August 19, 2008

'09 Civic range debuts with new trim levels, aesthetic tweaks and tech packages

After a series of brochure scans leaked to the Web yesterday, Honda has quelled the rumor mill by laying all their cards on the table.

In a nutshell, all Civic models receive a host of minor styling tweaks; a new front bumper, headlights and grille as well as revised taillights. On sedan models, a small chromed strip on the trunk now flanks the Honda badge.

It's a classic case of not messing with a good thing and as a result only the eagle-eyed will spot the changes at distance. Which is no slight; the futuristic design has sold well.

The big news for '09 comes in the form of new technology packages and trim levels.

Models equipped with the factory navigation system will now also include Bluetooth hands-free cellphone integration. Civic EX, EX-L, Hybrid and Si models will also receive a standard USB-Audio port that allows easy MP3 player integration with the factory stereo. EX-L and Hybrid models will also receive Honda's VSA electronic stability control system as standard equipment.

A leather trimmed interior with heated front seats and side mirrors will also be offered for the Civic Hybrid starting next year. Across the range, new upholstery patterns on seats, door linings and armrests have all been updated to further enhance the interior's look and feel.

Rounding out the changes, two new model trims join the lineup for 2009. At the top of the range, the Civic LX-S Sedan debuts with alloy wheels, sport-trimmed black cloth seats with synthetic suede bolsters, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, rear deck spoiler and a chrome exhaust finisher. The Civic DX Value Package (DX-VP) sedan builds on the Civic DX standard features by adding air conditioning and a factory stereo.

As expected, drivetrains remain unchanged across the board. The DX, DX-VP, LX, EX and EX-L soldier on with a 140-horsepower 1.8 liter iVTEC inline-four with either a 5-speed manual or automatic transmission.

The Si sedan and coupe continue with their 197-horsepower 2.0 liter iVTEC fours mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

The Civc Hybrid is powered by a 120-horsepower 1.3-liter i-VTEC inline-four with Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) gasoline-electric hybrid technology to enhance both fuel economy and performance, and is equipped with a continuously variable transmission.

Lastly, the Civic GX is powered by a dedicated natural gas version of the Civic's 1.8-liter i-VTEC engine - and is equipped with a 5-speed automatic transmission. Both Civic Hybrid and Civic GX are classified as Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (AT-PZEV) by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The Civic GX is classified by the EPA as an Inherently Low Emissions Vehicle (ILEV).

[Source: Honda]

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