S600=Dream wrote: And to add, I'm amazed that you are all so up in the kool aid about styling changes.
It's not terrible looking, nor revolutionarily great. It's simply a glacial evolution of the 8th gen, and it's not even that bad.
I'd rather them dump the money and time into the rest of the car and leave it the same looking rather than spend some of the budget on making it look better.
You're right that exterior styling isn't an important issue but wrong in how you characterize it. It is a major step back from the previous version, especially from the rear. Whereas the previous Civic seemed ambitious, as if aspiring to greater things, the current model has a rather blatant sense of being no more or less than a low-cost family hauler. It doesn't seem at all like it wants to even attempt to rise above its current station in life.
Combine that with an apparent cheapening of the interior and no significant upgrade to the performance characteristics and the overall result is a negative reaction from many quarters. In this class of car, you really have to wonder why Honda bothered to alter a product that it clearly can't improve on at this time. The irony is that millions were spent to develop a lower cost model yet that could just as easily been achieved by letting the perfectly adequate previous version soldier on for a few more model years.
When you place the previous Civic alongside the new sedan and the older version looks better, something has gone wrong. I think that if Honda had wanted to fire up some fresh interest in the Civic line, a better way would have been by bringing out a hatch four-door for the NA market and do some minor tweaking all around. Combine that with a reduced MSRP made possible by not bothering to conjure up a full-bore redesign and sales would likely have been fine.
Someone high up in the food chain should have seen this coming and simply allowed the Civic to soldier on largely unchanged until the design team had come up with a re-design that played much better. Then again, hindsight is 20/20 and when you're close to a project you can lose your perspective.