New 2021 Honda Civic leaked ahead of official launch

Honda has provided the first look at the next generation Civic with the reveal of a saloon prototype

This is our best look yet at the eleventh-generation Honda Civic. The images were taken as part of an inspection carried out by the Chinese road traffic authority and have since found their way onto the internet, revealing the car’s styling in full ahead of its scheduled launch.

Judging by these images, the new Honda Civic’s styling won’t stray far from the prototype the Japanese brand previewed at the end of last year; a point which is backed-up by the company’s official patent images. The grille and badge jut out slightly more than the prototype’s but, apart from that, the likeness is strong.

When the new Honda Civic makes its official debut in spring, it’ll go toe-to-toe with family hatchbacks such as the new Skoda Octavia and the Mk8 Volkswagen Golf. The hatch will also have to plug the gap left by the recently discontinued Accord, so Honda has made the new Civic slightly longer and wider than its predecessor.

The Japanese brand has pared back the overall look of the new Civic compared with today’s model, ushering in a cleaner design language also seen on the firm’s new Jazz supermini and the recently unveiled Honda HR-V compact crossover. 

The angular bodywork of the Mk10 Civic has made way for much softer surfacing in a move that’s designed to broaden the car’s appeal on a global scale.

The redesigned front end features slender LED headlamps and a slimmer front grille, while the lower section of the front bumper has been simplified with a single air intake that stretches the width of the panel. The glasshouse has also been shifted rearwards to lengthen the bonnet and give a “more premium side view,” as Honda puts it.

The Chinese government leak didn’t include an image of the Civic’s new-look interior but, thankfully, Honda has already issued us with an illustration. Like the exterior, the cabin has been redesigned with a far simpler brief, swapping the current car’s angular dashboard for less fussy layout.

There’s a new nine-inch infotainment system that sits on top of the dash and a fresh digital instrument cluster, both of which are shared with the new HR-V. It also appears that Honda has resisted the temptation to remove all of the physical buttons from the cabin by keeping a small climate control console just below the screen.

Honda hasn’t yet released any technical information on the new Civic, but the company has previously confirmed that it will electrify its mainstream European line-up by 2022. Honda has already hinted that it’ll achieve this by fitting the Civic with a modified version of its innovative e:HEV hybrid powertrain, currently found in the Jazz supermini.

Tom Gardner, Senior Vice President, Honda Motor Europe, told us: “This shift to electrification will change the face of our model line-up considerably. Our two-motor [e:HEV] hybrid technology will be spread across the model range and we will bring further battery electric products to the market.”

If the Civic goes on sale with the same powertrain as the Jazz, it’ll use a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and two electric motors; one mounted in the gearbox which drives the front wheels and one to charge the car’s lithium-ion battery.

However, in its current state of tune, the system produces 108bhp, which might not be enough for the larger Civic. So, another option could be for Honda to use a revised version of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder e:HEV system found in the current CR-V mid-size SUV.

Production of the next-generation Honda Civic will also move from the car’s current home at Swindon to one of Honda’s other global factories, likely in Japan. Honda is due to close the Wiltshire plant later this year, around the same time as the Civic is expected to go on sale in the UK.

Now read all the latest news on the upcoming replacement for the Honda CR-V

Recommended

Honda Civic review
Honda Civic 1.0 - front cornering
Honda Civic

Honda Civic review

The tenth-generation Honda Civic is a great alternative choice in the hatchback class
2 Dec 2020
Hyundai i30 review
New Hyundai i30 - front action
Hyundai i30

Hyundai i30 review

The Hyundai i30 is a well-built and refined family car, but it fails to excite in a class with plenty of dynamic and stylish rivals
13 Apr 2021
New 2021 Cupra Born teased in official spy shots
Cupra Born
Cupra el-Born

New 2021 Cupra Born teased in official spy shots

Road ready version of all-electric Cupra Born will be revealed in May
7 Apr 2021

Most Popular

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'
Opinion Nissan EV
Nissan

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'

Steve Fowler thinks Nissan is in a great position to build on the Leaf's success
8 Apr 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen Transporter T7 van teased
New 2021 Volkswagen Transporter T7 van teased
Volkswagen Transporter

New 2021 Volkswagen Transporter T7 van teased

Next-generation Volkswagen Transporter T7 will break cover later this year with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain
14 Apr 2021
New 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron on sale now, priced from £40,750
Audi Q4 e-tron - front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron on sale now, priced from £40,750

Two body styles, three powertrains and four trim-levels confirmed for Audi’s compact Q4 EV, including a 295bhp quattro option
15 Apr 2021