It has been five years since the current Honda Civic made its debut. So based on the standard 5 year product plan, a new model should be unveiled later this year. Not so, says Honda, which cites changing market conditions and emissions regulations as the reasons behind the pushed back release to 2011.

“In general, we are not changing cycles. We change vehicles as need be. The ability to do something based on more current information is better than waiting a full model cycle. Some of that is being able to have the opportunity to change (based on) what you see happening in the marketplace,” explained John Mendel, American Honda Motor Co’s Executive VP.

The next Civic was supposed to grow in size over the FD2, but Honda COO Tsuneo Tanai said at last year’s Tokyo show that the design had been altered midstream and resized closer to the current car.

Five years already? The current Civic doesn’t feel very dated in our books, and is still very competitive against younger rivals, if not better. Good to hear that it won’t be further enlarged though; those who want a bigger car can get the Accord or an MPV.

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