STYLING | 7 out of 10
a risk that has paid off
exterior styling is now one of the car's most appealing attributes
Kelley Blue Book
The 2008 Honda Civic sedan wins praise for a cabin of well-designed amenities and a sportier exterior.
TheCarConnection.com notes that most reviewers of the 2008 Honda Civic eyed the more radical style of this year’s model immediately. Kelley Blue Book and Cars.com agree that the sharp windshield differentiates the 2008 Honda Civic sedan from its competitors. Cars.com comments on the futuristic style of the exterior and describes the front end of the design: "The hood is radically sloped, and the headlights narrowly lead to a chrome bar over the trademark Honda 'H.'" Edmunds calls it bluntly “the most radically designed Civic to date, inside and out.”
Not all reviewers think it’s a step forward. Car and Driver says “the Civic’s styling—the large, fast windshield, minivan-like front end, and UFO-style two-tiered dashboard—incites a bit of controversy, as these are all love-them-or-hate-them elements.” Cars.com feels that “certain elements of the Civic sedan…didn't sit right with me when it debuted in 2006. From certain angles it was a futuristic delight, from others (think the rear quarter angle) it looked badly proportioned. The new Civic design might be a bit too modern for some buyers, but in an iPod-ruled world it fits into pop culture and design surprisingly well.”
The interior of the 2008 Honda Civic sedan received similar comments. Autoblog raves about the ease of use of the display, and notes that it is complemented by the grippy driver's seat, steering wheel, and shifter, commenting that they are "as perfect as it gets in an economy-car-turned-corner-carver." Edmunds notes the “dramatic-looking interior that features a two-tier dashboard layout. A digital speedometer sits on top of the dash, while the tachometer sits underneath.” Kelley Blue Book lists the two-tier instrument panel as one of their favorite features of the 2008 sedan. Autoblog and Cars.com make science-fiction references with regard to the two-tiered panel, but TheCarConnection.com found that most reviewers still considered the display functional, stylish, and pleasurable to use, as did Motor Trend: “With its two-tier instrument display, highlighted by a top-shelf digital speedometer…the Civic presents a welcoming, airy cabin that's best suited to stand the test of time.”
TheCarConnection.com’s reviewers have spent time in all versions of the 2008 Honda Civic, and find its styling pretty futuristic for a mainstream sedan. It has a deeply sloping windshield that leaves a lot of unusable room atop the dash. The dash itself has an unusual double-decker style; the tach lies in the usual spot framed by the steering wheel, while the digital speedo rides atop it on a recessed crescent. It makes you feel like you're piloting a video game, an effect that works better in the coupe and Hybrid models than on the sedan.
The 2008 Honda Civic wears a spacey suit that’s not to everyone’s liking.