Honda’s naturally aspirated 1.8-litre four cylinder engine is likely to stick around for some time as the entry choice for the Civic range as the Japanese brand continues to work on its smaller capacity turbocharged engines.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the launch of the 10th generation Honda Civic yesterday, Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said that while the 1.5-litre turbocharged four cylinder is under consideration to power the entire range (it currently only powers the top three variants), the 1.8-litre is still fit for purpose.
“We are really happy with the proven 1.8L engine in the entry car and the second car,” Collins said.
“It provides really good performance, good fuel economy, it’s incredibly reliable as you’d expect from a Honda. I have to say we are very happy with that but we are equally happy to introduce VTEC turbo to the range, from the mid-spec up, so down the track we would consider it [turbo across the range], but we are really happy with both engines.”
The 1.8-litre engine powers the VTi and VTi-S now coupled with a newly developed continuously variable transmission with a fuel economy rating of 6.4L/100km on 91 RON fuel. Having been introduced in its original form in 2006, the R18Z1 engine has been transitioned from the previous generation to the new car nearly unchanged, helping keep the price of the entry car down.
“At the bottom end of the range, I think people are after value for money, good fuel economy and drivability, and I think that engine does a really good job.”
Honda has also tested its new 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine in the Civic, however its potential for Australia is still to be determined. The chief engineer of the new Honda Civic, Tadashi Inazu, told CarAdvice that it will be up to local market demands if that instead replaces the 1.8-litre.
“We are still continuing to develop the 1L, but whether it comes into the Australian market is up to market demand,” he said.
The 2016 Honda Civic sedan goes on sale in June, with the hatch variant joining early next year. The Type-R hatch will arrive late next year and make use of a 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder engine coupled exclusively to a manual gearbox.