Compact cars are all the rage, and established industry leaders are seeing their positions threatened by emerging new competitors. In the traditional United States small car market, Toyota and Honda have led with their Corolla and Civic models.
General Motors has provided strong competition with Cruze, and Ford and Hyundai are readying new models to hit the market. Honda’s Civic was introduced in 2005 as a 2006 model, receiving a mild freshening for the 2009 model year.
Critically regarded, it has sold well ever since introduction. That is impressive considering it has been on the market for quite a bit of time. At the North American International Auto Show, Honda has shown off a preview of what to expect from the updated Civic that is set to go on sale in spring.
With a still-modern design to start with, changes to the 2012 sedan don’t mess with the formula much. The front end is a bit more aggressive, with a new grille, and the sides receive new sculpting and surfacing.
The rear end debuts the biggest changes on the exterior, with a new trunk lid and taillights. The thin horizontal tail lights of the previous model have been replaced by thicker vertical ones similar to those on the Honda Crosstour.
The coupe model on the other hand appears to get more significant updates. The changes to side shoulder line and body sculpting make the car seem longer and sleeker.
The back also gets new taillights that look far more mature than the previous model, with an appearance more along the lines of the Accord Coupe. Overall, we’re digging the changes to the Coupe.
There is no word on updated powertrains as of yet , but Honda says the natural-gas powered Civic GX will be available in 50 states. The Civic Hybrid also gets an upgraded lithium-ion battery pack rather than the older nickel-metal hydride type.
Honda didn’t include any pictures of the interior, but says it should be getting a significant redesign for the updated model.
That is important as the current Civic’s interior is falling behind the competition. We should be seeing it soon, as there isn’t too much longer before the new Civic goes on sale. The 2012 model Civic is slated to go on sale this Spring.