Here's a good link to pictures and info (if you understand french) on the new Civic for Europe. http://automobile.nouvelobs.com/mag/050 ... efault.asp
Click on the link 'Cliquez ici pour voir la gallerie photo' (Click here to see the photo gallery) and then scroll to the bottom left corner if you want to see the new instrument panel. Assuming that what is shown in the photo is what will be in the new cars, Honda has elected, wisely, to provide the same kind of info we get in the Insight, namely instanteous fuel consumption, trip fuel consumption, and possibly (can't tell on this one by the photo) lifetime mileage. All of which is rather sweet news for this pilgrim since in my opinion those fuel consumption figures are critical if the objective is to reduce the world's consumption of fuel.
I was also stunned to joyfully read that the next geneation Civic is smaller
than the last version. Okay, we're only talking 35 mm shorter but given the standard 30 to 50 mm jump in length the manufacturers usually dump on us, this is downright revolutionary. Apparently the car is also wider than the old version though by how much they don't say.
Hence for me there's no choice at all between the new IMA Civic with the american body and the euro version. The IMA is bigger and heavier and lacks the terrific versatility of the interior found in the euro version. The IMA version also offers zero in the looks department for my eyes whereas the euro version appears to be one very sweet looking car, especially in the two-door version. Toss in that 2,2 liter diesel motor and bingo, looks like a winner for me. Driven intelligently with a keen eye on the fuel consumption guage, thank goodness for that, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see drivers achieve 4L/100, maybe even 3,5L/100, around 60 mpg american.
The only bummer would be the noise at stops; no engine stop mechanism. I have to say I find that slightly odd given that the EU will require all cars to have that capability by maybe 2008 or something like that; I've forgotten the exact year. How that's supposed to work I don't have a clue if the car isn't equipped with something like the Insight's or Prius's systems. Fiat back in the 70's came out with I think it was the Panda with an engine stop device but they dropped that in short order because the cost of replacing all those starter motors under warrenty was killing them! Nevertheless to have the new Civic with that 2,2 L diesel and
an engine stop would almost make up for the loss of the Insight. Almost but not quite. I mean there's no way that car would be able to pull down a 350 kilometer tour averaging 2,6L/100 like I can do with my Insight. No way.
Anyway, if you can read french, the article is a good read and if you can't, the pics are good.