New Products, New Deals, New Confidence From Honda This Summer | Part Two

* PowerShift

The TransportEnergy PowerShift programme, which is run by the Energy Saving Trust, focuses on those alternative fuels which are viable in the UK today, and proven to offer an environmental benefit over traditional fuels. These include cars, vans, trucks and buses running on electricity or hybrid, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Natural Gas (CNG).

More Newer Car Models

The Honda car line up has seen much activity of late. January saw two important permanent additions to the Civic range in the shape of the 3 door 1.6 VTEC Sport and 5 door 2.0 i-VTEC Type S.

The 1.6 Sport takes its styling queues from the hot-shot Type-R, gaining a mesh grille, front and rear spoilers, distinctive side sill garnish on the outside – and a Type-R steering wheel, white instrument faces and leather shift knob on the inside. Other equipment includes climate control air conditioning, black and leather Alcantara© trimmed sports seats and high security RDS CD tuner. Positioned above the 1.6 SE Sport, the new Sport combines the dramatic looks of the Civic Type-R with the fuel economy and low insurance premiums of mainstream Civic models. It costs £13,500.

Meanwhile the Civic Type S is aimed at those wanting hard driving thrills, but in a more sophisticated and comfortable 5-door body style. Featuring the 2.0 litre 160 PS i-VTEC engine, similar to that powering the CR-V but tuned specifically for the Type S, it offers a 130 mph top speed with 0-62 mph acceleration in 8.5 seconds, placing it well into hot hatch territory. Excellent efficiency is demonstrated by an EU Combined fuel consumption figure of 37.7 mpg, with CO2 emissions of 178 g/km. Inside, the Type S features climate control air conditioning, black part leather trim which extends to the steering wheel rim, gear lever knob and gaiter, plus white sports dials and chrome highlights on vents, gearshift surround and handbrake button. The new model is priced at £15,000.

Finally the all new Accord 4 door started sales in February, quickly establishing itself as the saloon of choice in the hotly contested quality D sector class. The new model offers a choice of 2.0 litre 155 PS or 2.4 litre 190 PS petrol engines allied with 5-speed manual (2.0 litre models), 6-speed manual (2.4 litre models), or 5-speed automatic transmissions. All models are exceptionally well equipped with alloy wheels, dual zone climate control, outside temperature indicator, 6-speaker CD audio systems and blackout 3D dashboard illumination all standard. The range comprises SE, Sport, Executive and Type S variants, with prices starting at £16,500.

…And Fewer Old Ones

With the introduction of so many new models, there was a need for rationalisation in the existing model line up. The Civic Coupe, Stream 1.7 models and HR-V 3-door plus non VTEC manual models are therefore deleted from the range. The HR-V range now comprises 1.6i VTEC manual and 1.6i CVT 5-door models.

New Deals

The summer period sees the continuation of the Civic Imagine 5 door limited edition models with a choice of two engines, 1.6i SOHC VTEC petrol or 1.7i CTDi diesel – priced at £12,000 and £13,000 respectively.

Both variants come with a free 2 year Hondacare Service Package, with a retail value to the customer of more than £250, as well as eligibility for a £300 deposit contribution, when purchased through Honda Aspirations PCP finance. The offer is valid until 27 June.

During the same period, Honda is extending its two consumer offers on the Honda Jazz 1.4 i-DSi S to also include the 2002 SE model. All retail purchasers of these models aged between 25 and 70 will qualify for one year’s free insurance; in addition purchasers using Honda Aspirations PCP finance will receive a £300 contribution towards their deposit.

New ‘Round Number’ Prices

Thank the chancellor for this one, but as a result of the £5 increase in Vehicle Excise duty (VED) rates, Honda’s on the road car prices will now end in zeros, rather than 95 from 1 May. The change means that a Jazz 1.4i S which used to cost £8995 will now cost £9000, while the Accord 2.0 i-VTEC SE goes from £16,495 to £16,500.

First Quarter Sales Success

Buoyed by its best ever March sales performance, Honda car sales continue to go from strength to strength. Year to date sales show a 9% gain over the first quarter for 2002 (itself a record), while the company exceeded 80,000 units for the first time over the past financial year.

Central to this growth is the continued performance of the Civic range, which accounts for almost half of all Hondas sold in Britain. Beyond this particularly strong contributions have come from the Accord and Jazz (whose first quarter sales have both nearly doubled), and the new CR-V, up by one third over the same period.

Published 26 April 2003 Melanie Carter
 

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