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2016 Honda Civic sets design benchmark for economy compact segment

The importance of a first good impression has not been lost on 2016 Civic Sedan. Civic sets a new benchmark in economy compact segment body design.

As an automotive news journalist, I look to every new car or light truck offering with a discerning eye as to functionality, drive ability and eye appealing body design. After all, if a prospective buyer can’t get beyond that initial visual ‘hit’ if you will, what’s inside the car and under the hood will often fail to overtake that first impression, as one views a possible long-term commitment of vehicle lease or ownership.

As to that first impression, 2016 Honda Civic “kills it!”

Buying a car for the first time or the tenth time is a big deal. Car purchases all too often last longer than marriage. And, although the sticker price is often the first hook that brings a consumer to a brand, or the seasoned enthusiast back for that return purchase, it’s more often than not, the “look” of the vehicle that brings a perspective buyer to the bargaining table, or at the least, in for a test drive.

Unfortunately, it’s often tough to discern the difference between competing brands on first look

In recent years the “appliance" like familiarity of competing brands has taken the fun out of economy compact segment car buying. Unfortunately that unique, recognizable look of a specific brand dissipated in the quest for greater fuel economy and safety ratings.

After All, how much visual difference is there between Civic and Corolla, the #1 and #2 best selling cars in the economy compact class, Mazda 3, Ford Escort ? Not much, until now. 2016 Honda Civic is recognizable as a Honda day or night, coming and going. Civic's style is unique, and exceptionally good looking!

Really, is that a Civic?

Honda design and engineering just raised the bar in the economy compact segment as to eye-catching-appeal, panache and differentiation in body design, with no common thread to the competition.

Visual, and technically, Honda flew past the under $20,000 compact car segment, and directed the design bomb that is Civic at the European makers; targeting Audi and BMW, while holding the MSRP within $150 of 2015 pricing. The balance of design is there as well as the performance, all standard.

Granted, design appeal is a personal preference, and we’re not slamming the competition. One would be hard pressed to find a “bad” car on today’s market. I’m just saying, From the up-tick body design, monochrome door handles, 3-D grill, aerodynamic headlights, well integrated digital taillights and trunk wing (coupe) 2016 Civic is visually captivating. Oh, and I like Civic's wheel design too.(not a big fan of “as well.”)

Presenting a future forward, slippery look that generally costs $30,000 or more in competing brand trim variants, when measuring the sum of its parts, a fully loaded Civic Touring is $4,000 less than a comparable European import, yet doesn’t cut comfort, dimension, quality and drive performance getting there.

10th generation 2016 Civic design hints a superior drive and ride experience

You may read my first impression Malibu Canyon drive review of 2016 Civic Sedan here. Personally, I believe that Civic’s side profile, tail and trunk design screams for hatchback integration. And that is what Honda promises in the near future.

Honda Civic Hatchback fans will be rewarded for their near decade wait with North America’s first turbocharged hatchback and eventually the much anticipated 2016 Civic Type-R North American Edition. Built on the same World-Compact-Platform as 2016 Civic Sedan, the assembled in England Civic Type-R will be sold out, as soon as it comes to a Honda dealership near you.

This week I’ll be reporting from the Los Angeles Auto Show, and look forward to the world debut of the 10th generation Civic Coupe, and production Clarity Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric.