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STYLING | 8 out of 10
Strange interior and exterior design
Car and Driver
Some drivers find the two-tier display distracting
Bold front-end styling with a steeply raked windshield
In 2006, Honda designers completely reworked the Honda Civic and introduced a much more radical and futuristic vehicle. The 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid shares much of that radical styling, with just a few minor modifications that set it apart from the rest of the 2008 Honda Civic lineup.
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com offer differing opinions of the exterior styling on the 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid, though the majority like the design. The 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid shares much of its body design with conventional Honda Civics, including what ForbesAutos calls its "bold front-end styling with a steeply raked windshield." Not all reviewers appreciate the look, as Car and Driver feels that "from the B-pillar forward, it has almost a minivan look to it" that contributes to a "front end [that] looks pretty strange." However, this opinion was in the minority, as reviewers at Cars.com point out that "the current Civic sedan looks futuristic compared to its predecessor," and "the hybrid takes the look even further, with disc-like 15-inch alloy wheels fitted with low-rolling-resistance tires." Kelley Blue Book notes that other visual distinctions between conventional Honda Civics and the Civic Hybrid are "side mirrors with integrated turn indicators" along with "clear front turn signal lenses, mild trunk spoiler, small roof-mounted antenna and hybrid badging." Overall, reviewers tend to side with Edmunds, whose testers are "quite fond of the current-generation Civic" and its futuristic styling.
The exterior of this hybrid-powered 2008 Honda can be described as mildly controversial, and the interior follows suit, at least in terms of the dashboard. Edmunds writes that the "digital speedometer and gas gauge are at the base of the windshield," and "some drivers find the two-tier display distracting," though "others say it makes quick visual checks of speed easier." ConsumerGuide also sings the virtues of the "two-tier instrument panel" where the "speedometer's digits are in driver's line of sight for viewing without taking focus off [the] road." However, Car and Driver testers feel that the dashboard is "odd" and gives "the impression that a designer is trying a bit too hard to make the civilian Civic into a Formula 1 racer." Aside from the dashboard styling, Kelley Blue Book writes that, for 2008, Honda offers "a two-tone blue cloth interior" as standard, and Edmunds praises the "easy to operate" controls. One knock on the Honda Civic Hybrid's control design comes from ConsumerGuide, where reviewers find that "the navigation system takes time to master, has undersized buttons, and absorbs too many audio functions"; they also complain that "its screen is difficult to read in changing light conditions."
The futuristic styling both inside and out on the 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid can be controversial, but seems appropriate for a hybrid vehicle.