Let's get two things straight: the Honda Civic Wagon Concept, revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, is not really a concept, as it is more of a pre-production car with some fancy bits bolted on – these exact body panels and its shape will be carried over to the actual production model.
The second thing is that Honda really needs to make it work, as sales of the latest UK-built Civic hatchback have been less than satisfactory.
Getting back to the first point we made, and the fact that the basic shape of this concept will carry over to the production car, that is a very good thing, since one of the reasons for the hatchback's modest sales numbers was its somewhat awkward styling, an issue we say the estate thoroughly corrects, and once out, will have one of the most distinctive estate shapes in its class.
It will also come with an all-important small-displacement diesel engine, in the form of Honda's new 1.6-liter unit, with 118 hp (120 PS) and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft). Sure they had the trusty 2.2-liter diesel before, but most buyers don`t usually opt for the bigger units, and now that a smaller one is available, it will most likely make up the bulk of the sales.
Also, it needs to improve on the rather uninspiring driving dynamics the hatch has been criticized for, especially when it faces very talented competition in the class, in the form of the Ford Focus Wagon and, of course, Volkswagen, with their new Golf Variant. Also, there's the estate version of the new Toyota Auris (another Japanese car built in the UK) for Honda to worry about.