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Honda still makes interesting cars ... they're just not for Australia

A sportier version of the HR-V is available in Indonesia, and it wears an RS badge!

Honda Australia, once a powerhouse in the local automotive landscape, has stripped back its operations in recent years, reducing sales volume and the number of models it offers to customers.

Just four new models are available to Australian customers at present – the Civic, HR-V, Accord and CR-V – a far cry from just three years ago when the likes of the Jazz, City, Odyssey and NSX were also sold alongside the Honda mainstays.

It could be quite easy to look at the situation and draw the conclusions that Honda is in dire straits, but the fact of the matter is, the Japanese brand is still producing exciting and ground-breaking cars – it’s just stopped offering them in Australia.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at this list.


Honda Australia’s new-generation HR-V is due to touch down in local showrooms later this month in two forms – the base Vi X and e:HEV L hybrid flagship.

Looking at the petrol-powered Vi X, you could be mistaken for thinking Honda has taken a step back this generation, after all, it is smaller, more expensive and is propelled by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine outputting just 89kW/145Nm.

You can argue that the HR-V’s new design makes up for shrinking dimensions and upmarket pricing, but there’s no denying the fact the 2022 HR-V is down on grunt compared with the outgoing model that mustered a comparatively mighty 105kW/172Nm.

What a shame then, that an emerging and nearby market like Indonesia has access to the warmed-over HR-V RS, which comes equipped with a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine good for 130kW/240Nm.

Jazz/Fit Hybrid

We’re betting the idea of an affordable, practical and ultra-frugal hatchback is sounding pretty attractive to those in the market for a new-car now, but sadly those shoppers won’t be looking at Honda.

Honda introduced the Fit – or Jazz as it was known here – in its new-generation form in 2020, but the brand’s Australian division made the decision to bring the axe down on the nameplate.

What we miss out on then, is a stylish new light hatchback (also available in jacked-up Crosstar form for the SUV lovers out there) with a fuel-sipping hybrid powertrain that could give the venerable Toyota Yaris a run for its money, not to mention the non-hybrid Mazda2 and Volkswagen Polo.

It was probably too expensive to bring in the new Jazz model, but now with the standard prices if light cars starting in the mid-20s, Honda could have jacked pricing up by nearly $10,000 and its latest hatchback, with its updated platform, safety and engine, would have Fit (pun intended) right in.

Civic Si

An affordable performance-focused Civic with a manual gearbox? Sign us up!

The best way to think of the Civic Si might be a sort of Toyota GR86 or Mazda MX-5 competitor, with the sporty grade equipped with a 150kW/260Nm 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine.

Though the Civic Si is still front-drive, it holds its own against rear-drive rivals thanks to the same rev-matching tech found in the hardcore Type R, front limited-slip differential, lighter flywheel and freer flowing exhaust.

Sadly, the 2022 Civic Si that is based on the 11th-gen model is a sedan-only proposition, and with Australia going the hatch-only route, means it remains a North American-market model.

Acura MDX

No doubt Honda Australia is missing some models in some key segments, most glaring might be the large SUV space.

Imagine if Honda had a competitor to the likes of the Toyota Kluger, Mazda CX-9, Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento. Well, it does, sort of, in the form of the US-market Acura MDX.

Built exclusively in left-hand-drive form, the Acura MDX sports sharp styling, large dimensions, a premium interior and a V6 petrol powertrain, which could be enough to stand it apart from its rivals in Australia.

Sadly, the model is likely never destined for Australian showrooms, but Honda has indicated in the past it will look to offer more models as it continues on its agency sales model journey.

Honda HR-V

Say what? Honda Australia still sells a HR-V, and will launch the new-generation version later this month!

Well, we might be getting a new HR-V, but there is also the US-market HR-V that sports completely different styling and is underpinned by the new Civic platform.

This makes it a little bigger than our HR-V, and reports indicate Europe will be getting its hands on the US HR-V at some point in the future … which means right-hand drive and possibly an Australian debut.

It would obviously need a name change (maybe to FR-V?), but it would slot in neatly below the CR-V and offer Aussie buyers a little more practicality as the HR-V moves to a smaller-size and only four seats.