2022 Honda Civic’s design is proof that you can’t please everyone

Updated Jun 07, 2021 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

The new release is getting mixed reactions just like the old one.

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.”

Introducing the 2022 Honda Civic

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.    

2020 Honda Civic

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.

11th Gen Honda Civic

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.

11th Gen Civic interior

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.         

We don’t just aim to please with our automotive updates on Philkotse.com.

Know more about Honda Civic 2021

Honda Civic

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.

From ₱1,115,000

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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