(By Somnath Chatterjee)
Remember the Honda Civic? It was once the darling of the luxury sedan market and hogging the majority of the market share in that niche. When first launched, it swept everyone away with its looks, features and of course its 1.8l petrol engine that set a new standard for midsize luxury sedans at the time. The Civic was much-loved for its looks and sales shot up. However, fuel prices along with the rise of diesel killed the petrol-only Civic. Honda’s strategy at the time of focusing on mass market cars also contributed to the Civic’s demise.
That was many years back. Now the time is ripe for the Civic to make a comeback. The difference between petrol and diesel prices has narrowed down and petrol vehicles are back in the limelight. Honda too has revised its India plans and that explains the new CR-V and now the new Civic.
The Civic will be launched in its new avatar in a few days. You may have seen it at the Auto Expo held last year and it grabbed many eyeballs as one of the stars of the show. The new Civic is bigger and better, while still maintaining its low and sleek stance. It is larger now, but has a near sports sedan look. The long hood, along with the futuristic headlamps with the short coupe like tail, is stunning. It is easily the best looking sedan in its class and a superb modern reinterpretation of the low-slung original Civic.
Inside, it is likely to be loaded to the gills with as much tech as Honda can manage. India is to get a fully loaded trim. Space and comfort is excellent with legroom being the new class standard. Unlike the earlier Civic, the new one will come with both diesel and petrol with the petrol having an automatic option.
Now the segment that the Civic is coming in has shrunk and it seems SUVs are what people want at this price. However, the Civic can change all that. It looks stunning and comes with all the features, along with an expected starting price that would be not too high compared to the top-of-the-line City.
The Civic is waving the sedan flag again. It is indeed back and how!