The 11th-generation Honda Civic has made its global debut. And as with any other new release from any other carmaker, Honda is bullish over the latest addition to its brood, singing its praises as “the best Civic ever.”
There’s only one problem: not everyone is joining the chorus. The outgoing Civic started making its way to customers in 2016, and five years is a quite a long time to get accustomed to its design. Having the latest Civic come on board with a more understated aesthetic means that current and potential Honda fans will have to shift their tastes yet again.
At the time the 10th-generation Civic was released, the fastback design meant that the model was now better able to give the impression of speed even while standing still. It was underpinned by an all-new global platform, and the resulting increased dimensions over the previous release made it the largest Civic yet in Honda’s history. Despite that, it wasn’t a question of whether or not the car was actually fast, but at least the silhouette and exterior details allowed it to finally look the part straight from the factory.
The previous Civic had the looks to match the performance
Still, not a few eyebrows were raised. The design was criticized as being too flashy, uncharacteristic of traditional Japanese finesse and subtlety. It certainly didn’t help that the Civic in particular (and Honda in general) suffered from something of an image problem, being poster cars for the much-derided ‘ricer’ culture known for cheap aftermarket parts that gave a gaudy appearance without enhancing performance.
In contrast, the new Civic looks a little more grown up. The fastback design is still evident, but the visual details have been substantially toned down. A more angular shape dominates the headlamps, along with a lower-profile grille. The wheel arches are less bold, and the hood has been extended by moving the A-pillars back by almost 50mm.
Honda's new compact sedan is drawing comparisons to its more upmarket Accord sibling
Despite the longer wheelbase, the new Civic doesn’t boast increased legroom, although this allows the rear seats to be raked slightly for more comfort. Even the previously sporty dashboard and instrumentation give way to a less cluttered layout, with the air vents now hidden inside a honeycomb mesh strip, a more legible gauge array, and a floating-type touchscreen that’s typical of more premium marques.
It looks like there was a conscious effort on the part of Honda to make the Civic look more upscale, and there have been comparisons to its upmarket Accord stablemate. But the new release is getting mixed reactions yet again, with some liking the more subdued, classy look and others lamenting the design as conservative and dated.
Even the interior looks less aggressive than before
Bear in mind, however, that the North American 2022 Honda Civic isn’t necessarily reflective of what it will look like in other markets, and the Philippine release planned for this year might feature aesthetic tweaks that could appeal more to local tastes. At least that’s something for critics of the design to look forward to.
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Know more about Honda Civic 2021
Currently, the Honda Civic compact sedan is now in its 10th generation. It was first introduced back in April 2016, and currently it has three variants. Under the hood, the 10th-gen Civic for the Philippine market has two engine options. The Civic RS uses a 1.5-liter turbocharge inline-4 that can make up to 171 horsepower and 220 Nm of torque. The second engine option is a naturally-aspirated 1.8-liter inline-4 that can produce a maximum of 139 horsepower and 174 Nm of torque. All variants use a continuously variable transmission, which sends all power to the front wheels.
Joseph Paolo Estabillo