Honda first unveiled the eleventh-generation Civic as a prototype back in November 2020 before revealing the production model last month. Now, more relevant images have surfaced after a near-production prototype was caught by a member of the CivicXI forums out in the real world, resting in a parking lot at Costco in Torrance, California. Having revealed the compact sedan in full, the camouflage is now completely gone.
Finished in Platinum White, the compact sedan wears California distributor plates, presumably meaning it was being used by a Honda employee from the company's US headquarters in Torrance. Honda certainly didn't rock the boat in terms of exterior design, deciding to tone down the appearance of the previous-generation Civic. That's both good and bad news depending on personal preferences.
It certainly doesn't have the most thrilling design among rivals and some would go as far as to say it's overly conservative, but we're fairly certain many will appreciate this look more than the bolder previous generation. We should remind you the 2022 Civic is 1.3 inches (33 millimeters) longer compared to its predecessor and the wheelbase has been extended by 1.4 in (36 mm) for greater legroom in the back.
People in search of a more exciting design will have to patiently wait for the Civic Si sedan or the Type R hatchback, both of which will come with a manual gearbox to please enthusiasts. This prototype's interior wasn’t snapped, but we know it's where the more significant changes were made with the generation switch. While the exterior has an opinion-splitting appearance, the consensus is Honda has done a great job redesigning the cabin.
It's refreshing to see the continuous rise of crossovers and SUVs hasn't killed off the venerable sedan and Honda is well aware there will always be a segment of the market interested in the traditional three-box design. The five-door hatchback is not far behind, but the coupe body style is not coming back since the demand for two-door cars has taken quite the hit in recent years.
All things considered, a new Civic remains a big deal and even though its design isn't what most of us would call exciting, it's not offensive either. Time will tell whether the restrained look will help boost sales or people shopping in this segment will search elsewhere to find a design with a bit more pizzazz.