The Honda Concerto is a four-door sedan and five-door liftback co-developed from 1988-1994 by Austin Rover Group and Honda. It was introduced in Japan in June 1988 and was based on the fourth-generation Honda Civic. Later on, in 1989, the British-built European-market version was introduced, and production lasted up until 1994 two years after discontinuation of the Japan-built model.
History of the Concerto
The British-built Concerto was the successor to the second generation Honda Ballade and Honda Integra which was discontinued because it was unpopular with the European consumer. Since Japanese-built models were exclusive to Honda Clio, the Japanese Honda dealership, the cars sold in Australia were the British–built models (model code HW). In Australia, it was only available as a 5-door liftback.
Honda produced the Concerto from two facilities, one of which was the Austin Rover's Longbridge plant. The only difference between the European-built and the Japan-built Concerto was in the suspension. The Japan-built versions employed double-wishbone suspension while the Longbridge-built had MacPherson struts. Although you may not realise this, the Concerto was a pivotal project by Honda. It was through this collaboration that Honda was able to grow its UK operations.
There were four powertrains available for the European market. Note, there were seven in total, but the three were exclusively for the Japanese market.
- A 1.4 L SOHC twin-carb engine rated at 65kw at 6,300 rpm
- A 1.5L SOHC DPI engine which reached peak power of 66 kW at 6,000 rpm
- A 1,590 cc SOHC MPI engine that produced 82 kW in power at 6,300 rpm and a torque of 143 N.m. (this was available in Australia and Japan)
- A 1.6 L DOC MPI with a maximum power output of 90 kW at 6,000 rpm
What Do You Get With The Car?
Several pieces of equipment come with the standard 1.6i model upwards. You get an electric glass sunroof, four-speaker radio cassette, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, central door locking system, and an adjustable driver's seat. Other notable features included improved anti-lock brakes, a color-keyed rear spoiler, and higher quality wood on the dash.
Most experts will advise you to steer clear of the 1.5L and1.4L cars, which were never offered in Australia; so that's a plus. The 1.6L car with a 16-valve engine has proven the most reliable of the bunch. There are some other issues that you should know. One, the car seats on the older models tend to sag, especially if the car has been extensively used and the electric windows have a history of occasional failure. Also, the brakes suffer from judder and vibration.
All in all, the Concerto is a car for people who would want a cheap working vehicle. In case you have one and you would like to sell it, list your product with us and have it advertised at Carpart.com.au. On the other hand, if you’re looking for parts to repair one that had been sitting in your garage, we are the marketplace where car parts sellers are. Contact us today, or visit our website!
- Eric Anyega