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Spied! 2016-17 Honda Civic Undergoes Dramatic Redesign

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/12/2014 Kelly Pleskot
2016 17 Honda Civic© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 17 Honda Civic

Expect major changes for the next-generation Honda Civic, which will debut for the 2016 or 2017 model year. Our spy photographers caught a Civic prototype out testing for the first time with an all-new fastback design that may help the car shed its staid image.

Despite the camo, it is pretty clear that the new Civic boasts a steeply-raked back end that tapers off into a bold spoiler. The model appears to have cutlines for a proper trunk, so it will not adopt a hatchback configuration, but instead retain its classification as a sedan. The rest of the Civic's body complements the sporty back end. Angular headlights and tasteful character lines run across the entire body for a youthful, modern look.

The next Civic will be built on a new, flexible platform that will also underpin the next-generation Accord and CR-V. This strategy will help Honda cut costs by taking advantage of economies of scale. Rumor has it that all Civic production will eventually take place in the U.S. when the next-gen Civic becomes a global model, but as of now, this can't be confirmed.

This Civic prototype caught us by surprise by showing up much sooner than we expected. We bet Honda is looking to remedy the mistakes it made when it launched the current-generation model back in 2012. Criticized for its lackluster design and subpar cabin quality, the 2012 Honda Civic underwent an emergency refresh the very next year. Despite the perceived blunder, Honda's compact sedan remains a top-seller behind the Toyota Corolla so far this year. We think the redesign will help cement the Civic's reputation as a sporty entry in the competitive and increasingly-youthful compact car segment. And now that we've seen a prototype for the next-gen sedan, we can't wait to see the coupe variant.

Photo source: KGP Photography

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