About all the talk of 'market positioning' and 'repositioning' of the new Civic, I wonder how much say Atlas Honda actually has about the cars they make. I figure that whatever Honda Japan tells them to do, they follow suit.
So when Honda globally introduced a single 1.8 SOHC engine in the new Civic, that's what they were bound to introduce. I doubt there will be a 'cheaper' 1.6 version coming out ever, because of all the difficulties of cramming the old engine bay into the new (smaller) one.
As far as selling to 'seths' and their employees is concerned, Atlas Honda wouldn't care shit if every chaprasi owned a Civic. True the introduction of the Fit in the USA now means the new Civic is a little more upscale globally (between the Fit/City and Accord) but the same applies to the Corolla (comes between the Vios/Belta and Camry in most markets). The current 'rolla is often referred to as the 'baby Lexus' in alot of American reviews.
Economics gives us the inverse price elasticity relationship between complementary goods. So when petrol prices rise, sales of cars should go down (especially those with larger engines). Although Honda claims the new 1.8 engine is as fuel-efficient as a 1.5 (thumbs up to Atlas for bringing a current engine this time), I doubt it will be warmly-welcomed by our public.
The crampness for rear passengers has been talked about alot too, the new Civic is a "driver's car" and not very passenger-friendly. The ride for rear passengers is also a concern, I read a Singaporean review saying the rear ride is bumpy, harsh and noisy.
My one-liner on the new Civic: if the Oriel manual was for 13 lacks, it would make a very smart buy (with all its cons). The new prices are just too much and should fall soon, otherwise we will be seeing ads soon about "delivery within one week".