It’s not often a car manufacturer introduces a new family-sized four-door saloon to the UK, but Honda clearly thinks there’s still a market for them: it has unexpectedly announced plans to introduce the four-door version of the latest Civic to the UK, joining the existing (British-built) five-door hatch in the line-up.
Unlike the hatch, the four-door is built in Turkey, but it is based on the same platform as the hatch, and shares many of the car’s distinctive styling traits. The bit that’s been toned down is the rear: indeed, this may be the very reason Honda’s bringing it across, to appeal to those who find the hatch a bit too radical.
It shares engines with the five-door. Honda’s offering either a 1.0-litre VTEC petrol, or a 1.6-litre i-DTEC turbodiesel. The 1.5-litre VTEC turbo petrol won’t be offered though – and, before you ask, Honda’s not planning to make a Type-R saloon version of this car either…
Phil Webb, head of car at Honda UK, commented: “The Civic is a core model for Honda in Europe and has been at the heart of the brand’s strong sales and manufacturing heritage, with the hatchback built in Swindon.
“The arrival of the saloon to the UK market compliments the Civic family and will be a great addition to our showrooms alongside what is already a very successful range for Honda.”
Opinion: Civic four-door is a car for Honda loyalists
Honda is fiercely proud of its loyal customer base. They’re generally delighted with the service they receive from the brand, and buy model after model, usually from the same dealership. Even some premium brands would kill for the satisfaction rates Honda enjoys.
Honda owners are also a little more mature than the UK average. The Jazz in particular is a car preferred by older drivers, while the HR-V and Civic also have their older fans.
Such buyers may not care for the radical lines of the latest Civic hatch. Even the regular cars look like a Type R, with the Type R itself looking like a BTCC racer. The elderly driver looking to get from A to B generally doesn’t have much interest such addenda.
Cue the Civic saloon. It’s not as divisive for some as the hatch. It has classy lines and a roomy boot. With the promise of decent value from the Turkey-built model, it could be the perfect car to step up into from a top-spec Jazz.
Call it Honda’s reward to the thriving customer base it values so highly.
Honda is now working out pricing, specification, trim lines and fuel economy figures, ahead of its launch in UK dealers from this August. Although sales won’t be huge, it will still be an interesting and useful addition to the range.
Now, we have just one more request, Honda. As you’re bringing in the saloon, could you also now consider bringing across the Civic Coupe, currently sold in the United States? And, while we’re onto it, perhaps consider dropping in a Type R drivetrain?
We think it’s high time there were a genuine replacement to the famed DC5 Integra Type R coupe of the early noughties, you know…