New Models

Honda will launch a hybrid version of its new Civic hatch later this year – and it could offer power and torque outputs on par with hot hatches from a few years ago.

The upcoming 2022 Honda Civic e:HEV hybrid hatchback could become the most powerful Civic ever sold in Australia without a Type R badge –according to a new overseas report – and also the most expensive.

Japanese magazine Best Car claims the upcoming ‘e:HEV’ hybrid version of Honda’s new Civic hatch – expected in Australia in the second half of 2022, with a possible list price of approximately $50,000 drive-away – will be powered by the 2.0-litre hybrid system from the Accord sedan and CR-V medium SUV, rather than the smaller HR-V SUV’s lesser 1.5-litre system.

In these vehicles, a 2.0-litre non-turbo four-cylinder petrol engine is mated with two electric motors and a continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT) for combined outputs of 158kW and 315Nm – exceeding the 96kW/253Nm of the HR-V’s 1.5-litre hybrid system, and the 90kW of the Civic’s main segment rival, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid.

Above: Honda Accord Hybrid.

The rumoured Civic hybrid outputs also surpass the 134kW/240Nm of the petrol-only Civic’s 1.5-litre turbo four-cylinder engine, as well as the 149kW/260Nm of the performance-focused Civic Si sedan sold overseas – making it the most powerful Civic ever sold in Australia without a Type R badge.

They’re also on par with the 150kW/265Nm outputs quoted by a Hyundai i30 N Line’s 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder, and only 4kW/35Nm shy of a pre-facelift ‘Mk7’ Volkswagen Golf GTI hot hatch (162kW/350Nm), last sold in 2016.

The 2.0-litre hybrid system was selected for the Civic to offer a “more sporting concept”, according to Best Car. The Civic hybrid will also serve as a replacement to the Honda Insight hybrid in Japan – powered by a less potent 1.5-litre hybrid system – that’s set to end production in March.

A fuel economy figure is yet to be confirmed for the Honda Civic e:HEV, however the Accord Hybrid quotes 4.3 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle – a number the Civic would be expected to match or beat, given its smaller dimensions and reduced weight.

However, the Civic hybrid’s performance and efficiency benefits are set to come at a cost, as it’s highly likely the electrified model will command a price premium over the standard Civic, priced from $47,200 drive-away.

In the larger Accord line-up, the hybrid costs $3000 more than the petrol-only model – suggesting the Civic e:HEV will break the $50,000 drive-away barrier, making it nearly 30 per cent dearer than a flagship circa-$39,000 Toyota Corolla ZR Hybrid (though entry-level variants are offered for about $31,000).

Spy photos published late last year (via @Rain_sti on Twitter, included above and below) indicate the Civic e:HEV may be in line for mild styling updates to differentiate it from standard 1.5-litre Civic variants, as hinted by the camouflage over the front and rear bumpers, and window trim.

Expect a similar level of standard equipment to the petrol-only Civic VTi LX now on sale in Australia – which serves as the one and only variant on offer – including a 9.0-inch centre touchscreen, 7.0-inch part-digital instrument cluster, leatherette and suede upholstery, a Bose sound system, wireless phone charging, and a full active safety suite.

Best Car reports the 2022 Honda Civic e:HEV hybrid will launch in Japan in the northern summer (Australia’s winter) – likely around June – ahead of an Australian launch expected in the second half of the year.

Australian prices are expected to sit at approximately $50,000 drive-away, an increase over the $47,200 drive-away of the non-hybrid, petrol-only Civic. In Japan, the Civic hybrid is expected to cost on par with, or in excess of the Insight Hybrid it will replace, priced from 3,355,000 yen ($AU40,500).

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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