Honda was always likely to struggle to reproduce the sense of amazement that it created with the design of the 2006 Civic, so it hasn’t tried. Although the wider, more prominent ten generation Civic comes bearing an more aggressive look.
The company describes this new version as “a thoughtful evolution”, saying the exterior styling is more athletic and elegant than that of the last car and its profile lower, wider and more aerodynamic. As much as it can be, at any rate, while retaining the old car’s basic mechanical platform and fixed references, or ‘hard points’.
The shortage of design freedom that implies might explain some of the less visually successful parts of the Civic’s styling, such as its front wings, bodyside surfaces and rear bumper treatment.
This, as most testers agreed, is not an attractive-looking car. From a functional perspective, however, design improvements have been made.
The drag coefficient is a close-to-class-leading 0.27 and rearward visibility has been improved by a more intelligently designed tailgate with a standard wiper.
Heeding feedback from dealers and customers, the Civic hatchback underwent a mild dynamic and styling refresh for the 2014 model year, aimed at giving the car a slightly more upmarket feel.