In an unprecedented move, Honda Australia has launched the Honda Civic sedan Series II just four months after the original ‘Series I’ model hit local showrooms.
The Series II update is the result of a shift in the Civic sedan’s production source from Suzuka, Japan back to Ayutthaya, Thailand. Honda Australia temporarily switched its Civic sedan production source from Thailand to Japan in February as a countermeasure to cover for restricted supply from Thailand following last year’s floods.
The Civic sedan Series II update introduces two new variants to the line-up – including a new base model with a lower starting price – and added tech for the high-end models.
The new entry-level Honda Civic VTi Series II essentially fills the role of the VTi-L from the Series I line-up. It is the only model to come standard with a five-speed manual transmission ($20,490) and offer the option of a five-speed automatic transmission ($22,790).
Both VTi Series II models are $500 cheaper than the comparative VTi-L Series I models, although the VTi misses out on a number of features previously standard on the old VTi-L. The VTi Series II gets 15-inch steel wheels in place of 16-inch alloys, manual air conditioning instead of climate control, a urethane steering wheel in place of a leather-wrapped wheel, and conventional side indicators rather than mirror-mounted fixtures.
The VTi-L Series II is priced $1200 above the VTi at $23,990 and adds auto-on headlights, climate control and 16-inch alloy wheels.
The second new variant – the $26,990 VTi-LN – adds front fog lights, chrome door handles, rain-sensing wipers, smart keyless entry with push-button start, satellite navigation with SUNA live traffic updates, DVD player and a reversing camera.
The VTi, VTi-L and VTi-LN carry over the 104kW/174Nm 1.8-litre petrol engine from the old base model.
The $30,990 Civic Sport sedan Series II is $3000 more expensive than before, although it also now benefits from push-button start, sat-nav, DVD player and reversing camera, as well as a new black tone for the leather upholstery. Over the VTi-LN, it also adds 17-inch alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, sunroof, side mirror-mounted indicators, as well as the more powerful 114kW/190Nm 2.0-litre engine with paddle shifters for the auto transmission.
Honda Australia says the decision to adopt the ‘Series II’ name rather than announce the revisions as a running update to the Civic was made to ensure there was a clear differentiation on the showroom floor between the vehicles and to acknowledge the changes to the number of variants and their specification levels.
There are no changes to the Honda Civic Hybrid, as it will continue to be sourced from Japan as always.
Honda launched the UK-sourced Honda Civic hatch in Australia last week.
2012 Honda Civic Sedan Series II manufacturer’s list prices: