2022 Honda Civic Prototype Looks Like A Shrunken Accord

The popular mid-sized Honda Civic sedan has gone all mature on the styling department. 

After weeks of fanfare and hype, Honda has finally unveiled the next generation Civic in all its glory recently. Despite its reveal on Twitch though, a streaming platform that is used predominantly by the younger generation, the new 11th generation Civic looks to have grown up and matured in many ways. Most notable of which is seen on its exterior design. 

Gone are the Gundam styling cues and the random slashes and creases of the over-designed outgoing model. The new generation instead borrows more of its design direction from its more mature Accord elder sibling, with less creases and straighter lines being the order of the day for the exterior design of this new generation Civic. A more conventional lighting signatures are observed at both ends of the new Civic too, replacing the unique boomerang style rear light design that has become synonymous with the outgoing model. 

That is not to say though that Civic has shed all of its funky design touches from before, as the front end still retains bits of the old car’s menacing look, with its sharp LED headlights sitting above a clean-cut yet menacing front bumper design. Complete with large front air dam and crisp C-shaped side air intakes. There is also still that little kink on the trailing edge of the window line that is carried over from the previous generation. 

That said, all these design hallmarks have been muted somewhat from its predecessor. So even with the vibrant orange Solar Flare Pearl paint scheme and large 19-inch matte black 10-spoke alloy wheels seen here on these launch photos, one can’t help but think its a bit more boring than the outgoing Civic. 

Then again, this more mature look should come as no surprise as Honda will most likely want the Civic to retain its mass market appeal. It is America’s best selling car for millennials after all, with the outgoing model raking up 20% of the market share in its segment with 1.5 million sales thus far. The pivot towards a more conservative styling design for this generation therefore marks a step back from the wild and wacky that turned some buyers off the current Civic, and err more towards the side of practical sensibleness, in an attempt to retain buyers in this slipping sedan market. 

Moving onto the interior of this new Civic, the same minimalistic design approach from the exterior design has been taken in the cabin too. Gone are the swoopy curves and multiple layered dash design of the current Civic, and in its place instead is a more straight and simple dashboard layout. A configurable digital gauge cluster finally makes an appearance in the Civic, as does a larger and faster 9-inch central infotainment screen that supposedly features better graphics and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. 

Furthermore, like any new car to hit the market these days, Honda has upped the Civic’s safety features. Introducing a multitude of as-yet-undefined active and passive safety features as part of its upgraded Honda SENSING active safety suite, not to mention a couple of new airbags to supposedly protect its occupants in more areas. 

Thus far, there has been no official word from the Japanese automaker on the powertrain options yet, though there is tacit confirmation by Honda that the Civic will be available with a four wheel drive option down the line. There will also be the usual hot SI and hotter Type R Civic variants in the future, both of which is said to retain its clutch pedal. 

Available in the traditional sedan and hatchback form, the new Civic will hit showrooms in some parts of the world by early next year, with Malaysia probably getting a vaguely similar version sometime in the further future. 

PRESS RELEASE: Honda gave the world its first glimpse of the all-new 2022 Civic on Twitch, the world’s leading live streaming entertainment service. The new Civic, shown in prototype form in a striking new color, Solar Flare Pearl, showcases a fresh, sporty and upscale new look for Honda’s iconic and immensely popular Civic.

The 11th-generation Civic draws inspiration from timeless elements of Honda design, including a low and wide stance, low beltline, clean and sophisticated detailing, and an open and airy cabin. The prototype model unveiled today presages the arrival of an all-new Civic lineup, beginning late spring 2021, with the launch of the Civic Sedan followed by the sporty and personal Civic Hatchback, performance-focused Civic Si, and the ultimate high-performance Civic: Type R.

Leveraging its strong presence in esports and gaming, Honda’s debut on Twitch is a nod to Civic’s industry-leading and global appeal with young buyers. The 10th-generation Civic has been an unparalleled success – America’s most popular car four years running, and the most popular vehicle, car or light truck with Millennials, Gen Z, first-time new vehicle buyers and a growing population of multicultural customers since its 2015 launch. The 11th-generation Civic will build on that appeal with an even sportier, fun-to-drive new chassis, more powerful and fuel-efficient powertrains, multiple new Civic-first features and technologies, and further advances in active and passive safety features and performance.

“Civic has always exceeded expectations, and the all-new Civic will continue that legacy of setting the standard for compact cars with human-centered design, outstanding dynamics, style, safety performance and driver enjoyment,” said Dave Gardner, executive vice president of National Operations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Civic Exterior Design – Timeless Civic Values for the Modern Era

In redesigning Civic, stylists and engineers revisited timeless design concepts of past Civics, focusing on Honda’s essential and human-centered “Man-Maximum, Machine-Minimum” (M/M) philosophy, where the purpose of technology and design is to serve the needs of the driver and passengers. The styling manifests these timeless design concepts in a fresh and exhilarating new way.

The design team started with the fundamentals, imbuing the new Honda Civic with a dynamic shape and sporty stance. Carrying forward the low CG package of the 10th-generation model, including its low overall height and low hip point, designers applied the classic Civic design ethos of “thin and light” body design with a low hood and front fenders, and a low horizontal beltline that grounds the body, accentuating the wheels and tires, and enabling an expansive and airy greenhouse with exceptional outward visibility.

In executing its concept, the team also made substantial changes to the Civic’s upper body design to maximize visibility for the driver and passengers, including moving the front roof pillars rearward relative to the driver, to place them more in the visual periphery, and relocating the side mirrors to the doors for a clearer view through the front side windows.

The new face of Civic features a clean and sophisticated look, emphasizing a low and wide stature with strong horizontal elements, including offsetting the upright grille below the headlights. In profile, the Civic’s greenhouse is moved rearward on the body, elongating the hood for a more premium side view. The sharp horizontal shoulder, or C-line, carves a gentle arc from the front fender to the taillights, lending continuity to the overall design, while the upswept R-line carries through the rear fenders to the rear reflectors, adding a feeling of motion even when standing still. In the rear, the wider track of Civic is complemented by new taillights that emphasize width and on-road stability, and a playfully upswept yet aerodynamically-efficient trailing edge to the trunk lid.

Interior – Classic Civic Design Boldly Reimagined

In similar fashion, the all-new Civic will get a dramatic interior makeover as it reimagines the clean and uncluttered lines of earlier generations of Civic, and advances essential Civic M/M values of outstanding ergonomics and exceptional visibility, all while incorporating modern design elements and technology.

The instrument panel is free of visual clutter, minimizing cut lines and breaks to give drivers a clean and clear view of the road ahead, with the door top and dash line blending harmoniously. Stretching the width of the dash is a honeycomb mesh accent, which serves not only as a design element, but also conceals the visually busy air vents.

The 11th-generation also will introduce multiple new Civic-first technologies, including an all-digital driver’s meter cluster and a new 9-inch full-HD Display Audio touchscreen mounted atop the low-set instrument panel.

Civic Safety – Advancing Small-Car Safety Performance

True to its mission of advancing small-car safety performance, the 11th-generation Civic will introduce multiple new active and passive safety systems, including an upgraded suite of Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technologies, and multiple new airbag designs. Furthermore, the new Civic comes with an advanced new version of Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure with both improved occupant and pedestrian collision protection. The new, more rigid body structure also will contribute to further advances in Civic’s driving refinement, ride quality and sporty handling.

Civic Popularity – Sales Success Spanning Six Decades

The 10th-generation Civic has been a runaway success, establishing itself as the most popular car in America, earning the trust of more than 1.5 million U.S. customers since its 2015 launch, out-retailing every passenger car in America. It extends a legacy of success that includes nearly 12 million Civics sold in the U.S. since its 1973 introduction, making it one of the top three best-selling cars in America over the past 47 years. The iconic Civic has been the No. 1 vehicle among Millennial buyers since 2011, making Honda the top brand in loyalty with Millennials. In addition, Honda captures the most Gen Z car buyers in the industry, where Civic leads the industry as the most purchased vehicle by the Gen Z audience. Civic also is the No. 1 vehicle in the industry with multicultural buyers.

The 11th-generation will continue Civic’s legacy of being built in North America and, for the first time, Civic Hatchback will be manufactured in the U.S., at the company’s Greensburg, Indiana plant. Honda’s commitment to building products in America spans four decades. Civic joined Honda’s North America-made lineup in 1986 with production in Ohio. Today, Civic is produced at two plants in North America, in Greensburg, Indiana, and in Alliston, Ontario, Canada. Since 1986, Honda has produced more than 10.5 million Civics in North America, five million of those in the United States.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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