So whats new with the 2012 Honda Civic?

With pictures of the next generation Honda Civic plastered all over the web, there seems to be one common reaction…its a facelifted FD (current Civic). This was also my thought when I saw it but truth is, its not. Its the 9th generation Honda Civic.

2012 Honda Civic

Details about the new model are still not available but news is going around that the FD’s engine will be carried over with a few minor tweaks. The design is more of an evolution of the current and kinda reminds me of what the current Altis is to the last gen Corolla. I guess they also applied the “if it ain’t broke..” principle here. The taillights have the most noticeable change…whether its for the better is up to you. The dashboard is still 2-tiered like the 8th gen but the blockier center console is tilted towards the driver.

2012 Civic Interior

Being a Honda, its guaranteed to sell well but their reputation of being cutting edge in design and technology seem to have been dampened a little. Lets just hope that Honda has something up its sleeve with the new Civic or it’ll be gobbled up by its upcoming competition, namely the new Ford Focus and the Hyundai Elantra.

2012 Honda Civic

Subcompact cars that should be brought here

2011 promises to be an exciting year for the Philippine auto industry. Among various segments, the subcompact category seems to be the hottest. Rightfully so as these economical cars bring in the volume for the automakers here.

This year has seen quite a lot of new and exciting entries in the B-segment. Of course the everpresent Toyota Vios and Honda City are still posting strong sales but with the influx of new models, will their reign continue? It all started when Mazda introduced the sporty 2. Its affordable sedan and hatch variants piqued the Pinoy’s curiosity and proved that subcompact does not necessarily mean “cheap”. Now, we’re seeing the Ford Fiesta threatening the Jazz as the “King of the Small Hatch” but Honda will not go down without a fight as they just released the facelifted Jazz. The Koreans meanwhile are upping the ante with the recent launch of the Hyundai Accent. Chevrolet is also getting in the mix with the new Spark.

As Mazda, Ford, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and GM try to make the most out of the uptrend in subcompact car sales in PH, I got into thinking…what about the others? Shouldnt they also want a piece of the high volume B-segment pie? Below is a list of new models I think (and hope) should be coming in…

1. Nissan Versa/Tiida

2012 Nissan Tiida/Versa

Nissan currently does not have a subcompact fighter. Although they have the 1.3L Sentra, its still technically a compact car. Besides, that model has been around since 2004. Nissan’s image in this country is in a downward spiral because their lineup is not updated. They need this if they want to sell more cars. This car will be launched in China this April and its simple and clean design will attract buyers here.

2. Kia Rio

2012 Kia Rio

We see a lot of Rio taxis running around the metro but similar with its big brother Hyundai, Kia has big plans of improving its image. This Peter Schreyer penned next gen Rio will definitely be a strong contender with its radical styling. Kia is also planning to release a hot hatch version with a 1.6L GDi Turbo, although I doubt this would reach our shores. Expect it to arrive early 2012.

3. Mitsubishi Colt

2012 Mitsubishi Colt

Although technically a concept car, the Mitsubishi Global Small Concept is expected to be the next generation Colt. This car will complement the Lancer nicely. This will definitely be good news for old-school Colt fans. Production starts on March 2012 in their Thailand plant so there’s a big possibility it will arrive here.

4. VW Polo

VW Polo

The 2010 World Car of the Year definitely needs to come here. With rumors going around of Volkswagen’s return, the Polo, along with the Golf, is in the shortlist of cars that should be brought here. The main concern though is the pricing. Will this be priced as a mass market or a premium car?

5. Suzuki Swift

Suzuki Swift

This may look like the current model but this is actually the 3rd gen Swift (2nd gen in PH). Guided by their design principle “more swift”, the latest Swift has bigger dimensions to address the common lack of space complaint as well as an all new powerplant. As for the similar styling with the current, why fix what isn’t broken?

With gas prices going up, automakers are focusing more on producing economical cars. This will only benefit people like us who love cars but are also on a budget. So what other models did I miss?