05 August 2011

Honda Civic Asia 2012 - First Design Review

More pictures of Arab/Asia 2012 Civic start to surface out, thanks to GCC/UAE media during their first taste of the car. Since Arab previous Civic is the same as our Civic, it is safe to assume that this is highly likely to be Asian version too. They concluded that Civic is spacious for compact sedan, with sizable boot. However, driving excitement has been slightly toned down for more bias towards comfort. Finally the price is not that favorable. 

I have run a design comparison of 2012 Civic compared to our current FD model. Both have their pros/cons and some corner has visibly been cut in the 2012 model, evidence of cost cutting. More photos and details after the jump.

Exterior Design Analysis
Civic 2012 profile view
The new car has 30mm shorter wheelbase than the outgoing model pictured below. The front windscreen is more raked to create more interior length, as well as to reduce aerodynamics drag. The shortening of wheelbase is obvious to see at the rear door aperture where the cut is more.
Current Civic profile view

New Civic 2012 front design is a bit on the plain side
The new 2012 model adopts a more conservative face, although the basic design element remains unchanged compared to previous model below. Perhaps a more agressive, sporty fascia design is reserved for facelift later in its life cycle.
Civic facelift (2009) has more agressive face

Civic 2012 rear, more lines and shapes, can look weedy from some angle
The rear end meanwhile, get triangulated rear combi, with old Camry overtones to it. The reflector does save the day somewhat as the USDM rears look plain and weedy.
Current Civic looks more planted with its flat, feature-free rear fascia
In a nutshell, my personal opinion is that the new Civic 2012 exterior design has some air of cheapness look to it. It is as dissapointing looking as the Civic ES model from year 2001, where it lacks the drama usually associated with Honda compact sedan.

Interior Design Analysis

2012 Civic - boxier and edgier surface design
The 2012 model is boxier in its design execution everywhere you look at. Look at the gear console, it is a plain back panel! Where is the anodized aluminium look like last model? This is a clear evidence to cost cutting, very typical for a car that is developed during economics crisis. The oversized ICE button and climate control panel too looks nowhere near exclusive as the outgoing one. Hope Honda Malaysia does make some rectification to this as Civic is a premium car overhere in Malaysia. Probably nicked a ICE panel from JDM model, with NAVI feature?
 Civic FD - all about premium finish
Previous model gets a chrome gear slider, plus anodized look on surrounding console

The display panel gains second display unit, which shows fuel reading, trip info, radio station and in UAE market, a rear camera! The rest of the item is more or less the same thing, with recalibrated graphics.

Civic 2012 meter display panel

Civic FD meter display panel
For the cabin accomodation, the UAE journalist describes the new dashboard and door trim panel now made of "high quality hard plastic" that does not feel hollow when knocked. Perhaps this a clever alternative to soft padding door trim found on Civic FD? and probably cheaper too? No? The armrest panel on door trim is thicker trimmed than before, contributing to a better comfort while resting your elbow.
2012 Civic front cabin

Current Civic FD cabin

Civic 2012 - nicely spacious

Civic FD - no less spacious, with longer wheelbase to boot

The boot is desribed as big, with no precise volume given. It is reassuring to see that the remote seat folding lever is still there and not lost in the cost optimization activity.

Anyway, lets hope a RHD model to be better trimmed and finished. The wait is now to see how the Euro version looks like, it self due at Frankfurt motorshow next month.