Honda has given most of its Civic lineup a facelift and some equipment upgrades for the 2004 model year and is charging buyers $100 more per vehicle for all that.
According to Richard Jacobs of Honda Canada, the best-selling passenger car in Canada for the last five years (pickups and minivans have been selling better lately) has been given a new look that is ''sportier, more aggressive and distinctive.''
More than ever, Jacobs says, the front ends of the coupe and sedan are different, with the two-door getting an even more aggressive look than the four-door. Both models get new headlights, bumpers, grilles and hoods.
The most significant of the changes for the 2004 Civic Sedan include the availability of Honda's race-bred VTEC system, which was previously unavailable in this mode.
The new Si Sedan trim includes the more powerful four-cylinder engine, adds 15-inch tires and includes such amenities as a power moonroof and carbon-fibre-look trim on the instrument panel and front console.
The sporty three-door SiR gets new 16-inch wheels and P205/55R16 tires.
''The new wheels and tires add considerably to the vehicle's four-wheel independent suspension,'' says Jacobs, ''while available 17-inch accessory wheels push the performance and aggressive appearance even further.''
The SiR also receives new projector-style headlights and new taillights for a more European look.
Both models come in a wide variety of colors and trims, Jacobs says, and both ''offer tremendous value to the consumer and include a long list of standard features.