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It’s closer than you think.
Honda’s redesigned and more elegant, 11th-generation Civic will debut by December with higher prices, increased equipment, better safety and more power, as it takes the fight up to the more-premium grade versions of the popular Mazda3, Volkswagen Golf and Hyundai i30.
Expected to start from above $35,000 drive-away depending on specifications, the FL-series newcomer will most probably skip the base VTi and VTi-S grades, and instead align with the mid-range VTi-L of the outgoing model, which is currently listed at $34,990 drive-away.
To that end, the old 104kW 1.8-litre single overhead-cam four-cylinder petrol will finally be dropped, leaving a 131kW version of the much more modern 1.5-litre twin-cam four-cylinder turbo unit driving the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT) as per the existing version as the mainstay powertrain.
As mentioned when the 2022 model broke cover internationally back in June, we will see a return of hybrid power to the Civic for the first time since 2014, in the form of the innovative new e:HEV variant, which combines a petrol engine with an electric motor to take on the likes of the Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Niro.
A fire-breathing Type R is also slated to slay another day, though when that hyper-hot hatch arrives in Australia from Japan is still anybody’s guess at this stage. All that's really been confirmed about the 2023 Civic Type R is that it will continue to offer a manual transmission.
However, the four-door sedan will be absent from Australian Honda showrooms altogether – at least for the foreseeable future – for the first time since the second-generation Civic was discontinued in late 1983, leaving the five-door as the sole series representative.
The hatch will also be made in Japan rather than Thailand (or the UK if we’re talking about the high-performance flagship Type R or ninth-generation and 10th-generation five-door versions) for the first time since 2005, again breaking away from recent Civic tradition.
Dimensionally-speaking, the latest Civic hatch changes slightly in proportion compared to its fussily styled, 2016-era predecessor, with length, width, height and wheelbase measuring in at 4560mm (+45mm), 1802mm (+3mm), 1415mm (-6mm) and 2735mm (+35mm).
In keeping with its loftier positioning, most 2022 Civic grades are expected to be fitted with equipment levels in line with the higher pricing and positioning.
Expect to see either a 7.0- or 9.0-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen multimedia system with wired or wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, 12-speaker Bose system, a 7.0-inch multifunction display or a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, Honda’s full Sensing suite of driver-assist safety systems that will include autonomous emergency braking (with pedestrian and cyclist detection), lane-keep and steering assist, adaptive cruise control (with full stop/go functionality), traffic sign recognition, high-beam assist, blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert, as well as 18-inch alloy wheels shod with 235/40R18 tyres.
Other information about the 2022 Civic range will be revealed as we approach the car's fourth-quarter launch, so watch this space.