Honda Civic Tourer, not coming to America…and shouldn’t

Honda Civic Tourer

Honda Civic Tourer

This isn’t your usual Honda Civic. It’s the new Honda Civic Tourer, with a new face, a new wagonette profile and utility, and a release of photos before the Frankfurt show where it will officially debut. And no, you can’t have it. At least not here in the USA.

The Honda Civic Tourer isn’t coming to America.

While that makes sense, based on the history of small station wagons in the U.S. where they have almost always failed to garner enough sales to make it worth the costs of certification, stocking parts, etc., etc. Examples? Ford sold a wagon version of the Ford Focus here, and it had a take rate of about four percent. Yawn. A generation ago or so back, Mazda sold a Mazda6 station wagon—although they didn’t call it that—and watched it whither on the vine.

Honda Civic Tourer, hatch open

The Honda Civic Tourer can carry up to 59 cubic feet of Eurostuff. (click to enlarge)

But what’s being shown isn’t a wagon version of the Civic sedan or Civic coupe sold in America. Unlike Ford, which sells basically the same Ford Focus here as in Europe, the Honda Civic is a car that shares little more than the name from one side of the pond to the other, right down to the frame rails that have to be wider on the Euro version to accommodate Honda’s bulkier diesel engine, which we don’t get.

Yanks in Euroland see a different Civic than we have here, a hatchback with a high tail and large rounded fender flares front and rear, while we have a Civic sedan and coupe with sleeker sides. The Civic Tourer that joins the overseas lineup will raise the rear of the roof for a gentler taper, and in the process make the rear flares stand out more, for better or worse.

Honda Civic Tourer

Honda Civic Tourer (click to enlarge)

The new Civic Tourer will gain utility, however, with 22 cubic feet in the “trunk,” behind the rear seats and below the window sill. Fold the seats and pack to the roof and the volume increases to 59 cubic feet.

For the record, the Honda Civic Tourer will be equipped with either the diesel 1.6 i-DTEC engine from the Earth Dreams Technology series or the gas 1.8 i-VTEC engine in manual or automatic transmission.

While some auto journalists will have the knee-jerk reaction that we need small wagons, or that Americans should want small wagons…though those scribes don’t buy one themselves…we’ll say just as well with this one. The Europeans are welcome to the Honda Civic Tourer.