The last time that the Honda Civic sort of resembled its bigger brother, the Accord, was in the mid to late 1990s. After that, the siblings began to split into different styling directions. The Accord was the noticeably more upmarket one, while the Civic had a youthful vibe to it. But in Honda’s quest to make its product line feel a little bit more premium, its compact sedan once again follows in the footsteps of its midsize stablemate.
The Civic retains the fastback profile of its predecessor but with more straight edges. Everything seems to be squared off like the headlights, the window line, the kink on the rear-quarter glass, and the front air dams. The rear light clusters are almost the same as those of the Accord’s. Thankfully, the wheels remain circular and are 16-18 inches in size, depending on the variant.
The interior also has some sort of Accord treatment with the controls now arranged in a cleaner, more logical layout. That starts with the climate control, which now has its own display. The full-LCD gauge cluster now has a twin-dial interface, which we think is linked to the Honda Sensing driver aids. The infotainment display is seven or nine inches big. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, with wireless device integration available on the range-topping trim level.
Honda is adamant that the Civic is tuned for “responsiveness, fun and comfort.” It’s quite a confusing combination of words. We were almost convinced about the vehicle being sporty with its front MacPherson struts and rear multilink suspension. But the automaker was also quite proud about the fact that this Civic’s wheelbase is longer by 35.56mm. In theory, a long wheelbase does not equate to sharper handling, so we hope that the suspension tuning will compensate for that.
However, those extra millimeters do translate into better legroom. Again, ride comfort is the name of the game here with the electronic power-steering system optimized for highway stability. Front passengers will benefit from Honda’s Body Stabilizing Seat (which is said to follow the contours of the occupant for more lateral support). They will also have a closer look at the fancy mesh trim straddling the width of the dashboard (which also doubles as the air-conditioning vents).
For the US market at least, the all-new Civic will be offered with two engine choices. Base trim levels get a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine with 158hp and 187Nm. That torque figure seems a little low for a 2.0-liter unit, so it’s likely that pulling power will be more evenly spread across the rev range. The more potent option is the turbocharged 1.5-liter mill. It’s good for 180hp and 240Nm. Both engines are (sadly) mated to a continuously variable transmission. There is no word yet if a sporty Si variant will be introduced later on, which would probably have a manual gearbox.
Obviously, the all-new Civic will have the usual standard safety features like antilock brakes, stability control, and the above-mentioned Sensing driver aids. But Honda is especially happy about its unique airbag design, which it claims is the first in the world. Both front airbags are engineered to reduce brain trauma by limiting head movement during a crash. Essentially, the car will not allow the skull to flail around wildly in an accident, lowering the possibility of severe brain injuries.
The 11th-generation Civic in its sedan form will be built in Honda’s Ontario plant in Canada. On the other hand, the upcoming hatchback’s assembly line will be assigned to the Greensburg, Indiana, facility. For now, Honda’s newest model will initially be available in North America. Are these pictures enough to make you look forward to the all-new Civic? Or do you wish Honda Cars Philippines would continue the tradition of selling a different-looking Civic to our market?