Home' Horizons : October-November 2010 Contents WHAT'S NEW?
A LOOK AT THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE MOTORING WORLD.
In the showroom -- Honda Civic
Let's play a quick word
association game. How
about we start with two
words: Honda Civic.
What other words spring to
mind? I had high-tech, reliable,
build quality and resale value.
"Safe" would also fit into that
list, especially given that the Civic
was updated in February this year
to include curtain airbags as
standard across the range, adding
to the front and side airbags.
Electronic stability control
became standard in the Civic
range in February 2009.
This current eighth generation
Civic was launched in 2006, but
these recent updates bring it into
line with its competition, which
currently includes the Mazda 3,
Toyota Corolla, Mitsubishi Lancer
and Subaru Impreza.
Pricing for the base model
Civic VTi manual sedan starts at
$22,990 drive away.
The Civic we tested was the
VTi sedan with a five-speed
automatic transmission, which at
the time of writing was $25,290
The next model up is the VTi-L,
which is priced from $27,862 drive
away. It has 16-inch alloy wheels
instead of the VTi's 15-inch steel
wheels, and a 60-40 split
fold-down rear seat instead of the
VTi's single fold-down seat.
Next in the range is the Civic
Sport, which starts at $33,545. The
Civic Hybrid is $38,434, while the
British-built Civic Si hatch is a big
ask at $41,720 and the Type R hatch
even more so at $44,598.
With a manual gearbox, the
VTi's 1.8-litre, 103kW petrol engine
uses 6.9 litres per 100km in the
official combined cycle. The auto
gets 7.2L/100km, this contributes to
an excellent 4.5-star rating from the
Green Vehicle Guide.
ANCAP gives the Civic a 4-star
safety rating, although this testing
was done in 2007, well before the
recent safety upgrades.
Ergonomically, the interior of the
VTi is good despite its unusual
design. There are two dashboard
displays -- an upper and lower one
-- with the upper one showing the
speed in large digital numbers. This
means the driver can check the
car's speed without having to take
his or her eyes too far off the road.
There are plenty of storage
spots and as expected, the overall
interior fit and finish is excellent.
The Civic is unlike most cars in
its class in that it has large, deep
windows. This means it is especially
easy for smaller people to see out
of, making driving tasks like parking
and changing lanes less stressful.
Among the few criticisms that
we could level at the Civic is the
1.8-litre engine's low amount of
torque. With just 174Nm, the
engine has to rev high to get the
car going briskly. The upside is it is
very refined for a four cylinder unit,
which is good given it has to work
Reviewed by Alex Forrest.
Mini is set to launch a
refreshed range of small
premium cars in Australia in
October or November. The
2011 Mini range will get a
new diesel engine option
and a range of upgraded
petrol engines. Mini said
the new 1.6-litre diesel will
produce 82kW ( up 2kW)
and 270Nm (up 30Nm), all
while using a tiny 3.8L of
diesel per 100km. Updates
apply to the original Mini,
the Mini Clubman and the
VE Series 2
There have been few
changes to the bodywork
of the VE Commodore since
its launch , but after more
than four years Holden is
expected to launch the
facelifted Commodore in
October. Expect fresh front
and rear bumpers, and new
headlights and tail lights.
More significant will be
changes to the interior,
including more attractive,
softer plastics and a
redesigned centre console.
Korean car manufacturer
Ssangyong has announced
plans to launch this new
compact SUV in Australia in
the fourth quarter of 2010.
Under the bonnet will be a
2.0-litre turbo diesel engine
that produces a respectable
130kW and 450Nm. The
initial photos indicate the
vehicle will be arguably the
best looking Ssangyong to
be sold in Australia yet.
There was no word on price
at the time of writing.
Meet Alfa Romeo's answer
to the Audi A3, the Giulietta.
It's one size up from the
Alfa's baby Mito hatchback,
Australia in late 2010. The
Giulietta will follow the
Mito's styling language,
which was in turn inspired
by the Alfa 8C supercar. At
the time of writing, Alfa had
not specified the range of
engines for the Australian
market, but in Europe it
could be had with two
diesels and two petrols.
The second generation of
the Honda Insight petrol/
electric hybrid will arrive in
showrooms in November
2010, according to Honda.
With production of the
original Insight model
running from 1999-2006, the
new one returns to the
market after a four-year
hiatus. It'll have a 1.3-litre
petrol engine under the
bonnet, as well as a 10kW
electric motor. Expect it to
use around 5.0L/100km.
PHOTOGRAPHY: IMAGES SUPPLIED BY MANUFACTURERS.
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