Honda will equip its current Civic hatch with a 1.6-litre diesel engine from early in 2013. The engine is, Honda claims, the cleanest, most frugal engine in its class, and will offer diesel Civic buyers up to 78.5mpg, according to the company's figures.
The downsized 1.6 derv will also see duty in the new CR-V soft-roader later on in 2013.
What's so special about Honda's new 1.6 diesel engine?
Until now, the only diesel available in the Civic was an unnecessarily large 2.2-litre unit, capable of a claimed 67.3mpg and emitting 110g/km of CO2. The 1.6-litre DTEC is 30bhp and 37lb ft down on the bigger unit (at 118bhp and 221lb ft) but counters with that healthy 78.5mpg figure, and a CO2 output of 94g/km.
With emissions like that, it's road tax exempt in the UK. The engine was developed in the UK exclusively for European markets, and is built at Honda's plant in Swindon.
In comparison, an equivalent Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi scores 67.3mpg, 109g/km, 113bhp and 199lb ft.
What spec do the diesel Honda Civics boast?
Exactly the same as the faster but dirtier 2.2 DTEC cars, though prices are lower. The entry-level model SE model starts at £19,400, rising to £20,595 for the ES and £23,175 for the top-of-the-range EX.
High-end models get front and rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and DAB digital radio in the standard toybox. The only gearbox available is a six-speed manual.
Deliveries start in January 2013 if this is the low-emissions Civic you'd been holding out for. Meanwhile, a 1.6 DTEC CR-V will follow later in 2013.