Honda plans to register 100 Civics in the first week of December as demonstrators giving fleets an opportunity to be the first to try the car in the UK.
“We are asking fleets to register their interest now if they want to be the first,” said Honda corporate operations manager Ed Hummel.
He also plans to offer fleets extended test drives beyond the usual 48 hours if needed, to allow them more time with the car.
The new Civic has been benchmarked against the Golf and has been built specifically for the European market.
Hummel describes the 2.2-litre diesel engine as “ground-breaking” with more power and more economical “by a significant amount compared to the competition and massive compared to what we have now”. Rumours suggest sub 110g/km.
A smaller diesel engine will follow in late 2012 which should duck below 100g/km.
Honda claims that the new model will remain “unmistakably Civic” but with much improved interior quality and a better ride. The rear torsion beam remains to maximise boot space, but tweaks have been made to several key components in the suspension for a more pliant ride.
Further details are sketchy, but the car will feature a host of in-car entertainment and safety technology currently offered in models higher up the Honda’s range, some of which will be new to the sector.