Honda Australia have announced that their line of Honda Sensing active safety equipment will be standard in all next-generation Honda models, starting with the new Accord in the second half of 2019 and the next Jazz afterwards.
The fitment of such technologies fixes a big problem that currently exists in current Honda products, and will equip all of its models with possibly life-saving technologies such as forward collision warning, radar cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning.
Honda Australia Director, Mr. Stephen Collins, said: “Australian new car buyers are becoming increasingly aware of the latest safety technology in vehicles across the board but there is confusion on how they work.
“Honda is committed to bringing cars to the Australian market that are as competitively priced and value-packed as possible, and having the very best in safety technology is one of our highest priorities,” he said.
“Honda is well known for its excellence in engineering and while we are not first to market with this technology, we strive to ensure we are best to market. I’m confident that our Honda Sensing package will provide Australian consumers with a system that is intuitive and effective in its role of driver assistance.”
Honda Sensing is currently standard on all current Accord models, as well as the top spec CR-V VTi-LX, Civic VTi-LX, the Civic Type R and Odyssey VTi-L. It includes technology such as forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control.
The older HR-V small SUV currently offers ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems), an older form of Honda Sensing that includes low speed city emergency from the second tier VTi-S and up, as well as an optional package on the top spec VTi-L that also includes automatic high beam headlights, forward collision warning and lane departure warning. This doesn’t compare well with the Mazda CX-3, which offers AEB across the range, whilst the Toyota C-HR includes AEB plus radar cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear traffic alert, automatic high beam and lane keep assist across its range – it does cost more to purchase, however.
The inclusion of Honda Sensing on all models fixes a massive hole in the current Australian Honda lineup. Main rivals such as Mazda and Skoda include technology such as autonomous emergency braking across their main passenger car ranges, whereas buyers must purchase the high end $33,590 Civic VTi-LX or $44,290 CR-V VTi-LX to have such equipment. Buyers considering a medium SUV can purchase any Nissan X-Trail, Volkswagen Tiguan, Toyota RAV4, Skoda Karoq or Mazda CX-5 and get AEB included on the entry model – with many of those costing less than $30,000.
The reason for not including equipment such as AEB on all models Honda sells in Australia is because individual parts of Honda Sensing cannot be separated – Honda Sensing is an all or nothing proposition. In countries such as the US and the UK, Honda Sensing is included on most Honda models – it’s a shame that Honda Australia can’t follow and trickle the whole system down to lesser Civic or CR-V models.
“It’s clear that if you’re talking about the customer – and Honda is focusing on this – you have to approach this type of safety technology with a customer education message,” Mr. Collins said.
“With this knowledge we plan to stagger the rollout of Honda Sensing and at the same time educate customers, ensuring they walk the journey with us and understand how Honda Sensing will complement their driving experience.”
The first car to receive Honda Sensing across the range will be the next generation of Accord sedan – recently confirmed for Australia after suspicions that it wouldn’t make it – in the second half of 2019. Afterwards will be the fourth-generation of Jazz city car, as well as a new HR-V small SUV and next generation models of the Civic and CR-V. Industry safety body ANCAP also recently introduced new rules requiring AEB from a new model for a full five-star safety rating. Without it, new cars will be at a significant disadvantage compared with rivals. The announcement of Honda Sensing follows the company putting customers on notice who are yet to have their Takata airbags changed after the scandal involving the company and its faulty airbags.
Stay tuned to Chasing Cars for Honda news and reviews. Watch our comparison of the HR-V small SUV vs the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross here.