The Honda Concerto is an automobile co-developed by Honda and the Austin Rover Group. Based on the fourth generation (ED, EE, EF) Honda Civic it was introduced in Japan on 15 June 1988,, while the British-built European-market version was introduced in October 1989. The production lasted until October 1992 in Japan and 1994 in England. Named for the musical composition, and primarily designed for European tastes, the Concerto was the successor to the second generation Honda Ballade (which was a higher specification third generation Civic sedan), and the Honda Integra which was discontinued for the European Market owing to its unpopularity. All Japanese versions were exclusive to Japanese Honda dealerships called Honda Clio.
Model codes for the Japanese-built Concerto are MA1 (1.5-liter), MA2 (1.6-liter), and MA3 (1.6-liter 4WD), whereas the British-built Concerto's model code is HW.
Although Japanese production began in June 1988, European deliveries only really began after British Concerto production commenced at the end of 1989. The Europe-only models, such as the 1.4, were presented in October 1989. In some European countries (e.g. Germany and Switzerland) and Australia, it was sold as the five-door liftback version only. It acted as replacement for the disappointing Honda Integra five-door liftback in some markets. The sedan version lasted until 1993 for most nations, especially in the United Kingdom where sales were lower compared to the Rover 200 and Rover 400 Series, which was considered the more upmarket of the two vehicles.
Engine choices were:
1.4 L (SOHC twin carb) with 88 PS (65 kW) at 6300 rpm (Europe)
1.5 L (SOHC 2-barrel carb) with 91 PS (67 kW) at 6000 rpm (Japan)
1.5 L (SOHC DPI) with 90 PS (66 kW) at 6000 rpm (Europe)
1.6 L (SOHC twin carb) with 106 PS (78 kW) at 6300 rpm (105 PS in Japan)
1.6 L (SOHC MPI) with 111 PS (82 kW) at 6300 rpm (120 PS in Japan, Australia)
1.6 L (DOHC MPI) with 122 PS (90 kW) at 6800 rpm (130 PS in Japan; European models without catalyst: 130 PS DIN with manual transmission and 124 PS DIN with automatic transmission)
Four-wheel drive was an option for the four-door sedan in Japan, a system later shared with the Civic-based compact SUV, the Honda CR-V. The Japanese range received a facelift in February 1991, when the twin-cam ZC engine was also added to the JZ-Si model.
The Concerto was sold internationally on a platform which was shared with the popular Civic. Just like the five-door Integra it replaced, it offered more features than the Civic and was aimed at a more prestigious section of the market. The styling of the Concerto reflected an influence from the Honda Ascot, most notably the six-light window treatment of the greenhouse.
Honda stopped manufacturing the Concerto in Great Britain when its partner, Rover, was taken over by BMW in 1994. Until that point the two companies had been merged up to 20% equally with each other and had collaborated with this model and many others in both companies ranges.
The Concerto sedan was replaced by the Honda Domani in Japan and by the sedan version of the sixth generation (EK, EJ) Honda Civic in other markets. The hatchback version was replaced in Europe by the Domani-based 5 door Civic hatchback which was quite different to the rest of the sixth generation Civic range instead, as with the Domani, being based on the platform that underpinned the fifth generation (EG, EH) Civics. The Concerto hatchback was not replaced in other markets.
The Domani/5 door Civic hatchback formed the basis for the 1995 Rover 400 while the 1995 Rover 200 was based on the fourth generation Honda Civic platform, and therefore the Concerto's too.