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First look: Honda Civic sedan facelift

New look: Civic Hybrid shows off the revised grille.

Honda shows its Civic facelift, but the Australian model is still almost a year away

20 Aug 2008

HONDA’S eighth-generation Civic sedan has come under the scalpel, with the US-market version first to sport the changes.

Australian-bound versions will arrive in about the second quarter of next year, as Honda’s Thai and Japanese factories that supply our Civic petrol and Civic Hybrid models respectively gear up to produce the lightly facelifted 2009 versions.

While the changes to ‘our’ cars are still unknown, what we can see from the US-market Civic sedan and North America-only Coupe model-year 2009 update suggests the modifications will be minor.

However, as the facelifted US-market Civic Hybrid sedan is sourced from the same Japanese plant as the Australian version, it is reasonable to conclude that we will see very similar changes to our Civic Hybrid version from about March 2009.

15 center imageThese include a new front bumper, grille, headlight and tail-light design, as well as revised alloy wheels on some models.

Interior changes run to the inclusion of different trim on the seats, door linings and armrests, the introduction of Bluetooth availability, upgraded audio units and additional equipment levels such as heated front seats on selected models.

On the safety front, Honda’s stability control program – known as VSA Vehicle Stability Assist – may also finally be made available on our Civic sedans, in line with its adoption by several North American-market versions, including the Hybrid model.

It is unclear whether there are any other mechanical changes or upgrades slated for our Civic sedan next year.

Finally, the North American-bound Civic Hybrid sedan gains leather upholstery, heated front seats and heated rear vision mirrors. These may also find their way on our cars.

Meanwhile, the Civic Type R hatchback will probably undergo its own makeover in the next year or two, but this vehicle is built on a completely different platform in England, as part of Honda’s European-market C-segment strategy.

The Mk8 Civic arrived in Australia in January 2006 and continues to spearhead Honda’s successful small-car assault in Australia.

Along with the Type R hatch, this year the series has averaged 1700 sales a month to the end of July compared with a 1476 year-to-date monthly average in 2007.

Read more:

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