By on December 7, 2016

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback - Image: © Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars

As I exited the grocery store this past Sunday night thronged by late night shoppers, the expressions on the faces of those who walked past the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback LX, parked right in front of the store, were not difficult to discern.

Then, as it became obvious I was the “owner” of said Civic, previously repulsed glances shifted toward me, now full of pity. Can’t say I was surprised. The exterior design Honda foisted upon an otherwise excellent car is downright horrifying.

I wanted to shout across the grocery store parking lot, “It’s not mine.”

(Yes, we’re testing a Honda Canada-supplied Civic Hatchback this week, but this is a purely subjective complaint, not a review. Beauty, beholder, and all that. You can, however, read Mark Stevenson’s review of the new Civic Hatchback, and keep your eyes peeled for a TTAC comparison test involving this very Civic.)

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback profile - Image: © Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars

THE BUILD-UP
The spy photos were troubling. The Honda Civic Hatchback Concept from this year’s Geneva Motor Show was eye-catching but manifested worrisome details. The production reveal in August was carefully crafted to focus on the more alluring Sport model — different sills, wheels, and rear treatment — but still set off alarm bells for North American Honda fans who (perhaps unwisely) thought our Civic Hatchback would be a worthy successor to the eighth-gen Type R.

And then, just a mile or two down the road from my home, British-built Honda Civic Hatchbacks began rolling off ships at the CN Autoport in LX trim. Oh dear.

Shortly thereafter, Civic Hatchbacks, initially just base LX models, began to appear in the wild as sad follow-ups to the largely successful Civic Coupe and oddly shaped Civic sedan.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback rear - Image: © Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars

THE CRITICAL MOMENT
Park that troubling, worrisome, alarming, disconcerting, sad car in your own driveway and you get a much better idea for how you feel about its styling.

Embarrassed is not too strong a word.

Sure, the Civic Hatchback is a particularly flexible tenth-generation Civic, which is objectively the best Civic ever. Refined, spacious, quick, and efficient, the Civic represents small car excellence. Indeed, I’m a Honda owner who’s been willing to overlook past Honda styling flubs such as the Odyssey’s windowline and sliding door track. Even I could likely get past the exterior treatment on the latest Civic sedan, which Honda evidently realized at the last minute was not supposed to be a hatchback.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Liftgate - Image: © Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars

But this actual Civic Hatchback is the ugliest car I’ve driven since, well okay, only since May. (There was that new Prius on tiny steel wheels covered by quinoa scraps and kale residue.)

GOLFING
Make no mistake, all Civic Hatchbacks, regardless of trim, feature the same disappointing proportions. Unfortunately, lacking the sort of detailing that distracts the eye on other models, the LX amplifies the Civic’s awkward angles, its stubby tail, and its hodgepodge of priorities.

Decreasing the Civic’s visual appeal and practicality is the slope of the hatch, a liftgate that takes a dive aft of the C-pillar.

Instead of copying the segment progenitor, the Volkswagen Golf, a small car that always features a more vertical, wagon-like rear hatch, the Civic follows the example of the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback.

From a luggage-carrying perspective, the Civic’s low rear floor and expanded exterior nevertheless produce a large Christmas tree-swallowing cargo hold: 25.7 cubic feet compared with the sedan’s 15.1. But it could’ve been much more spacious and more attractive.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback cargo area - Image: © Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars

DETAILS
The general shape of the car does not lend itself to stylishness. Honda also botched the details.

The alloys on this LX model are straight out of Honda’s catalogue of awful base model wheels.

The taillights are cartoonish. The front end is redeemed largely by familiarity and the fact that unnecessarily aggressive front fascias are now the norm.

The wheel-arch surrounds seem to plead, “Don’t mistake me for a rally car.”

Behind the rear door handle, above the wheel arch, at and below the greenhouse’s terminus, lines and bulges meet in a disturbing flurry of activity.

Plus, unsure of what to do with swathes of blank territory, Honda installed gigantic black holes that fight for attention at the front and back.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback front - Image: © Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars

POTENTIAL
Truly beautiful cars are often let down by additional bodywork. The Jaguar F-Type is arguably at its best when Jaguar leaves well enough alone and at its worst when Jaguar’s designers take inspiration from the TVR Sagaris.

Plebeian machinery, on the other hand, can be positively altered with tasteless bodywork. The Civic Hatchback won’t become a conventionally beautiful car. It won’t soon be handsome or classy. But a properly sized wing, big wheels, a front splitter, and chrome elimination will distract us from the car’s general offenses.

It will be the Type R, and I already know I want one despite the Civic Hatchback’s intrinsic dearth of beauty. Type R desire is natural for Honda owners.

We’ve put up with styling mishaps before, we’ll do so again.

[Images: © 2016 Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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162 Comments on “The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Is The Ugliest Car I’ve Driven Since …...”


  • avatar
    tomLU86

    …the 1978 Datsun F-10.

    It took 4 decades for Honda to sink this low.

    It could be worse though—it’s not a 1978 Datsun 200SX

  • avatar

    Still more attractive than the Crosstour.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    It’s not that bad. Really.

    Except for the giant black plastic holes in the back bumper. Those *are* that bad.

    • 0 avatar
      MerlinV12

      Giant blacked out fake air ducts are the tailfins of our age. I’d rather have the tailfins.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yeah that back bumper is the really bad part of it. This one in white makes it look like someone put a cheesy body kit on it and the proceeded to rip the lower center portion off on a speed bump.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      It’s nothing short of horrid.

      Not only is it hideous, particularly in the rear (but all over, nonetheless), but it is hideous because it is overwrought intentionally, as if adding layers upon layers of design elements (and plastic and other tangible materials) would somehow make it attractive, “sporty,” unique or otherwise.

      It’s now my leading candidate for 2017’s UAACOTY’ (Ugly As A$$ Car of The Year).

      It ain’t got no alibi.

      #UAACOTY2017

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        p.s.

        *What’s particularly sad is how far Honda has come (or stayed, more appropriately) from keeping their exterior and interior design efficient, smart, linear, and minimalistic in a very good way, with clean lines, no unnecessary additions to or weight – in terms of design or actual weight.

        **The more I see the front of this abomination, the angrier I get, as I realize that it’s nearly as bad, if not as bad, as the rear.

        ***I’d like to drop kick Mr. Honda’s descendants directly in the face for allowing for this transgression against good taste.

        • 0 avatar
          DC Bruce

          Have to agree. This wins the “beaten with an ugly stick” prize, especially the front and the rear. The side view is o.k.
          So, what’s going on in Japan? Is it contaminated water from the Fukushima nuke plant working its way into Japanese design studios. First there is the new generation Prius . . . and now this.

          Or did someone discover a photo of the Lamborghini Countach from — what was it, the 1980s — and think it was really cool? At least the scoops and vents on the Countach were functional.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Agreed. Right now, I actually think the revised 2016+ Accord looks sharp and has a good blend of clean design and modern styling cues (although I could do without the foot-shaped wheel spokes on upper trims), but they’ll probably ruin it for its 2018 / 2019 redesign.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenn

          “It ain’t got no alibi.”

          The “alibi” I see is this being the response to the abundance of negative comments about the previous – and relatively simple and clean – Civic Sedan design, typically berated for being “boring.”

          Yesterday, I saw a 2nd-generation Scion xB, and wondered whether the very overwrought C-HR is Toyota’s response to the negative comments regarding THAT simple, functional, rounded-box (the front styling and excessive overhang being the xB’s biggest exterior styling mistakes, IMO).

          I see a great many (younger?) commenters believing simple, unforced, and uncluttered designs are boring. So, maybe this unpleasant mess is what Honda interprets as the more exciting design direction we (er, they) wanted?

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          The sad part is they used to be SOOO good at lovely mimimalist design. Those early ’90s Civics were works of art visually. Even if they were nastly little rusting tin boxes.

          The Japanese really are going back to the 70’s, and not in a good way.

      • 0 avatar

        Hrrmmm … maybe TTAC will have a new award for 2017.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The sad thing is they went out of their way to be this stupid on what is otherwise an attractive proposition (Civic hatch).

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        They’re still trying to atone for the boring 2012 model, but the pendulum has now swung too far the other way.

    • 0 avatar
      King of Eldorado

      … and the front bumper.

    • 0 avatar
      John

      Ummm – but they aren’t holes. They’re make-believe holes.

    • 0 avatar
      scottcom36

      They blend in pretty well on a black one.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    Meet the Honda Aztek.

    So hideous.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    Refreshingly honest. And it really is that bad. Like Crosstour bad, Veloster bad, but not quite Juke bad. The wheels are actually the only good looking part of it.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      Those aren’t quite in the same category, since the Veloster and Juke are intentionally ugly (personally I like the Veloster other than the front end and I find the Juke bland but space inefficient) and the Crosstour is unintentionally ugly, this is somewhere in between.

    • 0 avatar
      John

      I don’t know – I get a strong Pontiac Grand Am vibe from the wheels, which isn’t a good thing. Grand Am had a lot of phony aero vents, too.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Full review coming soon?

    And yea, the mid model refresh has a lot of ground to cover. I think if Honda ditched those awful tail lights and bumper nostrils they could have something inoffensive, which would be a huge step forward from where we are now. They aren’t going to sell any of these monstrosities.

  • avatar
    Rday

    Hmmm I never see cars as objects of beauty just practicality and if you look at anything/anyone long enough the will change in your prospective. So while i think all cars are nothing but appliances and not something i would kiss or sleep with, others on here evidently have strange psychological/sexual issues that are probably best not discussed in this forum.
    My grandfather used to say that you can fall in love with a cow if you look at it long enough….nuff said

  • avatar
    threeer

    When out shopping for a replacement for my dearly-departed 2004 Lancer Sportback Ralliart, I briefly looked at a last gen near-top end/loaded Civic sedan. Sure, the dashboard layout kind of drove me nuts, but the outside still looked remarkably restrained and maybe even slightly sporty. I can’t say the same for the new design. The need for manufacturers to make their cars look angrier and angrier just saddens me, but I guess that’s what they think people want.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    The profile is nearly indistinguishable from the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback. Which is to say, HIDEOUS.

    Why do they insist on sloping the rear-end like that? It looks like somebody sneezed while tracing the sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      It doesn’t require significant bodywork changes: you can keep much of the same structure as a modern sedan and avoid adding much of a D-pillar.

      Also, it’s kind of handy if you load bulky packages. I had a Saab 9-3 that I could fit near-pickup truck-like cargo into because of the wide opening.

      • 0 avatar
        bill h.

        Still have my 9-3 liftback, which was a carryover from the classic 900 hatches, so the sloping back profile was more in vogue at that time among other Euro, non-Golfy cars. Of course, 90s Scandinavian design language is quite a bit different from the current day Asian one, which IMO explains this, the Prius and any number of Japanese crossovers.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I think the fake scoops in the front and rear fascias are what kill the design for me.

    but even with those, it’s not nearly as bad as the Prius. any time I see a new Prius it makes me want to hurt someone.

  • avatar
    Click REPLY to reload page

    Honda must have been jealous of the successful tie-in of the Nissan Rogue and the latest Star Wars movie.
    This car took its styling cues from a Stormtrooper.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Sure it’s ugly but does it have any distinguishing properties vis the competition?

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      Yesterday I rode in a new base model Civic sedan. The ride quality was pretty good, and the interior noise level was not too high. Interior materials were questionable, and I didn’t care for the layout of the gauges. Silly huge digital speedo in the middle with gauges flanking it in concentric circles. The door have a nice substantial action for such a car.

      I’d still rank it under the last Cruze model.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        The Civic gauge cluster has been a sci-fi mess since the 2006 model landed. I think the interior materials are better than that 2006, though, and the cabin is huge. If you want a trendy car with low operating costs, reasonable buy-in, and resale value it is hard to argue against.

        I’d still probably do something mildly dumb and get a Golf, though.

      • 0 avatar
        olddavid

        I am in my seventh decade. I was dumbstruck by the double wishbone cars that were killing my bonus with their quality and price. I never thought I would hear anyone say anything GM was better than anything Honda. Full circle.

  • avatar
    scott25

    Agree with the other comments on here that it’s still not quite as bad as the Crosstour, and it wouldn’t be nearly as bad without the black holes in the bumpers. Other than those “ports” it’s better looking than the sedan.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I better buy 2012 Mazda3 non-skyactive, while some low mileage examples still exist

  • avatar
    Turbo Is Black Magic

    Honda’s at one time were some of the best looking cars one the road, 96-00 Civic coupe, last gen Prelude, first gen CR-V, and S2000 still look good to me. This thing is ugly as sin. They need to poach a German designer.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    Your mom?

    Jokes!

    I refer to the current Civic as having a “hatchet face and a shrapnel wound rear”

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    It’s goofy and awkward, but then again, so is the Civic sedan and coupe, as well as the Corolla (among others in the class) and they still sell just fine. It’s also no more offensive than all those horrid amorphous blobs on wheels (aka CUVS) that are dominating everywhere. Not everything can be a Mazda 3.

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    I saw my first one of these on the highway on Sunday. It stood out right away, and not in a good way. My brother agreed with me that it did not look good. Get rid of the oversize fake black ducts on the corners and it would probably be passable.

    The black “mask” on the front, incorporating the headlights, seems reminiscent of the Dodge Dart. Looks better with the chrome bar that the other Civic variants have, IMO.

  • avatar
    George B

    I don’t recall ever seeing the Honda Civic hatchback in North Texas. I see the Civic sedan which is mostly ok except for the ugliness associated with the tail lights. Looks pretty big to be called a compact.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    An in-law just purchased a new Civic sedan in a sedate grey and I could live with the way that car looks especially since it is almost unarguably the best car in its class.

    But this hatchback, especially in Storm Trooper Helmet White, is several steps too far. Every excessive styling flourish on the sedan has just been completely let off the leash here. “Daring” and “expressive” don’t come to mind so much as “cheap” and “juvenile”.

  • avatar
    make_light

    It’s not nearly as ugly as the Prius. The Prius is bafflingly ugly. I find myself legitimately bewildered as to how such a design made it into production. It’s almost as if they’re playing a joke on us. That car is simply an incoherent mess that shouldn’t exist.
    That being said, this is pretty ugly too. I actually really like the Civic sedan though. The chrome beak thing is a little off-putting, but otherwise has a nice shape and looks distinctive & expensive. I also happen to really like the new Malibu, so I guess there’s a pattern there. Hunchback sedans ftw.

  • avatar
    Click REPLY to reload page

    The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Is The Ugliest Car I’ve Driven Since …

    What is the ugliest car you have ever driven, or better yet, owned? (We all have driven an ugly Uhaul truck at one time or another.)

    I had a ’79 Pinto once, in a nasty yellowish tan. It was mediocre in every aspect, especially the color, but at least had a 4 speed manual.

    B ‘n’ B, time to put in your personal worst!

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Personal worst? Probably the hand-me-down ’77 Datsun B210 (hatch) I drove around (affectionately called the “Brown Bean”). But even with a worn-out clutch and the ability to start the car with just about any flat object, that thing was an indestructible cockroach. My dad bought it as a beater when he moved to D.C., and all of his coworkers laughed at him. Naturally, come winter when they were all either stuck or worried about dinging up their pretty new(er) cars, his $350 special soldiered on. But yeah…it wasn’t pretty.

    • 0 avatar
      gasser

      ’72 Gremlin

    • 0 avatar
      MeJ

      A ’76 AMC Pacer.
      In Burgundy.

    • 0 avatar
      dash riprock

      1972 Plymouth Cricket

      Pretty sure I win this

    • 0 avatar
      Drew8MR

      86 4 door Escort base model with an auto. Hand me down in 96. I had a 180 mile daily commute at the time and thankfully it expired at like 30k, but not before breaking a timing belt (at 18k!) in rush hour traffic in Walnut Creek.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      For about two weeks, I had to drive a ’79 Datsun 310GX. In a shade of metallic red that had faded to a funky dark pink color. Complete with whorehouse red velour interior. How this sad state of affairs came to be is a long story involving youthful stupidity, a slightly shady used car dealer, and a ;76 Volvo 242.

  • avatar
    maranello

    How can the same company that designed and built the 4th gen Civic (88-91) with sublimely sleek lines, near perfect proportions and cohesive design element lose it’s way to the extent that they come up with this monstrosity?

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Monkey butt. The civic has a monkey butt.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I am severely concerned about the styling direction for all the Japanese brands. What is really going on over there?? Every brand is a nightmare, with hardly a beautiful car among them.

    This new Civic joins a long line of recent Japanese atrocities including the Nissan Versa sedan and Juke, the Toyota Camry restyle and new Prius, the Lexus RX, and the Honda Fit. It’s all 3rd world meets Mad Max styling.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      I hear your dismay and shared it for years until an epiphany moment arrived when I realized that despite my repulsion said cars haven’t stop selling like drugs.

      I concluded that my Boomer tastes are simply no linger relevant and will continue to be ravaged by each succeeding refresh.

      Embrace the Hideous until it becomes The Precious!

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Even Mazda?

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        “Even Mazda?”

        Ooh… you sniper, you.

        No, Mazda is still poo because they won’t grow up and ditch the “driver’s car” thing. Willfully dumb with a big schnoz is worse than just a big schnoz.

  • avatar

    Barf!

  • avatar
    andyinatl

    Those large pieces of black plastic are the biggest offenders. I live in the south and can’t imagine washing a bazillion bugs off of these things every weekend… I’m tired already just thinking about it

  • avatar
    brucebanner

    Just buy it in black and stop the complaining.

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    Finally, an honest Honda review lol!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    For me, it’s a tie between the new Prius and the new Civic.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    Ha ha! Feh Honda.

  • avatar
    brucebanner

    These pictures look way better than the ones here…. Is it the same car?

    http://www.civicx.com/threads/some-closeups-of-2017-civic-hatchback-in-white.5446/

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    …likely get past the exterior treatment on the latest Civic sedan, which Honda evidently realized at the last minute was not supposed to be a hatchback.

    Given the slope of the Civic coupe/sedan’s rear window that rear whipper would be appropriate on the entire Civic line. In fact, if I were to buy a Civic I’d get the hatch just so I would get a rear whipper.

    The best looking hatch IMHO is the short lived Mazda 6 hatchback. It was a dead ringer for the sedan until you spotted the rear wiper.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      The integration of the hatch on that Mazda6 was brilliant. Sedan aesthetics, then wham, the lid and back glass open as one unit to reveal a remarkably flexible and useful cargo area.

      The civic sedan would be greatly improved by simply integrating the trunklid and glass into a liftback in the same manner, but I’m sure it would turn customers away for some unfathomable reason.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Corrected, Opus.

        This is the current trouble with sedans. Most of them have so little trunk that a hatch would be the only solution – but then it would be uncool.

        The new Malibu is the poster boy of midsize family sedans that need to be hatchbacks.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          It’s so funny, and true. CUVs are the rage and have a useful cargo area accessed by a liftgate. Give a sedan a useful cargo area accessed by a liftgate with almost no change to its exterior shape and styling, and now it’s uncool.

          I don’t get people.

    • 0 avatar
      Opus

      What is a “whipper”? Are you really into S/M?

  • avatar
    rpn453

    While reading Jack’s recent No Fixed Abode on the Avalon purchase, I was surprised that he had recommended one of these. I thought, “what are the odds that a random person is going to find the styling acceptable?” But I figured it might just be me. I guess not.

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    It wouldn’t be THAT bad if they hadn’t incorporated the fly swatters into the front and rear clips. WHY? Why are they there? It makes no sense. Want a nice hatchback? Buy the Fit. You get 52 cubic feet of space with the seats down. Mazda is the best Japanese brand in terms of styling. Toyota and Honda are Confidently Lost in that department. Luckily for them, they have excellent reliability records.

  • avatar

    I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who thought the new Civic ugly.

    And with the chrome bar across the grill, as I see on most every US-spec model, it looks like a Longhorn Civic. Just too weird.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    When this new Civic was first released, I thought it was interesting looking. Not bad, not great, but kinda cool. Then I got new glasses and agree. It’s not good, especially the overbite picture… the last on in the article and the big black squares on the back bumper.

    It reminds me a bit of first seeing a Panamera. That’s not a compliment.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Why can’t we have a loaded hatchback as beautiful as the Golf but built by top-tier Japanese? Is it REALLY that hard?

    Honestly if the Scion IM had a decent engine (at least 160 HP), it would be almost a no-brainer for me. I liked everything about it except for the lack of power.

    Mazda is a no-go. after 3 of them, I know I can’t deal with the rattles ever again.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      Same here. I can accept the iM’s styling, but the wimpy engine wrecks it. They could have done so much better with that car in terms of power.

      Too bad there’s no way to put a 1.8 TSI in an iM. But by then you might as well just buy a Golf.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Amen! (says former 2000 Civic and 1997 Golf owner)

    Whoever designed those bumper inserts should be sent to clean poop at the Trump Towers. All of them.

  • avatar
    RobbieAZ

    I agree that it’s not quite as bad a the new Prius but it’s bad enough.

    The ugliest car I’ve ever owned was a beater Renault (I can’t remember the model) that I had while stationed in Italy. The Japanese may be on an ugly kick of late but historically no one makes them uglier than the French.

  • avatar
    Duaney

    Not my cup of tea, but probably the kids will like it. Looks like a jet-wing Star Wars fighter. The Aztek still is the ugly champ, with the 58 Edsel right behind.

  • avatar
    Samatl74

    I actually love this car! I am looking to get one in polished metal metallic. The unique design is what I love about it. I like the afterburners look in the back and the sports car Lamborghini look in the front. It definitely does not look like a civic but I think the design is beautiful. It’s badass and has the horsepower to prove it. I hope Honda keeps going this route of creating cool cars and making the boring cars a thing of the past. Can’t wait to get mine.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Yes, that thing is ugly as sin. I’d put it right up there with the Pontiac Aztek. Actually, it looks like it was designed by the same team.

  • avatar
    MrF

    Your headline caught my attention, and I wondered if you had not driven a current Prius. Glad to see its getting the recognition it deserves. Frankly, Hondas and Toyotas are so awful looking that I fear the arrival of next generations. They are getting so ugly that any other features are simply not worth the esthetic pain.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    If those giant fake black sir ducts were real, they could feed the engines of an F-14 Tomcat.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Honda Civic sales as a fraction of the US market:

    Year Market share
    2002: 1.9%
    2003: 1.8%
    2004: 1.8%
    2005: 1.8%
    2006: 1.9%
    2007: 2.0%
    2008: 2.6%
    2009: 2.5%
    2010: 2.2%
    2011: 1.7%
    2012: 2.2%
    2013: 2.2%
    2014: 2.0%
    2015: 1.9%
    2016 YTD: 2.1%

    The 2016 ‘ugly’ design doesn’t seem to be hurting sales, much to my vexation.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    I probably would have been one of the first in line to buy one of these if it wasn’t for the painfully stupid faux-boy racer styling. The front/rear facias are awful, and now Honda’s doubling down by ruining the forthcoming Si with the same treatment. And there’s the fact that this has not one but TWO rear spoilers; I don’t mind the one integrated with the taillights too much, but the tacked on looking one above the rear glass is beyond ridiculous.

    Tim complained about the ugly wheels; The LX wheels, despite looking something off a ’90s Chrysler product, are probably amongst the least hideous rims Honda current offers. Not saying much.

    I can’t tell if Honda and Toyota are really just that clueless when it comes to styling, or if this is the result of some cruel $1 bet between two old rich guys. At least Honda seems to have stepped up their interior quality (finally), although infotainment UI sucks and their newfound love for ’80s style digital instrument clusters is embarrassing. Meanwhile, Toyota has sunk to pre-bankruptcy GM levels of cynicism when it comes to interiors; Nissan comes close, while Subaru (now a Toyota satellite) is even worse.

    I really hate that the my choices in the current new vehicle market have seemingly devolved into either an ugly car with a chintzy interior, but solid reliability and resale, or an attractive car with a great interior, but dubious-at-best reliability and laughably bad depreciation. If there’s something in between in the mass market segments, I haven’t found it yet.

    • 0 avatar
      Mackie

      Agree. It seems that the best affordable cars are also the ugliest. I used to admire Honda’s clean styling from forever ago—but this? I don’t care how good the new Civic is, I couldn’t live with the styling. It has no good angles and the front end is a disaster. The designers didn’t know when to put the pen down. Over-styled in every way.

  • avatar
    Moparmann

    Everytime I look at those HIDEOUS fake black grille/vents/whatever, I am reminded of asteroid/meteor impact craters!!

  • avatar

    In Australia it looks much more stylish than Ford Focus and Honda sells tons of them.

  • avatar
    buzzyrpm

    I find the hatchback side profile much more appealing than the sedan. The sedan’s rear third in profile view looks artificially elongated and makes many of the style lines not merge cleanly.

    I do agree though that the front and rear bumpers on the hatch are overdone for a base model.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    OK, it’s not as bad as the new Prius. The only correct answer when presented with either of these designs, which in both cases let down fantastic cars, is 1. NO! 2. You’re FIRED! 3. We’re going to see a launch delay. The black (fake) pits of despair are a low point, but the crease fest lumpy hot mess between the rear door and the taillight, or the tail lights, would be ugly enough to damn any normal car without the “it’s got mad aero” not ducts. OK, so breaking up laminar flow with some protuberances to induce turbulence and shrink the pocket behind it gets some HWY mpg, but… ugly was a choice. there were other ways to do this.

  • avatar
    nemosdad

    I can’t understand why a designer would mimic the pontiac aztek? The ugliest vehicle ever made. Yet this disaster evokes all those memories of the three people that bought one?
    My neighbor who fixes up cars and sells them for a living has an Aztek. I hope he got it for free.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Quite a few more people than three bought an Aztek. They’re actually getting quite popular and hard to find. Blame/thank Breaking Bad for that one.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        I’m just not getting all the Aztek references. Azteks were noble: tall, comfortable and supremely useful while still very affordable.

        If I hadn’t adroitly avoided kids I’d have had Azteks instead of my reg cab pickups.

  • avatar
    tyrade

    My suggestion to the designers: next time you sculpt a Civic, use a smaller shovel.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Cars like this and the OEMs’ decisions to offer them can only be meaningfully judged by 18-24 tech/E-school students and graduates with a history of putting car posters on their walls.

    Who else would buy them? The rest of us just don’t matter except as statistical flukes.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Wasn’t there some other recent Civic edition that had to go back to the drawing board?

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      Yes there was. The 2012 Civic came out and people said it was horrible. Honda did an emergency redesign of it for 2013.

      Personally, the 2012 Civic sedan was beautiful compared to this pile of cheap plastic and weird angles. I looked at these on a Sunday as a potential replacement for my Sportwagen. No sale for me.

      They are hideous and this design is going to age very badly. Contrast that to a 2000 Golf, which still looks classy and timeless 16/17 years later.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    I like it. The holes are too big, but I think it can be fixed. I’m glad Hyundai finally gave the Japanese companies a kick in the pants on styling.

  • avatar
    Lemmiwinks

    What a coincidence. You all hate how it looks. I’m so surprised, I could yawn. : )

    Starting to see more of these than the sedan here in NorCal. I think Honda hit the nail a bit better with the coupe. But I like the looks of the model’s entire lineup.

    Then again, I am an unapologetic Juke Nismo owner, so I’m sure y’all would think my aesthetic opinions are bonkers anyway.

  • avatar
    Fighter835

    For some reason I LOVE the new Prius design (goofy Japanese in a good way), but highly dislike the Civic hatch. Go figure.

  • avatar
    larrystew

    This Honda Civic design is scarily reminiscent of this GM disaster:

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/curbside-classic-1980-chevrolet-citation-gms-deadliest-sin-ever/cc-23-013-800/

  • avatar
    motormouth

    You guys haven’t figured it out yet This is Honda’s attempt at a global Civic. This is the former Euro Civic stretched out and dressed up as Honda reckons would sell well in the US. So thanks a lot, because Civic sales are largest in NA, the design was an attempt to grow that market and now everyone around the world has to put up with this mishmash of lines and curves. And stupid fake air vents.

  • avatar

    The sad part is I want to buy a hatchback and I really want a Honda. I just can’t buy this one, it is too damn stupid looking (and not in a good way).

  • avatar
    hgrunt

    Funny how subjective styling can be… I think it looks fantastic while I think most Jaguars look either bulbous or generic.

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