KUALA LUMPUR: THE ninth-generation Honda Civic has been launched with four model variants to reach out to a wider market.
The other factor that is expected to maintain the Civic as the market segment leader is the new five-year warranty with unlimited mileage, which also applies to the IMA battery for the new Civic Hybrid.
Another new feature of the vehicle maintenance programme is the extension of the service interval from 5,000km to 10,000km, as well as free labour service up to six visits for every alternate paid service until 100,000km.
Honda Malaysia Managing Director and CEO Yoichiro Ueno said that based on the trend of car use and mileage here, along with the improved engines for all the Civic models made available, the new warranty programme and extended service interval are seen as feasible incentives to lower the cost of car ownership.
The four Civic models launched are the Civic 1.8S, Civic 2.0S, Civic 2.0 Navi and Civic Hybrid.
Apart from the Civic Hybrid, which is imported from Japan, the other three models are locally assembled at the Pegoh, Malacca facility and each has 60 per cent local content.
Their respective prices, on the road without insurance, are RM112,790.80; RM128,374.80, RM133,244.80, and RM116,715.
Ueno said that they expect to sell more than 6,000 units of the new Civic this year, with the non-hybrid models accounting for about 5,000 cars.
He is also confident that the total number of Honda hybrid models, with the new Civic version being added to the range, would top 10,000 units this year.
He added that the buyers are likely to comprise 60 per cent of repeat Civic owners while one third of them are those upgrading from the City range. The remainder are expected to be drawn from other vehicle brands.
Highlights of the new Civic range include Eco Assist functions to help the driver improve fuel efficiency, and Vehicle Stability Assist that is integrated with the Motion Adaptive EPS (electric power steering) to help the driver control the car during moments of oversteer and understeer when taking corners.
The new Civic Hybrid now comes with a bigger displacement engine in the 1.5-litre i-VTEC unit as well as being the first Honda to use the lighter but more powerful lithium-ion battery (previously nickel hydride, which is still being used in the other Honda hybrid models).
It delivers a combined and higher output of 110PS and 172Nm of torque; while the non-hybrid engines in the 1.8-litre produces 141PS and 174Nm; and the 2.0-litre pumps out 155PS and 190Nm.
The Civic Hybrid comes with a CVT (continuously variable transmission) and the non-hybrid models have five-speed automatic transmissions with paddle shift controls.
The 2.0 Navi gets the additional 6.1 inch navigation touch screen that displays video from DVD, VCD, DivX and a reverse camera. Also included is Bluetooth audio which can be linked to your phone.
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