Japanese manufacturer will continue to prioritise practicality over sports styling, despite more outrageous designs like the new Civic Type R and NSX
Jim Holder
13 March 2015

Honda design will continue to emphasise practicality over head-turning looks, according to chief operating officer Testsuo Iwamura.

Honda's return to the sports car and hot hatch arena with the new NSX and Civic Type R had raised suggestions that the brand would adopt more sporty styling across its range, but Iwamura scotched the reports.

"Our styling principles have been about achieving maximum space for the driver and passengers while trying to create powertrains that can sit in the minimum space," said Iwamura. "Above all, our focus is on good visibility for anyone in the car.

"Accordingly, our styling is a bit different from that of some of our rivals. Some manufacturers try to go to extremes and create sharp, dynamic styling, but our principles - which are backed by our customers - are focused on visibility and the trends according to current styles.

"That is the way Honda thinking is. We are not shifting direction up, down or sideways. Our design is accepted by our customers and we will stick to those principles."

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Our Verdict

Honda Civic Type-R
Honda's new Civic Type R is powered by a 306bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder engine

Probably the most capable front-wheel-drive car in production today, with only limited edition specials getting close

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13 March 2015
The Type R concept looked great, and very sporty. The production model looks like a Civic that crashed in to Halfords.

Why no wide arches? Why no mad rear lights? The concept was amazing.

13 March 2015
Our focus is on good visibility? Recent Hondas have had appalling visibility. How come they've suddenly made it their focus? They don't have a design language at the moment unless you call ugly a design language.


13 March 2015
Good visibility? What are Honda talking about?

Poor rear visibility was a prime reason why I didn't buy a last-gen Civic, along with mad dashboard ergonomics and a poor turning circle.

Add to those sins, downright ugliness for the latest version and I do wonder what is going on in the Honda design department.

I used to be a Honda buyer, but the days of good lookers like S2000, CRX, Prelude Gen 3 and 4 are long gone.

13 March 2015
I think he is talking about non european markets. Look at their Asian and North American cars. Its the bland practical styling from Hondas good ole days. Honda admitted themselves that in europe they would try something different, and go for "fascinating" designs. I hope his comments mean Euro Hondas will go back to the boring designs of old... then I might become a customer again. Before getting a Golf, I didnt even consider test driving a current shape Civic... its just soooo ugly.

13 March 2015
I am sure it would be possible to stick to the good principals of visibility and passenger space without surrounding the car mechanicals and occupants in designs that stop people from buying their cars. However i am not convinced the civic even does that.... Statements like this must be very depressing for people who work in Honda dealerships.

13 March 2015
I am afraid that is exactly what the Civic achieves, not to tidy at the front and then you catch the rear ugh. Don't know how they can even put forward this approach when the evidence contradicts it totally.

13 March 2015
jazz vs fiesta vs polo



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