Honda will reboot the Civic nameplate in India when it launches its tenth-gen model here by March 2019. While it made its global debut in September 2015 in the USA, Honda has gradually introduced the new Civic in various markets from early 2016.
Now it has been launched in the UK and it’s the first market where the diesel-powered Civic sedan gets a 9-speed automatic transmission. We feel that the India-spec model would be bear some similarities with the UK-spec Civic sedan.
The engine in question is a revised version of Honda’s 1.6-litre i-DTEC, which was first introduced with the last-gen Civic and CR-V in Europe. The Civic will get a 120PS/300Nm version of the diesel engine, which is also offered in a higher 160PS/350Nm tune.
The India-bound fifth-gen CR-V, however, is available with both the tunes overseas. Besides a standard 6-speed manual, the Civic sedan for the first time gets an automatic transmission with a diesel engine in Europe. It is also the first ever front-wheel-drive car to feature a 9-speed automatic unit, claims Honda.
While Honda Cars India has been providing components for the diesel motor to the UK manufacturing facility for a long time, it started local production of the engine last year. The diesel engine will power both the upcoming Honda cars — Civic and CR-V — in India.
Available in two states of tune, the diesel engine can be had with a standard 6-speed manual or a ZF-sourced 9-speed automatic. This is the same transmission that the upcoming Jeep Compass Trailhawk will offer as well.
Since two of the three Civic rivals in India get an automatic transmission option with a diesel engine, we think Honda would introduce the automatic transmission on the India-spec Civic as well. Check out how it will fare against the Skoda Octavia on paper.
Besides the 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel, the UK-spec Civic sedan also features Honda’s 1.0-litre VTEC turbo petrol engine, which is rated at 126PS and 200Nm. The 1.0-litre is unlikely to be offered on the India-spec Civic but chances of the bigger 1.5-litre VTEC turbo are higher.
The Civic will be pitted against sedans such as the Toyota Corolla Altis, Skoda Octavia and the upcoming Hyundai Elantra facelift. It is expected to be priced upwards of Rs 15 lakh mark, like its competitors.