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What if the Honda Civic Looked More Like the New Accord?

When the current Honda Civic arrived for 2022, it made a splash partly thanks to its newly un-splashy exterior styling. Gone was the previous model’s anime-like slashes, angles, vents, and more—replaced by a mature, minimalist look with headlights and taillights designed to mimic those on the larger Accord sedan. Thing is, since the 11th-generation Civic’s debut, Honda has come out with an all-new Accord, making the Civic’s inspiration a little outdated.

We figured it was worth imagining what the Civic would look like with more contemporary inspiration. To that end, we’ve given the Civic a virtual refresh, digitally altering the nose and tail with relatively minor bumper and lighting changes that fit neatly within the confines of the mid-cycle updates automakers typically give their cars halfway through their lives. You know, the nips and tucks here and there cars receive two or three years after a total redesign, which are meant to freshen the look until the next all-new, totally redesigned version shows up.

The Civic’s roofline and midsection already look like the new Accord’s, with clean surfaces and elegant lines. It’s the nose and tail that are now out of sync with the larger midsize Honda, and so we adapted the 2023 Accord’s new grille, bumpers, and taillights (pictured above) to the smaller Civic. Those pieces were the most (old) Accord-like, and most ripe for revision.

As you can see, the 2023 Accord’s new six-sided grille and full-width lower intake element are rather easily adapted to the current Civic’s front end. We didn’t touch the headlights, only the prow-like forehead above the Civic’s slim grille and badge, as well as the lower bumper area.

Moving to the back, we admit things get a little ungainly. The Civic sedan’s large, blocky taillights are already somewhat out of proportion with the car’s overall size—the full-width taillight treatment on the hatchbacks is better, though we didn’t render their replacement here—so transposing the newest Accord’s taillights over them is only somewhat successful. On the larger Accord, after all, the full-width taillight elements look thin and exaggerate the four-door’s width; here, they’re kind of chonky and tall. The Accord’s wider tail is clearly a better canvas.

It makes sense that the Civic’s body would lend itself to the new Accord’s look as much as it does to the old Accord’s look. The latest Accord, like the latest Civic, is pretty much a heavy revision of the last-generation model. Beyond exterior appearances, the Civic and the Accord are very similar inside; the ’23 Accord actually borrows its full-width air vent look and streamlined dashboard design from the 2022-23 Civic, so any future updates to either model seem unlikely to abandon this relatively new cabin styling.

Do we know for sure whether the outside of the Civic will be facelifted to resemble the Accord? We have no idea, and Honda isn’t going to give away its design plans this far ahead of time. The Civic lineup likely won’t go through an update for another year or two.

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