Micropost: Honda Civic

If it looks right it is right. And the reverse is true.


The line at the roof to sideglass boundary caught my eye. From the side is indecisive yet seen from the rear it passes muster. 


The problem seems to lie over the rear doorhandle where the line appears too flat. It is curving but not by enough. To the left the roof flares down. A continuous arc would have been better.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

22 thoughts on “Micropost: Honda Civic”

    1. It might look better with clear windows if theyput the rear door handle in a conventional position. Doing that of the earlier Civic hatchback and Alfa 156 made some sense. Here it doesn’t.

  1. I also wonder if the drag coefficient and thus mpg influenced the design team with this design. Especially with a civic: mpg is usually in mind.

    1. The crease behind the wheelarch and the roofspoiler are aerodynamic. Other elements are styling. There are other aerodynamic cars that are not this ungainly.

  2. Did you ever notice how some of the ninth-generation Civic hatchbacks have little vertical strakes on the rear wings underneath the taillights and others don’t?

    With strakes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Civic_(ninth_generation)#/media/File:Honda_Civic_1.6_i-DTEC_Elegance_(IX,_Facelift)_%E2%80%93_Heckansicht,_2._Mai_2015,_D%C3%BCsseldorf.jpg

    Without strakes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Civic#/media/File:2012_Honda_Civic_(FK2_MY12)_VTi-S_hatchback_(2015-07-14)_02.jpg

    From my own observations it seems to be the earlier models that have the strakes. I wonder what the purpose is? Maybe they perform some aerodynamic function like the Ford Sierra’s “Kinnock ears”.

    1. The third-generation Mercedes SLK had a similar strake. As far as I know, they’re usually aides to help with aerodynamically untidy bodies (very un-Mercedes-/Honda-like).

  3. This generation of Civic was the product of such muddled thinking, styling-wise. The estate was the best looking version by a long way, but one wonders what an estate of the previous generation would have looked like; much better, no doubt.

  4. I can imagine why the roof line looks too flat over the C-pillar. For a continuous arc, the rear door would have to have a higher upper contour and thus would be different from the one on the hatch. It seems that the bean counters have won over the designers here.

    1. More intelligent: to have compromised the two. The change needed to make the estate look nicer was about 10mm, 5mm if the difference was split.

  5. The rear three quarter window needs a frame. The glass looks discordant when considered alongside the framed doors. The plastic fillet continuing the DLO shape in front of the wing mirror takes the framing into account. At least someone at Honda was paying attention there.

    1. The same detail on my car. The rear window features a surround that continues that from the door frame. The previous generation was frameless.

    2. That would require another €12 in materials and another few moments on the production line. And in the Fiesta the C-pillar goes from the waist to the roof. On the Honda it doesn´t. So, the frame you propose will abut the glass of the rear screen. It would then distract from the very-important-must-have flush glazing effect. The earlier Fiesta you showed could have that feature though. And Ford added it on the still-current one for the reason you suggest.

    3. A frame treatment on the Honda would be a faux frame, so could be done however they saw fit. For example, it could taper away towards the rear. Simply pretending that the door frames don’t exist because they are painted black is far more naïve, in my eyes.

  6. I’m generally as disappointed with this generation of Civic as anyone else, but the estate’s packaging is actually quote impressive (a faint hint of Honda’s past engineering nous?).

  7. The more I look at it, the more I see a hurried bit of work on that little uneven line. The carry-over doors didn’t force it as the difference between the existing and a better curve is so slight. Someone didn’t have their eye in on this or had not the soak-time to consider it. The entire car has this feeling. Hurried production cycles should not eat into design time. Robots can work faster; human cognition can’t.

  8. This car was a mystery to me, an unknown. The headline said Civic, but no funny blob at the rear with a funny hat-mobile version of the current execrable design is sold here. Was the Civic choice expanding yet again, breeding like mutant rabbits? An estate, you say?

    No Civic estate or wagons as we call them has been on sale in Canada since the Wag-O-Van, and you can guess what that thing looked like – self-conscious.

    Thank goodness they aren’t selling that new estate thingy here. We just get raised-on-stilts CUVs, which are wagons in all but name designed to negotiate gravel driveways and a skiff of snow at the hands of querulous older pilots out on an adventure.

    I must breathe a sigh of relief for the small mercy Honda has shown us in our market by witholding this treasure. On the other hand, do you get the koop, er Coupe? It’s a two-door mash-up of the sedan, er saloon. Entirely forgettable.

    1. I shall ask the Driventowrite secretary to obtain some photos of that. Thank for the tip. It sounda interesting. Here Honda coupes are a memory only. Preludes and Accord 2-doors died out around a decade ago or more, when Clinton gave way to Bush Jr.

    2. The photos landed on my desk with a resounding wad-of-paper-on-polished-walnut sound: I opened the manilla envelope and found images of a not-displeasing car. That’s “not displeasing” verging on “it exists, we might be glad” feeling. It’s very busy, I think, yet feel the visual activity suits the coupe.
      Kia make a coupe called the Forte as in Trusthouse and it
      might be telling that I could have written about it and forgotten about it. Why’s it not sold over here? Kia buyers are open-minded and no one else serves the market so they’d have the field to themselves.

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