UK Honda Civic Tourer Touts Inner Beauty — But This Wagon Is Gorgeous vs. Clinically-Depressed U.S. Civic

Long headline alert! Sorry about that.

Just pointing out the irony in Honda’s “Inner Beauty” campaign — aimed to highlight the functional and useful interior benefits of a wagon shell for small families.

But how good does this Civic wagon actually look!? And why is Honda of Europe able to make cars that are so vastly more interesting than Honda of America?

No answers are immediately forthcoming. Built in Swindon, England — the most plausible explanation is that Honda Europe is taking a loss on every single car it can manage to sell.

Even with this premium styling, Honda Europe has never made more than a slight blip on any radar.

In fact, without stats handy, I would place a hefty wager than Hyundai-Kia outsells Honda in both the UK and continental Europe.

Not great news. So what if we had this exact car here? It is built for left-hand-drive markets like Germany in the same Swindon base, so why not import it?

Currency problems aside for the sake of argument, Honda of America is a mess right now. Their brand is a total disaster, with almost no digital spending, abysmal web sites, and deep management malaise.

Every decision the Ohio-based Honda teams make is second-guessed and often (rumor has it) declined outright by Honda bosses in Japan. Just a mess of a brand.

Are the cars selling? Yes, some of them. The Accord and Civic and CR-V support all of American Honda on their strength, while the CR-Z is basically gone and the Insight is best forgotten altogether.

A new Ridgeline is coming next year, which will be great news for the tens of people who want a V6 unibody pickup truck.

There are no immediate answers to fix Honda, but the rot goes deep. From an outside perspective, Honda of America just seems to waste endless effort on projects that are ultimately canceled by the top brass outside of America.

Can you blame them for becoming so lethargic, unresponsive to any media or promotion outside woman’s magazines, or even a desirable new car now and then.

Sorry for the semi-scathing remarks, but you know there is some truth to my opinion when you look at how sexy the Civic Tourer is. Too bad we will never see anything nearly as good here from Honda — until the Accord and Civic stop selling, that is.

The Civic is dreadful as a sedan for 2014, even while the coupe added some new style flair. Poverty- and austerity-spec descriptions do not really go far enough to describe the unhappy American Civic sedan. Clinically depressed might be more accurate.

I sympathize with the Ohio crew who cannot actually approve anything themselves. Must be a sucky way to work.

Euro-only Honda Civic Tourer

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)

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