Honda Previews New Civic
Coupe and sedan concept give a good idea of what's coming this spring.
Honda Civic Si Concept
While Honda highlighted the youthfulness of its Civic franchise at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda, chose his words carefully when introducing the new Civic concept — saying it was designed for the "young at heart" — so as not to offend the company's more seasoned clientele.
More than 30 percent of Civic drivers are under 35, which leaves a large contingent of middle-aged folks for Honda to keep happy. And in that regard, the Civic is a good fit; it feels more mature than other small cars.
The new Civic lineup will offer the same variety as before, with multiple engine choices and trim levels, as well as a hybrid that will feature the first application of a lithium-ion battery in a Honda.
Meanwhile, the obscure natural-gas powered Civic GX, previously sold in only four states, will be available nationwide. "The Civic GX is darn near zero-emissions like an electric car, and it's here now," Mendel said. "In fact, we've had it in the lineup in the U.S. since 2008."
Honda Civic Si Concept Coupe and Civic Concept Sedan
What is it? A preview of the 2012 Honda Civic's exterior styling.
What makes it special? While the new Civic will have more flair than ever before, it won't lose any of the maturity that made previous versions such a hit. At first glance, the new design might seem like only a mild update because it has the steeply raked windshield and overall shape of the existing model — what Honda calls the "one-motion mono-form." The front-end styling isn't a huge departure, either. But the car is indeed all new. It's more compact on the outside but no less roomy on the inside. And the sporty Civic Si Concept coupe has more aggressive styling than the Civic Concept sedan, with a more angular front end, a rear air diffuser, a center-mounted exhaust outlet and a rear decklid spoiler. Both concept cars have huge 19-inch wheels.
When will it be available? Spring 2011.
How much will it cost? To be announced. But it probably won't be much different than the current Civic.
MSN Autos' take? Honda has managed to make the Civic look more sophisticated give it a more premium feel without losing its youthful flair. The new design is a well-executed evolution of an iconic shape that defines one of Honda's most popular models.
Matthew de Paula wanted to be an automotive journalist ever since reading his first car magazine in grade school. After a brief stint writing about finance, he helped launch ForbesAutos.com and became the site's editor in 2006. Matthew now freelances for various outlets.
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I was looking forward to the new Civic; however, I am extremely disappointed with what come out of from Honda's design team. It is so blah... so predictable and with boring lines, tail lamps, etc. Both Honda and Acura need to re-evaluate their designs... they are simply put... uninspiring. The new Civic is NOT ugly... just plain when compared to today's competition....
Most of you posting comments are crazy and just don't get it. Honda doesn't put styling first. They do a decent job, but their all about efficiency, reliability, and safety. This is why there are so many older Honda vehicles on the road today. They're a well a built A to B vehicle and in my opinion they're keeping up with the competition. Compared to the Corolla/Fusion/Sentra/etc...this blows them all out of the water.
It's definitely an improvement over the older aging model. Honda's biggest problem right now is that they have moved their product cycles to 5 years instead of 4 years just as the competition (Hyundai & Ford) is moving their product cycles to shorter spans. The compact segment is much more competitive now that people want more MPGs and the Civic is no longer the leader in this class. Maybe the new model can bring it back.
best of all, it's a Honda, you can run the snot out of it and it won't break!
If the transmission holds up, it will probably last a long time. But over the past few years, that has been a big if.
Sorry guys, but your comments don't apply today the same way they did a few years ago. Honda's big thing used to be efficiency. But their fuel economy hasn't improved much over the fast few years while everyone else is catching up or, in the case of Ford and Hyundai, surpassing them entirely.
When the quality and efficiency of the competition are basically on the same playing field, styling becomes all the more important. Right now, Honda is playing catch-up.
I will say that the picture of the Civic above is a step in the right direction.
While I have known a few friends who have had to replace the transmission in their Accords, most of the transmission failures I have read about were on the Odyssey. The new model that was just released now has a six-speed auto which I believe is the first six-speed auto ever offered in a Honda. So it is too soon to know if they have worked the bugs out.
I think the six-speed has been offered on Acura models for a few years, so there might be some info there, but I couldn't tell you for sure because I don't follow Acura too much. They seem to be on life support lately.