The Honda Civic sedan line-up has a sharp new entry price point of $18,490, following an announcement from the brand that it has updated the range with a budget-friendly base model.
Honda's new pricing strategy sees the Civic sedan undercut the list price of key rivals such as the Holden Cruze ($19,490), Kia Cerato ($19,990), Nissan Pulsar ($19,990), Ford Focus ($20,290), Mitsubishi Lancer ($20,390), Mazda 3 ($20,490) Toyota Corolla ($20,740) and Hyundai Elantra ($20,990).
The newly added Honda Civic sedan Vi model kicks off the refreshed range priced $1000 lower than the previous start point for the VTi. The Vi is powered by the same 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine and is mated exclusively to a five-speed manual transmission. It retains the same interior treatment of the existing model, while the remainder of the range moves to a new Display Audio media system with a standard reverse-view camera.
Vi versions have 15-inch steel wheels, a temporary spare tyre, daytime running lights, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB input, cruise control, manual air-conditioning, four-speaker stereo with steering wheel audio controls, and six airbags.
The VTi sees the adoption of 15-inch alloy wheels. The manual option for the VTi has been deleted, and its price has jumped by $200 to $21,990.
The newly added VTi-S gains 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome door handles and smart key entry and push-button start. This model is priced where the existing VTi-L sat, at $23,290.
The VTi-L jumps $3000 to $26,290 (where the previous VTi-L with navigation was positioned), but adds leather-trimmed seats, rear parking sensors, electronically retractable side mirrors and new-look 16-inch alloy wheels.
The Sport flagship version retains its larger 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with 114kW/190Nm (1.8-litre versions have 104kW/174Nm), and now includes a power-adjustable driver's seat (eight-way) and new-look 17-inch alloys. There has been no change to its price.
All models see minor styling tweaks at the front, with a new chrome grille fitted. Two new colours are available - Modern Steel and Golden Brown - and metallic paint for all models adds $575.
The Honda Civic Hybrid sedan has been retained, but has not been updated at this point in time.
The price restructure should help give Honda a much needed boost for its Civic range in terms of sales. So far in 2014, sales of the Civic sedan and hatch have dropped by more than 45 per cent, with just 4666 vehicles sold - well behind class-leaders such as the Corolla (22,166 sales YTD) and Mazda 3 (22,524 YTD).
Honda Civic sedan pricing (plus on-road costs):
Vi manual - $18,490
VTi auto - $21,990
VTi-S auto - $23,290
VTI-L auto - $26,290
Sport auto - $30,290