport sedans when it launched the ninth-generation Civic range in February. The price of the Civic Hybrid increased by $1500 to $35,990.

Honda Australia is targeting 500 Civic hatch sales per month, and expects the five-door variant to account for around one-third of its total Civic volume.

The 1.8-litre petrol model will be joined by a highly efficient 88kW/300Nm 1.6-litre diesel-powered hatchback around the middle of 2013.

The all-new hatch, which was first unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show in September, will join Honda Australia’s range in mid-June and will be available in two trim levels.

The entry-level Civic VTi hatch includes features like USB input and iPod connectivity, while the top-spec VTi-L includes Bluetooth audio streaming, leather upholstery and heated front seats.

The Civic hatch is powered by a mildly revised version the old model’s 1.8-litre engine, which it shares with the Civic VTi-L sedan. The hatch is more fuel efficient whether teamed with the six-speed manual transmission (6.1 litres per 100km vs 6.8L/100km) or the five-speed automatic (6.5L/100km vs 6.7L/100km).

Full pricing and specification details will be revealed closer to the local launch of the Honda Civic hatch in June.




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