• All-new Civic
• Price 16,000-23,000 (est)
• On sale January 2012
The new Honda Civic is one of the most important production cars launched at the Frankfurt show.
This ninth-generation model aims to build on the strengths of the current Civic, but add extra technology, better efficiency, improved ride and handling and higher quality.
The new shape is geared towards aerodynamic efficiency, but there have been some concessions to improve rear visibility. The wing that cuts across the rear screen is lower and narrower, a windscreen wiper has been added, while the heating elements cover the whole screen, not just the upper section.
The new Civic is 30mm longer and 20mm lower than the current car. Honda says that cabin space is almost identical and the new model uses the same tricks to make the most of what its got.
As before, a centrally mounted fuel tank and torsion beam rear suspension system maximise boot space. The result is a 470-litre capacity, including a large under-floor area.
The cabin shares certain design themes and details such as the red starter button with the current car, but the layout is more conventional and easier to use. Rear visibility is much improved, if still compromised by the two-part screen.
At launch, the Civic will be available with three engines. As with the current car, there will be a choice of 1.4- or 1.8-litre petrols, or a 2.2-litre diesel. The new units are all more powerful and cleaner than the ones they replace.
The most dramatic improvement is for the diesel power is up from 138bhp to 148bhp, but CO2 emissions have dropped from 135g/km to 110g/km. A smaller-capacity diesel engine believed to be a 1.6 will join the range in late 2012 and is expected to drop below 100g/km.
The Civic goes on sale in January 2012. Prices havent yet been confirmed, but theyre expected to be rise only a fraction, if at all. Trims havent been finalised, but standard equipment is likely to be generous, in line with the current car.