The 11th generation of the Honda Civic has leaked, and we are getting our first look at a production model of the little Honda sedan — which is not so little anymore.
The leaks of the Chinese-market version of this car (posted here from Autohome.com.cn) were featured on the Civic 11 forum. It’s almost identical to the concept that Honda teased in late 2020, if a little more modest with its paint and wheels. This will be the 2022 model year Honda Civic sedan, out this year. (Honda has a habit of releasing almost-production-ready designs as “concepts,” having done this exact same runaround on the Civic in 2015.)
The production model looks good enough, and I’m sure this new Civic keeps adding appeal for would-be Civic sedan drivers. I just can’t shake the feeling the Civic has become an Accord by another name.
And the Accord has become, well, I’m unsure what it’s become. To borrow a tech term or habit, the Accord is now the Accord Max, or Plus or Pro.
My point is that the Civic sedan and Accord seem much closer now than they have in the past. There used to be a clear distinction between them, and I’m not sure I can say that with as much confidence anymore. That also follows in the shared design language Honda has been refining for the last few generations. Everything seems to have a bit of an overbite, even if the Hondas are a little more handsome now and borrow from Acura.
Honda has been moving upscale for the last few years, and it makes sense that as it does so its cars will follow it up the market. Drivers who are shopping there irrefutably want bigger cars. More money, more car.
But in that transition, something of the original Civic has been lost. I just don’t see that leaked production model Civic as something for undergrads or for your neighbor’s kid who’s getting a hand-me-down Honda.
I’m OK with cars getting slightly bigger and definitely with cars getting safer. That said, I will miss the ratty little Hondas tooling around with pizza delivery signs on them and/or state university stickers fading on their bumpers. I suppose when I feel nostalgic for that, I can always turn to the Honda City sedans tooling around the border.