Details of the new additions to Honda Australia’s showroom in 2014.
Honda CR-V diesel (January)
A long-awaited diesel engine option joins the Honda CR-V range in January, as the Japanese brand belatedly attempts to cash in on SUV buyers’ hunger for diesel-powered models. The CR-V diesel is powered by a 110kW/350Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder engine. It will be available with a six-speed manual transmission, which claims combined cycle fuel consumption of 5.8L/100km, and an optional five-speed automatic – Honda’s first diesel auto. The CR-V diesel will be offered exclusively in four-wheel drive in Australia, suggesting a likely starting price of $35,000-$40,000, depending on the specification offered in our market. Diesel-powered CR-Vs will be sourced from the UK, unlike their petrol siblings, which are made in Thailand.
Honda Odyssey (February)
The all-new Honda Odyssey will be available with a first-ever eight-seat option when it arrives in showrooms in February. The eight-seater will be offered alongside the regular seven-seat variant in the fifth-generation Odyssey range, which launched in Japan in October. The new Honda Odyssey will also become the first for our market fitted with sliding rear doors, moving away from the front-hinged layout adopted throughout the nameplate’s previous 20 years. Equipped with a re-engineered 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and an automatic continuously variable transmission, Honda says combined cycle fuel economy will improve more than 14 per cent to 7.6L/100km. At 4830mm long and riding on a 2900mm wheelbase, the Odyssey is also 50mm longer overall and 70mm longer between the wheels than its predecessor. The old car’s low-slung profile makes way for a 135mm-higher roofline (the new model is 1685mm tall), with Honda promising gains in interior space and passenger comfort.
Honda City (Q2)
The fourth-generation Honda City will become the first of a trio of new compact cars from Honda when it lands in local showrooms in the second quarter of 2014. Honda says the new City offers greater interior space and comfort than its predecessor without sacrificing its compact dimensions. Its length (4440mm) and width (1695mm) are identical to before, while its wheelbase grows 50mm to 2600mm. The Japanese car maker says the City will be powered by an updated version of the outgoing model’s 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. The current motor produces 88kW and 145Nm, and consumes from 6.3L/100km on the combined cycle. The new model embraces the company’s ‘Exciting H Design’ exterior styling philosophy, sporting Honda’s signature broad U-shaped chrome grille bar and angular headlights. Expect the City to retain its sub-$17,000 starting price.
Honda Jazz (mid 2014)
The all-new Honda Jazz will boast bold new styling, a fresh interior and improved powertrains when it launches in mid 2014. Honda’s third-generation city car is built on a new, lightweight platform, and promises to build on the spacious interior and innovative packaging of the current model. Powering regular Jazz models will be a 73kW/119Nm 1.3-litre four-cylinder and a 97kW/155Nm 1.5-litre, teamed with either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission. The Jazz Hybrid teams the 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 100kW/170Nm, which is sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (Honda’s first double-clutcher). Honda claims the new hybrid is 35 per cent more fuel efficient than its predecessor, which translates to an approximate combined cycle fuel consumption rating of 2.9L/100km. Expect the new Honda Jazz to retain its circa-$16,000 starting price, and the hybrid to remain in the low-$20,000s.
The Honda Vezel will be the third and final addition to the Japanese manufacturer’s city car line-up for 2014 when it lands in showrooms at the end of the year. Sharing its underpinnings with the City and Jazz, the Vezel will take on the likes of the Ford EcoSport and Holden Trax in the burgeoning subcompact SUV segment. A 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol-engined model has been confirmed for our market, and Honda Australia is still deciding if it will broaden the range with diesel and hybrid alternatives. Honda has released few details of the Vezel at this stage, but promises it will offer “the dynamic qualities of an SUV, the elegance of a coupe and the functionality of a minivan”.