The 11th-generation FE Honda Civic has made its launch debut in Singapore, with local distributor Kah Motor offering just a sole variant of the C-segment sedan that is priced at SGD122,999 (RM383,851) inclusive of COE.

For that money, customers will get a 1.5 litre DOHC VTEC Turbo four-cylinder engine that serves up just 129 PS (127 hp) from 5,500 to 6,000 rpm and 180 Nm of torque from 1,700 to 4,500 rpm. That’s considerably less than what is available on the Thailand-spec Civic (178 PS and 240 Nm) and even the previous generation of the model sold in Singapore. So, what gives?

The reason for the detuned engine is to ensure the Civic qualifies for a Category A COE, which is typically the cheapest among the five categories listed in the Vehicle Quota System (VQS) in Singapore. To meet Category A COE requirements, a car must have an engine displacement not exceeding 1,600 cc (1.6 litres) and a maximum output of 97 kW (132 PS or 130 hp), both of which the new Civic meets.

The previous, 10th-generation FC Civic sold in the country was offered with a 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo mill that made 173 PS and 220 Nm of torque, so while it met the first portion of Category A requirements, the higher output meant it was placed in the usually costlier Category B. Kah Motor also provided a Category A alternative by selling the Civic with a much older R16 1.6 (1,597 cc) litre naturally-aspirated SOHC four-cylinder that made 125 PS and 152 Nm.

On the FE Civic, there’s still a CVT that sends drive to the front wheels and the powertrain has a rated fuel consumption of 6.4 litres per 100 km. No emission figures were provided but it is stated that the model is placed in band B of the country’s Vehicular Emission Scheme (VES), so it doesn’t benefit from any rebates.

Standard equipment on the Singapore-spec Civic includes halogen projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and engine start, an ECON drive mode, a wireless charger, leather upholstery, a multi-function three-spoke steering wheel and automatic air-conditioning with rear vents (this isn’t found on the Thailand-spec Civic).

In terms of displays, there are two found inside the cabin, including a seven-inch digital instrument cluster as well as a nine-inch touchscreen Display Audio system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support.

On the safety and driver assistance front, the Singapore-spec Civic comes with the Honda Sensing suite that consists of adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, a collision mitigation braking system with forward collision warning, lane keep warning and assist, road departure mitigation and a lead car departure notification system. Honda’s LaneWatch system is also present, along with the usual passive systems (ABS, VSA, brake hold assist, hill start assist, six airbags and Isofix anchors).

Customers will have seven colours to choose from, including Meteoroid Grey Metallic, Morning Mist Blue Metallic, Platinum White Pearl, Lunar Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Ignite Red Metallic and Brilliant Sporty Blue Metallic. Each purchase comes with five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty and one year’s worth of free service, the latter upgradeable to three years for an additional SGD 2,000 (RM6,238).