The production US-spec version of the Honda Civic saloon has been revealed, and unsurprisingly, it looks just like the prototype revealed by the company last November. It’s a much neater-looking design than the fussy 10th-generation car, a theme that will hopefully carry over to the hatchback we’ll get in Europe.
The challenging nature of the old car’s styling seemingly isn’t lost on Honda, which even uses the words “simple” and “clean” to describe the new one’s body shell. The company is also making a big deal about the windscreen pillars, now sitting 5cm further forward “which elongates its hood for a premium silhouette”. Lovely.
Other design highlights include a low beltline, a “sharp shoulder character line” arcing from the wing to the rear light clusters. The interior has been tidied up too, with a minimalist design featuring a weird honeycomb material stuffed in the middle of the dash.
Honda has jumped on the floating tablet screen bandwagon, with a seven-inch (optionally nine-inch) screen jutting out in the middle of the cockpit. Thankfully, there are still physical climate controls just below. Also new is a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster for the fancier models, with entry-level versions sticking with a physical speedo next to a seven-inch display.
LX and Sport-trimmed Civics get a 2.0-litre, naturally-aspirated inline-four making 156bhp (an engine option that’ll seem a little alien to us here in Europe), while the EX and Touring derivatives get a punchier 178bhp 1.5-litre four-pot turbo. There’s no manual option - the only transmission offered at launch is the efficiency-friendly CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission).
Eventually, there will be a sportier Si model, followed by a Type R based on the incoming hatchback model. The 11th generation Civic is a good starting point for faster models, thanks to its stiffer body, wider rear track and lighter, more rigid front aluminium subframe. The electronic power steering has been rejigged too, apparently giving increased feedback and better stability when you’re travelling in a straight line.
The US-built 2022 Civic goes on sale this summer. Expect to see its Euro counterpart not long after that.