Family size and frugal manners boost Honda's chances of success with its new Civic Tourer wagon. But Australia has shown little interest as the Tourer - a five-seater wagon based on the Civic hatch - aims its credentials at Europe.
The UK-built wagon goes public next month at the Frankfurt motor show and on sale in Europe from early next year. Almost fully reflecting the Tourer concept shown at this year's Detroit motor show in January, the wagon gets Honda's 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine as fitted to the Australian Civic hatch, or a 1.8-litre petrol engine.
It has the same 2595mm wheelbase as the Civic hatch but adds 235mm of rear overhang for extra cargo space - and gets a lower cargo floor than the hatch - down by 137mm - to ease loading and unloading exercises. Honda says the Tourer gets the company's "Magic Seats" design - also used on the Jazz - to claim boot space of 624 litres with the rear seats up, or 1668 litres with the seats folded.
The Tourer also gets ZF Sachs' new electronically adjustable rear dampers that can be switched through three modes: Comfort, Normal and Dynamic. Honda Australia has dismissed the Civic wagon, saying the Australian small car wagon market is small. Six carmakers sell small-car wagons on the Australian market - Hyundai, Holden, Peugeot, Renault, Toyota and Volkswagen.
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