If you’ll remember from our post on Monday which previewed some of the most highly anticipated Japanese cars to be revealed this week at the Geneva Motor Show, the Honda Civic Tourer was among their number. Well, it’s finally been unveiled, so let’s see what’s going on with Honda’s new Civic station wagon.
First, though, let’s talk about where Honda is positioned right now as a brand. If you ask most auto enthusiasts who’ve followed the Japanese brand over the past 20 years, most would agree that Honda really peaked in the early 2000s. This was right around the time that the first Civic hybrids were becoming really popular, the CR-V was selling better than ever, and the Accord was both fashionable and functional, and the NSX was still around.
Over the past few years, it feels like Honda has become a little lazy. They were never known for groundbreaking designs, but their functionality isn’t quite where it used to be, either. They’re still great, reliable cars, but they’ve faded from the limelight of 10 years ago. These days the Honda Fit is the only vehicle that I’d say goes above and beyond expectations.
So, where does the European-only Honda Tourer come in through all of this?
Analyzing the Honda Civic Tourer
We can see that the new Tourer station wagon follows a similar theme as the Urban SUV Concept we saw at Detroit in January. The prominent front fascia, the pseudo-slit LED headlights and the swoop-ish design all fit within the themes presented by the Urban SUV Concept.
But, the new Civic Tourer’s inspiration goes back further still, all the way to the Civic hatchback we first saw late in 2011. Like the hatchback, the Tourer wagon features an upwardly sloped belt-line and a downwardly sloped roof-line, to the point where the roof and belt almost converge at the rear of the vehicle. It looks to me like an angular, low-riding Honda Odyssey with a pinched butt.
Now, let me say that I love this converging-line design theme from an aesthetic standpoint, but functionally it leaves you with very poor visibility out the back. That being said, I can appreciate Honda’s focus on design over visibility, especially when the Tourer needs to compete with the likes of Toyota’s Auris Touring and Volkswagen’s Golf Variant, which were both presented at Geneva as well. Plus, with backup camera technology who needs windows?
As far as technical specs, Honda hasn’t provided us with anything at this time. But, chances are that European drivers will get the same powertrain options with the Civic Tourer as they do with the normal 2013 Civic. For gas-inclined drivers that means a 1.4L or 1.8L engine with 98hp and 139hp respectively. For diesel drivers that means a 1.6L or 2.2L engine with 118hp and 148hp respectively.
All in all, I’m not really sure why Honda isn’t bringing the Tourer to the US. After all, the Crosstour isn’t exactly popular; it seems like a sleek station wagon is just what the market needs right now. Or maybe I’m just jealous. Either way, mark your calendars for September, as that’s when we’ll see a final production model of the Europe-bound Honda Tourer in Frankfurt.
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