It’s a cold, rainy evening in Georgia, and the fog is rolling across the hills, containing secrets in its folds. As the fog parts down on the street, a figure appears out of the darkness. One can only describe him as a car salesman––his blazer, patterned tie, and comb-over hair whipping in the wind. He says he has information for me, and we agree to a chat. I welcome him into my hotel suite, and he sits across the fireplace from my position. The light reveals his face, and he smiles. Then grimaces. Then smiles again––never breaking eye contact. Just who is this man? He is Mark Bobkins, a high-ranking representative of a local Honda dealership, to discuss a matter so secretive that I feel he may have given me a false name. We’re discussing the 2021 Honda Civic.
Why the secrecy? It must be the groundbreaking features that Honda doesn’t want him to reveal, the unheard-of features that we can’t wait to make public. Mark adjusts his tie, smiles once more, and then agrees to begin.
Thank you for joining us, Mark Bobkins. I’d like to ask you first of all, what can we expect from the 2021 Honda Civic?
Thank you for having me, [name redacted for privacy and safety reasons]. The newest Honda Civic is probably the best yet, and that’s saying something. Its features are nothing less than incredible.
Really? What are its best new features?
There are some secrets even I, even I [he points to his heart] won’t know until the car hits our sales lot. But for now, I’ve heard things about its… Let’s just call it a romantic cabin.
‘Romantic,’ as in Roman-inspired?
No, you doof. I mean, those things that make you feel all warm and fuzzy at night. The new Civic has red velvet upholstery, curve-hugging ergonomic seats, and soft LED lighting that resembles candlelight. On its floor, tiger-stripe carpet.
That sounds pretty relaxing.
Well, that’s not the point. I think Honda wanted this to be the sort of car that gets you going if you catch my drift. Its infotainment and speaker system only streams romantic music like soul, tango, jazz, and even polka. I mean, it’s a totally new direction for this car. You haven’t seen anything like it.
Car and Driver magazine described the 2021 Honda Civic as having a “polarizing exterior design.” What do you think they meant by that?
The new Civic is definitely polarizing, and that’s because of its magnetized door handles. You know how car after car is coming out with keyless entry and sensing fobs, and things like that? Well, Honda did you one better. You see, the newest Civic has something even MORE revolutionary. Your Civic is compatible with a magnetized belt. [Mark looks over his shoulder, then holds up a belt. It looks like a Southern belt with a big buckle that says “Honda” and has the huge ‘H’ logo on it.]
So rather than using a key or fob to access your Civic, the car is attracted to your belt and actually pulls you toward it. When you lock hips with the driver’s side door, it automatically unlocks, flips, and then throws you inside. Plop! You hit the driver’s seat, and you’re ready to go.
What if you forget to wear your belt?
I told you it was magnetized and attracted to the belt. You’ve gotta pay attention, man. The Civic has wheels, you know, so it can go where the belt goes. You don’t have it; it can come to you.
Even into an apartment?
Yeah! [Bob seems irate.] It can transport itself to where the belt is, magnetize it, retrieve it, and then go and retrieve you. Say you’re in a meeting and forgot your Honda Belt. Well, the car will politely wait at the door and then hand you the belt when you’re ready.
Wouldn’t you get pulled toward the car at an inopportune moment?
Honestly, man, I’m leaving if you don’t start paying attention. The Civic has SMART magnets and knows how to react to the moment. So when you’re ready to go and wearing the belt, it will attract you toward itself and get you going. If you just happen to walk by the parking lot or something, it knows you’re not ready and leaves you alone, like a dog watching its owner from the other side of a window. But if you’re equipped with the belt, the Civic delivers it to you at record speeds. Do you get it now?
Let’s move on. What do you think––magnetic doors aside––people will be surprised to learn about the new Civic.
Probably its fuel economy. It’s pretty spectacular.
Would you care to elaborate?
I mean, I guess. The new Civic is even more economical than other cars like it in its class. Without compromising any speed or acceleration power, it can run up to 850,000 miles on a single tank. Think about that: 850,000 miles without ever having to refuel. I mean, some Civics are going to get crunched in the chop shop before they get a single trip to the gas station. They can circle the whole US a few times before they even remember that they’re driving a gas engine vehicle. Even the Corolla’s not that good. So yeah, the Civic has been historically fuel-efficient, but this time they really blew it out of the water. Oil companies are so upset they’ve actually been trying to ban the Civic from American dealerships, especially in Texas.
That is pretty shocking. What would you say to drivers who think a sedan isn’t the right vehicle for them? Maybe someone who prefers driving a pickup, minivan, or SUV over a body style like the 2021 Civic.
I’d say get over yourself?
Yeah. A sedan’s a sedan, and they’re not all boring. The Civic can have leopard-print upholstery for cryin’ out loud. It can drive through a volcano if you equip it with the right suspension. It has ground clearance, it can carry a few bodies in its trunk if you really want it to. If you’re looking for an all-around good car, it’s the obvious choice. Yeah, don’t expect it to have a wide-open bed or three rows of seats, but who needs that stuff anyway?
I think some drivers may have a certain need–
Honestly, man, if you interrupt me again, I’m outta here. I mean it. Look, a good car is a good car, and that’s what a Honda is. You know Honda? Honda, the car manufacturer? Honda, the Japanese car brand? [I hesitate to answer.] Yeah, they’ve got something special up their sleeves this year. So if you’re some kind of priss who thinks they’re too good for a Honda, you’re wrong. You don’t go around like this [he points his nose in the air], acting like you’re better than everyone. Who needs a Lexus or a Caddilac? Did you know that those cars are just gussied-up versions on discount auto brands? Honda doesn’t pretend to be better than it is. It’s just good value and good products. Nobody’s too good for that, not even you.
I see. Well, thank you for joining me, Mark. I look forward to seeing the new Civic for myself.
[Mark leaves abruptly without a word.]
It seems there’s a lot to expect from the new Civic that––well, let’s just say, it offers features we didn’t know we needed. I’m personally curious as to how well-received its magnetic door handles and compatible belt will be, but nonetheless, it seems like a winner. The Civic’s new, adult-oriented vibe likely means we can expect a great performance car, too––a step up from its more humble, older editions. Tech should be interesting as well. And, while I never did see or hear from Mark again, I expect that’s because his hands are full with pre-orders. Contact him––or another, more stable dealer near you––to learn more.
Now it’s time I dead drop this tape at the predetermined location. Take care out there, folks. This is [name redacted], signing out for The Lemon.