2022 Honda Civic e:HEV hybrid launched in Thailand – EL+ and RS variants; 25 km/l; priced from RM141k

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The Honda Civic e:HEV has officially gone on sale in Thailand, and as reported previously, two variants will be offered to customers there, namely the e:HEV EL+ and the e:HEV RS. These join the existing, VTEC Turbo-powered EL and EL+, with the previous non-hybrid RS dropped from the line-up.

Both e:HEV variants come with a hybrid powertrain featuring Honda’s i-MMD (intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) technology. The setup consists of an electric motor that is rated at 184 PS (181 hp or 135 kW) and 315 Nm driving the front wheels.

Said electric motor draws power from a lithium-ion battery that is juiced by a 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with its own electric motor that acts as a generator. On its own, the E20 gasohol-compliant mill puts out 141 PS (139 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 182 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.

In most scenarios, the i-MMD system operates pretty much like an EV, with the electric motor doing most of the work. However, at higher speeds, the engine can provide direct drive via a lock-up clutch for better efficiency. The hybrid variants get the same Econ and Normal drive modes as their non-hybrid counterparts, but with the addition of a Sport option.

The new variants have a rated combined fuel consumption of 25 km/litre (the VTEC Turbo cars are rated at 17.2 kilometres) and comes standard with a 10-year warranty on the hybrid battery and a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty on the hybrid system.

The hybrid variants share the same length (4,678 mm), width (1,802 mm) and height (1,415 mm) with the non-hybrid versions of the Civic, but they have a very slightly longer wheelbase of 2,734 mm instead of 2,733 mm.

Additionally, the hybrids ride a bit higher off the ground at 128 mm instead of 126 mm and are noticeably heavier, weighing in between 1,412-1,429 kg compared to the EL and EL+ that are 1,312-1,319 kg. This is mainly because of all the hybrid components added, which also sees a reduced fuel tank capacity of 40 litres instead of 47 litres.

To create some visual distinction, the hybrids also get specific cues like blue accents for the Honda logos, unique wheel designs (17-inch for the e:HEV EL+ and 18-inch for the e:HEV RS) as well as e:HEV badging.

In terms of equipment, the e:HEV EL+ comes with LED headlamps (automatic on-off), DRLs and taillights, which are an improvement over the non-hybrids’ halogen projectors. It also gets body-coloured door handles with chrome trim, auto-folding side mirrors, automatic wipers, beige or black interior (depending on exterior colour) and leather upholstery.

As for technologies, there’s remote engine start, keyless entry and start, single-zone automatic air-conditioning, an eight-way powered driver seat, an, a nine-inch Advanced Touch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto support, a seven-inch instrument cluster display, four USB ports and eight speakers.

Stepping up to the e:HEV RS, the top-spec variant gets black door handles with chrome trim, a rear spoiler, a black interior, leather and suede upholstery with red topstitching, ambient lighting, Honda Smart Key Card, dual-zone climate control, 60:40 split-folding rear seats, a Qi wireless charger, sport pedals as well as Honda Connect services and a navigation function for the infotainment system.

Both variants also come with rear air vents, a four-way powered front passenger seat, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and cabin active noise cancellation, all of which are not available for the non-hybrid variants. The same can be said of the paddle shifters too, although they are used to manage regenerative braking on hybrid models.

Moving on to safety and driver assistance, the hybrid variants share many of the same features with the non-hybrids, including six airbags, the usual array of passive systems (VSA, ABS, EBD) and auto door lock (speed and walk away). The Honda Sensing suite comes standard too, and continues to include autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, auto high beam, adaptive cruise control and front vehicle departure alert.

However, there are some hybrid-exclusive features like LaneWatch, a seat belt reminder system that alerts both front and rear passengers, an audible warning system when driving in EV mode and a tyre repair kit.

Price-wise, the e:HEV EL+ will retail for 1.129 million baht (RM141,159), while the e:HEV RS goes for 1.259 million baht (RM157,413) – these figures are lesser than initial estimates. As such, the base hybrid variant is 119,100 baht more than the VTEC Turbo-powered EL+ which goes for 1,009,900 baht (RM128,335) – an 11.8% increase. The price difference is more substantial with the e:HEV RS, as it is priced 249,100 baht higher than the EL+, or about 25% in percentage terms.

Over in Malaysia, we only get the Civic with VTEC Turbo power in three variants (E, V and RS), with prices ranging from RM125,635 to RM144,350. For now, there’s no indication that we’ll get the Civic e:HEV, but if it does become a reality, how much would you be willing to pay for hybrid power?

GALLERY: 2022 Honda Civic e:HEV RS (Thailand market)

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