Honda recently released several details for the new Civic, and rather surprisingly, it looks pretty exciting. For a car that is meant to be sold as a mass-market commodity, it actually seems like something that gear heads can enjoy. So, is this premonition of mine an astute observation, or just a massive jump to an ill-drawn conclusion? I suppose we should find out.
As usual, we begin first with some baseline info. The car that Honda showcased is the prototype model for 2022 and will be the Civic’s 11th generation. Sales for this car will start in the spring of next year and it is expected to hold a key role in Honda’s lineup. Since 2016, the Civic has taken up over 20% of the market share in its respective class. Additionally, for the past four years, it has been one of the best-selling cars in America among young buyers. I realize these are not the most exciting statistics to consider when reviewing a car but bear with me. All of this is actually quite important because it asserts that, as you would expect, this new Civic has been designed with the intention of appealing to a variety of young customers. Now millennials pretty famously could not give two craps about cars and the pleasures of driving, so right away this does not bid well for the argument that gear heads can love the new Civic.
However, before you get too discouraged, I think we should take a deeper look at what we know. Firstly, the new Civic is undeniably gorgeous. Most components from the old chassis have been carried over, and this means that the basic proportions have stayed the same. However, the Honda design team has been careful to add tasteful touches that really make all the difference. For example, the A-pillar was moved two inches back. This elongates the nose of the Civic and simultaneously gives it the appearance of a more sporty RWD car. If you look closely, you can also see that it now has proper air intakes versus the not so elegant design showcased in previous models. These details might be easy to miss, but collectively they give the Civic its sporty and fresh aesthetic.
In addition to this important commentary on the design, the Civic does actually get marginally better in more practical categories of consideration. There will a new 9.0 inch touch screen available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. More additional features will come as standard including several driver-assist features that make the car much safer. There are even plans for an AWD model a few years down the road, which would again make daily driving easier and safer.
So, where exactly does all of this leave us? To be honest, I am not sure that I can label the new Civic as a car that proper gear heads can enjoy. Comparatively, I do think that it is much more exciting than its other counterparts like the Hyundai Elantra or Volkswagen Jetta. However, if we are having an objective discussion, it is quite clearly meant for the customer who is primarily interested in getting from point A to point B.
This being said, I do think I can finish this article on a positive note. While the base Civic is not the perfect car for gear heads, it provides an absolutely wonderful base for models like the Si and Type R. These variants of the Civic have traditionally been the Honda models actually built for serious drivers, and while they are more expensive I do hold some hope that they will be better than their predecessors. Everything considered, if you are in the market for a cheap and practical car I would keep the Civic in mind. Whether you are a gear head or not, chances are there will be a model for you.
“2022 Honda Civic Prototype Is Still Cool But Surprisingly Sophisticated”. Car And Driver, 2020, https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a34632851/2022-honda-civic-prototype-revealed/. Accessed 25 Nov 2020.
“2022 Honda Civic Review, Pricing, And Specs”. Car And Driver, 2020, https://www.caranddriver.com/honda/civic. Accessed 25 Nov 2020.
“2022 Honda Civic: Everything We Know”. Motortrend, 2020, https://www.motortrend.com/news/2022-honda-civic-everything-know/. Accessed 25 Nov 2020.
“2022 Civic: Coming Soon | Honda”. Honda Automobiles, 2020, https://automobiles.honda.com/future-cars/2022-civic#. Accessed 25 Nov 2020.