A Driver-Oriented Space in the ’22 Honda Civic

While not full-on stark minimalism, Honda is recognizing the need for a more human-oriented interior in its 11th-generation Civic

By Gary S. Vasilash

One of the things that has been going on in interior design is that as the vehicles have become more tech-centric, there is a near feeling of driver claustrophobia.

The term typically used to describe the space is “cockpit,” as though the driver is actually trained as a pilot in an F-18 when, in fact, all that person really wants is to be able to go to the store to pick up a few groceries.

With its minimalist interior design Tesla has started a trend in this direction.

Inside the ’22 Honda Civic. (Image: Honda)

The interior of the 2022 Honda Civic is the latest example of a driver-not-pilot approach.

On a macro level, that there are pulled back A-pillars, a low hood and a flat dash, as well as a low, flat beltline, means there is a more spacious view to the outside (a good thing when behind the wheel).

Honda is calling approach “Man-Maximum, Machine-Minimum,” which is something that they followed year ago, but seem to have forgotten over the years, as they tried to stay of the moment.

There is an available 9-inch color touchscreen—the largest screen in any Honda (you would imagine this would be in something like the Odyssey or Pilot)—that runs “a simplified navigation structure with fewer embedded menus.”

What’s more, there is a physical volume knob and hard buttons for Home and Back.

It is understandable that OEMs would chase consumer electronics in terms of interfaces, but it is also clear that in some cases things have gone to far. While you look at your phone when making a selection; if you’re driving a vehicle you should be looking at the road ahead. Thus something like a knob to crank up the sound is an ergonomic solution for a car, while it would be inappropriate for a phone.

And they’ve put a 0.8-inch finger rest on the bottom of the touchscreen, something that is car-appropriate.

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