Honda is cleaning up its interiors with a redesign. The new Civic will be the first of its cars to fully apply this new approach, which Honda Interior Design has just previewed. Honda calls this new design “Simplicity and Something.”
It’s … catchy? No, it’s not, but Honda’s new approach is good! The design sketch for the new cabins is an exercise in restraint, and even if the production version is not quite as clean, it’s still a departure from many late model year Hondas.
Recent Hondas and Acuras were set up with a centre stack for infotainment, and while it looked cool, I always felt like it split the dashboard into thirds.
The centre stack created a column effect that could be distracting and just cluttered up your view. Acuras (and some Hondas) were even worse, with their dual screen centre stack that increased what Honda designers call visual noise.
For a bit more context, here is the rather busy CR-V interior as you see them on showroom floors.
That’s a lot to de-clutter.
Honda’s new cabin redesign is meant to reduce that visual noise and minimise distractions in your line of sight. The video from Honda illustrates this by highlighting the horizontal axis of its new dashboards, which breaks the clutter and spans cleanly across the interior.
Honda shows that there are essentially two horizontal lines we focus on when driving. The first of these is the actual horizon, the road, and all that it contains. This is the one you don’t want to take your eyes off for very long. The second sightline, the dashboard, should never be competing with the road for attention.
That’s what Honda is aiming for here, and it’s doing more than reducing clutter on the dashboard. Honda is also reducing the width of the pillars inside the cabin to increase visibility for drivers, according to the carmaker:
For Honda, this means interior design is about the people inside the vehicle, leading to interiors free of visual clutter with a focus on thin pillars, a low cowl and a large greenhouse for excellent visibility, enabling the driver and occupants to see the road and the environment around them.
This new clutter-free cabin will be used in the 2022 Civic sedan, but it looks like the new approach already influenced the interior of the 2021 Accord. The main difference seems like it’s in the push-button gear selector versus the gear lever possibly in the Civic. Come on, Honda. If you’re going to make the Civic bigger, give it some jazz. Those button selectors are fun to use, especially Reverse gear.