After much delay due to the calamities in Japan and Thailand that heavily affected its global operations, Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI), finally launched the all-new 2012 Civic. The current model marks the 9th generation of the Civic since its global market debut nearly 40 years ago.
The major highlight of the new Civic is
the "ECON mode" derived from the Eco Assist technology of Honda's
hybrid vehicles. With the ECON button switch on, the vehicle computer
automatically controls the engine, drive-by-wire, transmission, and
air-conditioning to optimize for better fuel efficiency. In addition,
it also displays coaching ambient meter guides for the driver to
drive more efficiently by displaying a blue light when driven
aggressively and a green light when driven economically.
The new Civic will get two engine variants. Initially the new civic will be powered by a 1.8-liter i-VTEC (141ps @ 6,500rpm and 17.7 kg-m @ 4,300 rpm) while a future 2.0-liter i-VTEC (155ps @ 6,500rpm and 19.4 kg-m @4,300rpm) variant will be introduced. Both engines will be mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission.
While the car promises improved fuel efficiency from its re-tuned engines, much attention was also paid to reduce overall weight, making the car about 7% lighter compared to its predecessor. This was achieved through the use of lightweight, high strength steel use as well as weight reduction of major components such as the power steering system, fuel tank, subframe and the exhaust system.
Another highlight of the new Civic is the new intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) system which features a 5-inch colored LCD display which integrates vehicle information like fuel information and the iPod ready multimedia system of the car. Also included is Bluetooth capability and a rear-view parking camera. The i-MID even allows you to upload a custom wallpaper image like you would in your smartphone or computer.
The ASEAN Civic design is based on the US Civic with minor adjustments to the bumpers and tail lamps. Despite looking longer, the new Civic is actually shorter than the outgoing model. It is 30mm shorter in wheelbase, 10mm shorter in overall length, and 20mm shorter in height. However, interior space has received significant improvement both in length and width, while a 5mm increase has been done to the overall width of the car.
Since production in Thailand is still stalled, the new Civic will temporarily be sourced from Japan. HCPI will thus be introducing one variant as of the moment, while more variants will be rolled out once production resumes in Thailand in about three months time. The new Civic 1.8 EXI will be available in Carnelian Red, Urban Titanium, Taffeta White, and Crystal Black and will retail for Php1,074,000.
The launch is being highlighted by a weekend-long "Honda Mania" event at the Bonifacio Global City from February 16-19, featuring test drives of the brand's latest offerings which include the recently launched City and a new "Special Edition" (10th anniversary JDM Fit) Jazz which is temporarily available from Japan with a distinct new front bumper and interior amenities like folding side-view mirrors. The "Special Edition" Jazz will retail for Php899,000.