Japanese carmaker Honda Cars India (HCIL) today announced an update of the Civic sedan with a BS VI-compliant diesel engine. The company had already introduced the 1.8-litre petrol variant of the D-segment sedan in its BS VI form at the car’s launch in March 2019, way ahead of the April 2020 deadline.
Now, the Honda Civic with the BS VI-compliant 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel engine has been launched at Rs 20.75 lakh for the VX variant and Rs 22.35 lakh for the top-end ZX variant, both offered only with a six-speed manual transmission option.
Interestingly, while many manufacturers had ditched the idea of upgrading their diesel engines for compliance with BS VI emission norms, citing high cost of the technology upgradation, HCIL has been able to offer the Civic with no price hike compared to the BS IV version.
So, while the ZX variant continues to be offered at the same price point, the VX variant now comes at a Rs 20,000 premium which is attributed to the addition curtain airbags in this middle variant of the car.
According to Rajesh Goel, senior vice-president and director, Marketing and Sales, HCIL, “Honda is committed to bring its latest and advanced environment friendly technologies to the Indian market. With the introduction of BS VI diesel version of our iconic sedan Honda Civic, our entire sedan line-up will offer the choice of both petrol and diesel to cater to our esteemed customers. The diesel Civic is available in manual transmission and will appeal to customers looking for sheer driving pleasure.”
The Civic diesel with its 1.6-litre Earth Dreams series engine develops 118bhp of power and 300Nm of peak torque. Honda claims a certified fuel-efficiency figure of 23.90kpl for the BS VI engine. The company has made no changes to the exterior or the interior of the car with this mechanical upgrade.
While Honda was late to reinstate the Civic in India after a long pause between 2013 and 2019, the company brought back the iconic sedan at a time when the market had moved away from D-segment executive sedans towards compact crossovers of the likes of Hyundai Creta and Mahindra XUV500.
Now with the discontinuation of the segment bestseller Toyota Corolla, the Civic does stand a better chance to win. But, with its sporty dynamics and the lack of a petrol manual and a diesel automatic version, the Civic doesn’t fit the bill for the driving enthusiast. Moreover, the introduction of a diesel variant at a time when the gap between diesel and petrol fuel prices has significantly narrowed down over the past few weeks, only worsens the case for this global sedan from being hugely successful in India. For a perspective, Honda sold 3,024 units of the car in FY2020, registering sales of 252 Civics every month last year.