Honda only introduced a 1.6-litre turbodiesel in Europe this year. Previous 2.2-litre I4 units were too large for the Civics C-segment

Honda only introduced a 1.6-litre turbodiesel in Europe this year. Previous 2.2-litre I4 units were too large for the Civic's C-segment

Honda Australia will start selling the diesel Civic hatchback from April, shipping the vehicle from the UK factory in Swindon.

The automaker hopes introducing its first diesel car 'down under' will help spark demand and boost sales there to around 50,000 vehicles a year, The Nikkei reported.

Honda Australia imports most of its models, including Civic sedans, from Thailand but hatchbacks are made only in England. It has previously imported petrol versions from Swindon. The Australian unit is also sourcing the diesel CR-V from England this year, supplementing petrol versions built in Thailand.

Honda's long-overdue 1.6-litre turbodiesel for European Civic and CR-V models was launched at the end of 2012 and sales started in January. The Australian specification unit in the Civic can run 100km (62 miles) on four litres of fuel and emits just 105 grams per kilometer of carbon dioxide.

The engine will also be used in the Brio subcompact due for launch in India this spring.

Honda's Australian sales increased 19% to 35,814 units in 2012 but were still down 40% compared with 2007. Diesel cars are growing more popular there as petrol prices rise.