By: IOL Motoring Staff
Johannesburg - The C-segment station wagon has died a gradual but seemingly final death in South Africa at the hands of crossover SUVs like the RAV4, Sportage and Tiguan. It's clear then that in the minds of buyers in this segment, the macho style and high-riding stature of an SUV far outweighs the sleeker, low-slung design that a traditional estate car offers.
Yet Honda SA is betting that there's still a place for an estate in this neck of the woods, and has just launched the all-new Civic Tourer onto the local market. The 1.8-litre wagon offers a spacious cabin along with generous spec and Honda reckons it offers the same level of agility as the Civic hatch. However, the R360 000 price tag is likely to ensure it has rarity value.
The Civic Tourer's wind-cheating shape was designed to look both sporty and sophisticated while the extended rear overhang adds a practical element to the equation. The wagon is 235mm longer than the Civic hatch, and offers a generous boot volume of 573 litres up to the tonneau cover. Fold the rear seats and you have 1065 litres of stashing space.
Furthermore, the Civic's flat floor allowed Honda to install its 'Magic Seat' rear seating arrangement (first introduced in the Jazz), which allows the rear seat cushions to be flipped up 'cinema style' to create a second flat-floored load area between the front and back seats.
Sold only in high-spec guise, the Civic Tourer is loaded with standard features, including leather seats (heated up front), a six-speaker audio system, reverse camera, cruise control and automatic headlights and windscreen wipers.
Power comes from Honda's familiar normally aspirated 1.8-litre petrol engine, which pushes 104kW and 174Nm to the front wheels via either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic gearbox with flappy paddles. Honda claims a 9.5-second 0-100km/h sprint and 210km/h top speed for the manual version, along with combined-cycle fuel consumption of 6.6 litres per 100km.
To ensure the best possible balance between ride comfort and handling, the Civic Tourer comes with Honda's rear adaptive damping system which offers three modes: Comfort, Normal and Dynamic.
Honda is charging R360 000 for the 1.8 i-VTEC manual model and R374 000 for the automatic equivalent. This includes a three-year/100 000km warranty and five-year/90 000 service plan.