The current 10th-gen Honda Civic isn't the most elegant car on the road, but it stands apart from its rivals and overall it's a sharp little package. And for a nameplate like the Civic, which helped unlock a golden age for Honda back in the 1990s, following up success is tough.
Welp, this is your first chance to judge the 11th-gen Honda Civic, likely arriving as a 2022 model. The Civic XI forum scooped up these patent images on Tuesday that appear to show both the sedan and hatchback models undisguised, though void of any Honda badging. Like past patent image leaks, it's super obvious what kind of badge will sit on the front of the car, however, so it's hard to deny this isn't the next Civic. Honda did not outright deny the images and a spokesperson told Roadshow, "We love the enthusiasm Civic enjoys worldwide, and are looking forward to unveiling the all-new 11th-generation Civic in the not-too-distant future."
While I approach every single car in an unbiased matter, I have a soft spot for Honda, and I have to say, this design is looking pretty tired before it even arrives in the metal. I will absolutely reserve final judgement for a later date, but in a first take, this looks rather mundane for a brand new car. The front fascia is absolutely the strongest part of the design so far, which hangs onto the sleek headlights from today's Civic, but the lighting elements flow into the grille more than the current car. Beneath a rather small grille by today's standards sits a larger lower grille area that, unfortunately, takes on a styling cue I personally cannot stand. The fog lights attached to the lower grille power that swoop upward create a bit of a mustache effect. Overall, it's inoffensive and hardly a massive leap like the 10th-gen car was from the ninth-gen Civic.
2022 Honda Civic comes into view via patent imagesSee all photos
The side profile embraces the inoffensive look before we're taken around back to a heavily restyled rear end. I think what we'll see in the final car are taillights that look at lot like today's Honda Accord, but in the patent images, they give off major Volkswagen Group vibes. It's a tad Audi, a little VW Jetta and they also strike me as reminiscent of the seventh-generation Hyundai Sonata prior to its refresh. It will probably be a fine design, but comparing it to the current Civic, it comes off as far more conservative than the super expressive look today.
The hatchback appears identical up until the B-pillar before it takes on a slightly taller greenhouse and rear fascia. The taillights look related to the sedan, but a thin light bar stretches across the hatch in a bit of a Kia Stinger-style way. If you're waiting for the coupe, we hate to remind you the body style is gone after this year, and it won't even return in Si form for the 11th-gen Civic, sadly.
Honda already said it plans to reveal the next Civic in spring 2021 so we have some time to digest the new looks still. Ultimately, we'll need to see the car in-person before we make a final judgement. But, hey, at least we know the Si will return, and maybe with the coupe out of the picture, we'll get a Civic Si hatch.