Concept cars and spy photos couldn’t prepare us for the stunning inoffensiveness of the ninth-generation Honda Civic, coming to dealers this spring as a 2012 model. Despite the sedate looks of the new models, they’re guaranteed shopper favorites—the company sold over 260,000 Civics in 2010, and the nameplate is likely to continue racking up big numbers going forward. That’s because the new car is shaping up to do what Civics have always done best: deliver good fuel economy and a fun steer at a sensible price.
“Evolutionary” perfectly describes the new Civic’s styling. The wedgy profile carries over, but both the 2012 sedan and coupe get more organic, taut sheetmetal in place of the outgoing cars’ slabby sides. The front and rear ends have more dimension than in the past, too. Perhaps the most significant styling change for the four-door is in its swap of the previous sedan’s scalloped taillights and concave rear for a bulbous style that’s reminiscent of the Mercedes C-class. The coupe looks more aggressive from the side and rear, especially in Si trim, and we dare suggest that it even looks racy. (We’re going to assume the heinous wheel gap in the photos is the result of poor Photoshop work and not some sort of off-road package.)
Overall, it’s a car that’s meant to appeal to the masses, and the ninth-gen Civic accomplishes the mission of looking better without making enough of a change to scare away any shoppers. In other words, think the difference between original Triscuits and new Garden Herb Triscuits.
This new Civic also gets a revamped interior, although official photography from Honda is thus far limited to a single shot. The driver-oriented layout from the last-gen car remains, as does the two-tiered dash, featuring a digital speedo seated in the mezzanine. The Civic has picked up a new steering wheel, as well as new shapes for the vents. In other news, the IRS has revamped several earned-income tax-exemption forms for the 2011 tax year.
Thanks to: Car and Driver