By on January 17, 2013

For some unknown reason, Honda decided to debut this new concept, dubbed the GEAR, at the Montreal Auto Show. Honda claims it’s a 21st century interpertation of a subcompact hatch that’s fun to drive, customization and stylish. What do you say, Murilee? Is this a faithful heir to your Civic hatchback?

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51 Comments on “The Honda Concept That Didn’t Debut At Detroit...”

  • avatar

    It’s certainly a faithful heir to the old 80’s Honda City, right down to the round-ish headlights.

  • avatar

    Priced right, I could see this selling very well.

    And by right, I mean a nicely featured automatic at $15K, with a manual stripper for less than $12K.

  • avatar

    Lob two doors off of the Fit and there ya go.

    • 0 avatar

      Please don’t. Two-door cars with two rows of seats need to die.

      • 0 avatar

        The 2-door bodystyle is a nice change once in a while from ye-old-boring sedan. Sometimes the ability to carry a coule extra friends on a rare occasion is helpful.

      • 0 avatar

        I haven’t owned a 2-door coupe in many years, but one thing I miss about my 2-door Jetta is the ability to put my briefcase in the back seat without having to open up any other trunks and doors. It did save time.

        My back seat rarely sees any human life, so a two-door car might make a lot of sense. If you don’t like my future car only having two doors, you could always take the bus. :)

      • 0 avatar

        Reality check, Easton: Young people looking for a practical low-cost car won’t go for a two-door because the insurers will punish them as irresponsible coupe buyers.

      • 0 avatar


        You’re joking, right? I owned a 2-door Subaru once (’89 RX) and I absolutely loathed the fact that I couldn’t access back seats with their own doors. It is the reason that I never got a 2-door with 4 seats again. I always aim for at least 4 doors be it hatch or sedan. Just hated to play twister in the front seats to access the back.

      • 0 avatar

        Is anyone seeing how honkin’ long those doors actually are? That’s like my ’70 Eldo from HS, you gotta flip the front seat, but it’s not like they are going to have to wriggle in like a 944.

        Our family of four did just peachy with gen II and III Civics. Sometimes with all 4 of us on the 45-mile-each-way commute to civilization. With hockey gear, or guns, or groceries, or all the BS excuses for ‘needing’ a YuSuburbaHo.

      • 0 avatar
        James Courteau

        Tonycd is right… Insurance is line item number one when ‘us kids’ are car shopping, my insurance costs $10 a month MORE than my car payment. After that is fuel economy, then maintenance costs, utility, and ease of parking. Parking is actually often higher on the list because us broke-ass kids tend to live in bad parts of town where rents are cheap and parking is a punchline. In my case, my old VW Jetta required a five point turn to get into my parking spot (seven points if the neighbor’s van was there) whereas my Versa could slip in and out with no drama. Saved me two minutes of being ridiculed in Spanish every day.

      • 0 avatar


        Rest assured you’re not the only one around here sophisticated enough to appreciate a good two-door coupe (Not the Honda featured in these pictures, of course; that thing is just plain ugly), but these days it seems we’ve been outnumbered and out-evolved by all the four/five-door loving Golgafrinchans, unfortunately.


        You’re dead to me…

    • 0 avatar

      Didn’t they do that with the CR-Z?

    • 0 avatar

      So the repugnantly redundant expression “two-door coupe” has infected the language to the point at which people who claim sophistication use it. The definition of coupe is two-door car. One might just as well write about “Ford Thunderbird” or “Chevrolet Corvette”…. I won’t even comment about “four-door coupe”.

  • avatar

    This smells like CR-Z to me, which is unfortunate. I just don’t trust honda anymore to put out a decent, fun to drive, fuel efficient car. I recently had to junk my EG civic due to extensive and expensive rust (winter in Maine and Mass eats cars) and I was more than a little sad.

    • 0 avatar

      The fit is a great car. And what’s wrong with the crz -quite beautiful and now it has a power boost button – sweet.

      • 0 avatar

        I hope I’m missing the sarcasm as the 2013 CR-Z has 8 more hp than the 2012 due to battery pack change and that cures its #1 complaint (lack of power for a sporty looking car)?

        I don’t trust Honda as well as they’ve fallen repeatedly on their face with concepts like this – make it look kinda good and then give us (especially the US) a lame car that is making its founder roll over in his grave may he rest in peace.

      • 0 avatar

        The CRZ failed to deliver on the beautiful styling of the concept, and they made a huge mistake by invoking the legendary image of the CRX and not delivering on any of the qualities that made that car great. The CRZ costs $5,000 more than the car it’s based on; so right there we’ve already got a major problem. Then add on top of that it weighs more than the car it’s based on and doesn’t have the kind of performance or driving experience to live up to the CRX.

  • avatar

    Fit 2 door Type R? Sign me up!

  • avatar

    It’s a bit…frumpy. And you could probably land a U-2 on the dashboard.

    What with the (admittedly modest) propagation of subcompact “microcars” in the US (Smart, iQ, Smart, Spark, 500, Note), I was kinda hoping Honda would bring the (also slightly retro) N-One or N-BOX to our shores.

    Of course, if either of those kei cars are made in Japan, it’s probably not a smart business move…but they’re interesting cars.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Judgement on styling is always personal, but I love it.

  • avatar

    I suspect selecting Montreal for the debut was in support of the launch of the Accord Coupe HFP which is available in the Canadian market only. With the Civic being the top selling passenger car for the past 15 years and the 2012 auto market sales numbers up 5.7% overall, I figure Canada was seen to be a better launch site.

    We love our itty-bitty cars due to high gas prices, but we still make the F-Series the #1 selling vehicle overall here in the Great White North. We are a very complex people.

  • avatar

    Look at the plunging belt line everyone! If it goes much lower we’ll be seeing ass crack.

    It’s like the 90s all over again – and other than the horrible music, that’s a good thing!

  • avatar

    That’s the first Honda I’ve seen in ages which I found attractive. On paper, I should love the Fit. In person, I can’t stand to look at it, and that’s always the first cut for me in vehicles. This thing I would consider, 3 doors or 5. I suspect the (apparently obligatory) triangular rear side window would compromise visibility too much though. That’s my second cut. I won’t drive a vehicle I can’t safely see out of.

    I have a bad feeling the simplicity of the design won’t survive the production development process, assuming it’s intended to travel that road.

  • avatar

    Love the super low hood and beltline! This is what Hondas used to be all about. If they were to put this into production, along with the 2013 Accord, I’d mark it as Honda’s renaissance.

  • avatar

    Aside from the C-pillar treatment, I like it.

  • avatar

    Knowing Honda this will either not go into production or if it does it won’t come to the US just like the N-One.

  • avatar

    Sadly, I can’t see such a low beltline making it to production. I’ve lamented the slab-sided look that US side impact standards have done to cars for years now. Some companies embraced it and made the styling work for them (think Chrysler LX chassis: 300/Charger), but it still feels like looking out at the world through gun slits when you drive ’em.

  • avatar

    This may be the car that gets me to let go of my trusty 93 Civic. It just needs a front bumper :)

  • avatar

    I like this. This is the first time i have seen a Japanese brand present an openly retro design. The blunt, nearly vertical headlights are reminiscent of the latest Honda CBR 600RR headlights.

  • avatar

    It kind of looks like a cat from the front, but in a cute way.

    Also, this seems very French to me. You could easily put a Renault badge on the front (as someone has said, Twingo comes to mind.) Also kind of reminds me of the cars they used in Total Recall (80s one).

  • avatar

    I can see why Honda decided to display this Vehicle in Montreal, smaller vehicles sell well here in Canada, and get better MPG too, if Honda or anything else develops “Rust” it’s better to use a after market product like “Krown”as it really helps to stop “Rust”

  • avatar

    Could be cool, but I just don’t trust Honda anymore. Still feeling betrayed over what the CRZ ended up becoming. Still waiting for a new CRX.

  • avatar

    This is what you get when a Clarity mates with a CR-Z.

  • avatar

    Honey I Shrunk the Buick Rendezvous.

  • avatar

    That’s the ugliest four-wheeled object I’ve seen in a long time. More cohesive and artful designs graced the back of my middle school notebooks.

  • avatar

    The front overhang is not as offensive as that on CR-Z, so that’s an improvement at least. But we cannot tell how it drives until it’s available. The CR-Z could be made decent car with the right powerplant, but Honda decided not to. They had a good excuse, with CR-Z being plainly a truncated Insight, but that’s not important.

  • avatar

    The haters appear to be in the minority on this one. Personally I love it! Just please make sure it’s a 5 door and don’t let a hybrid drivetrain anywhere near it. In this market segment simplicity, efficiency and fun are what sell – it doesn’t have to be beautiful, just interesting.

  • avatar

    Too bad Honda will kill it by trying to shove hybridness into it. What a shame.

  • avatar

    It’s impossible for me to explain why, but I feel like I instinctively recognized that as a Civic hatch.

    I like it.

  • avatar

    Looks pretty cool on the show floor:

    The rear end is kind of weird though.

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