The Honda Civic e:HEV LX hybrid goes on sale on December 1, priced at $55,000 drive-away.
It joins the HR-V and Accord hybrids, leaving only the CR-V without an electrified option in the local line-up – though Honda has reiterated its goal to offer a hybrid in every model line with the arrival of each new model generation.
The Civic e:HEV LX also debuts the Honda Connect telematics suite in Australia, with Honda offering five years of free connectivity along with its existing five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty and five years of roadside assistance and capped-price servicing.
Honda Connect allows you to remotely control the lights, locks and climate control of the vehicle using a smartphone app, as well as view your trip history, vehicle location and remaining range.
It can send push notifications on vehicle updates, recalls, airbag deployment and battery voltage and send geofence and overspeed alerts.
There’s also an emergency call button inside the car, with Honda Connect Customer Care notifying emergency services if the airbag is deployed and their voice call isn’t answered.
The Civic e:HEV LX packs a 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder petrol engine mated with two electric motors and a lithium-ion battery.
Total system outputs are 135kW of power and 315Nm of torque, up 4kW and 75Nm on the VTi-LX’s 1.5-litre turbo four.
Honda hasn’t published an official fuel economy claim, but has previously said it’s targeting consumption of less than 5.0L/100km and CO2 emissions of less than 110 grams per kilometre in WLTP testing.
The e:HEV LX features an eCVT and front-wheel drive, and there are four selectable drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual. The latter allows you to separately configure the engine, transmission, and instrument cluster display.
Honda says it has paid “careful attention” to the drivetrain and noise management to deliver a quiet cabin and a smooth, linear feel during acceleration.
There’s a wider range of active safety and driver assist technology than the old Civic. In addition to lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control, there are now dual front knee airbags while the autonomous emergency braking system benefits from a wider-view front camera and can detect pedestrians, motorcycles and cyclists.
There’s also a wider range of safety kit when compared to the current VTi-LX. The e:HEV LX gains front-centre and rear-side airbags, as well as front and rear parking sensors, an intelligent speed limiter, and traffic sign recognition.
Inside, the 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster of the VTi-LX is swapped out for a larger 10.2-inch unit. Other additions over the VTi-LX include:
- Panoramic glass sunroof
- Leather-appointed seat trim
- Heated steering wheel
- Heated front seats
- Eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support
- Four-way power adjustable passenger seat with power lumbar support.
- Active Noise Control
- Auto up/down power windows front and rear
- White ambient lighting
- Two rear USB charge outlets
- Driver’s seatback map pocket
- Two coat hooks
- Sunvisor slide extension
- Passenger sunvisor ticket holder
- Cargo area accessory power outlet
- Bright door moulding
- High gloss black door sash garnish
Just three exterior finishes will be available: Platinum White pearlescent, Premium Crystal Red metallic and Premium Crystal Blue metallic.
The return of a hybrid to the Civic line – last offered in Australia in 2015 – gives Honda rival to the Toyota Corolla Hybrid.
Though the Corolla range has received substantial price hikes for 2023, even the top-spec ZR Hybrid sedan is significantly cheaper than the Civic e:HEV LX at $39,120 before on-road costs – a premium of $2500 over the petrol ZR sedan.
The Civic’s pricing puts it closer to the larger Toyota Camry Hybrid, which in flagship SL trim is priced at $46,990 before on-road costs.
MORE: Everything Honda Civic