The Honda Civic five-door hatchback may prove to be one of the most significant concept vehicles at the Geneva auto show.
It's a head-turner with sharp character lines and a well-integrated shape that looks French, maybe a little too French for some tastes. But in terms of beauty, it is at the other end of the spectrum from the Honda Element and much more sophisticated than the current Civic and Accord models.
Honda plans to unveil the production version of this new Civic at the Frankfurt show in September because it's aimed at the European market.
The five-door hatchback won't be sold in the United States, but you can bet that many of the design cues will turn up on other Honda passenger cars that will come to North America.
Honda's goal has long been to build well-engineered, functional, reliable products, and not worry about whether they're drop-dead gorgeous.
But that's changing.
Part of the change probably is because arch competitor Toyota, which also has relied on its product quality image, is trying to upgrade its traditional plain-vanilla styling too.
The Honda Civic wasn't the best-looking car in Geneva. But it's proof that Honda is finally getting serious about design.
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