The Honda Civic was once, a little car from Japan. Now, it’s one of the most iconic, best selling cars in the history of automobile. People trust Honda Civic and they want it. Its smooth performance, easy handling and top-notch engineering has always blown everyone’s minds.
The story of Honda Civic’s evolution and success is a long one. It is spread over 10 generations of this amazing car. Here’s a recap of it.
Honda Civic started as a small and compact car. In June 1972, a 3-door hatchback was seen rolling out of the assembly lines in Japan. It was equipped with 4-cylinders making about 50 hp. The car came with four-speed manual transmission, independent suspension at all 4 corners and front wheel drive. It was a very affordable cost with advanced features. No wonder it caught attention of people from around the globe.
In June 1979, a more angular Civic was introduced with a larger engine size. It used the CVCC engine introduced earlier in 1975 during the global fuel crisis. The second generation Civic offered three modes of transmission including a four-speed manual, five-speed manual, and two-speed automatic. This car was offered as a three-door hatchback, a four-door sedan, a five-door hatchback, and even as a five-door wagon.
The second generation’s car wasn’t as not as popular as the first. So, the third generation was introduced just 4 years after, i.e. in 1983. The main hatchback was fuelled with a 1.3-liter engine producing 60 hp. The other models came with a 76 hp producing engine. The transmission choices offered were four-speed and five-speed manual and three-speed auto.
The DX was launched with a 1.5-liter CVCC engine. However, the real star of the show was the sports car, CRX. This masterpiece was offered in two engine variants. One was 1.3-liter while the second more powerful one was 1.5-liter. The latter was light weight and fuel efficient. Thus, it achieved impressive fuel economy ratings of 51 mpg in the city and 67 mpg on the highway.
The CRX Si was introduced in 1985. It had a 1.5-liter engine with a result of 91 hp. The lightweight body was delivered by the use of plastic fenders. The weight was what made Si one of the fastest Civics.
In 1987, Honda unveiled the station wagon models with the Real Time 4WD system. It was automatic technology that took over the push button working system.
The fourth generation models were introduced in 1988. They had a redefined exterior with a sleeker look. The engines were more powerful. The hatchback’s engine delivered 70 hp while the DX and LX were equipped with 1.5-litre, 16-valve engine that produced 92 hp.
The CRX was fitted with an engine that resulted in 92 hp. The CRX HF was launched with 63 hp eight-valve engine. Its fuel economy was 56 mpg. The CRX Si and Civic 4WD wagon were fitted with a 105 hp power unit and a 1.6-liter, 16-valve engine.
In 1991, the Honda Civic upgraded to being more powerful, larger, and more comfortable. The car shape was more aerodynamic. The transmissions offered were five-speed manual and four-speed automatic on the DX hatchback and all of the sedan models of Civic.
The fifth generation even introduced a convertible, Del Sol. The car featured a two-seat cockpit and two variants. One was 102 hp 1.5-litre engine while the second one was the more powerful 1.6-litre producing 125 hp. Over the years, Del Sol was upgraded with advanced features.
The sixth generation Civics featured a few styling upgrades. The VX hatchback was replaced by the HX. However, it was heavier and thus, gave lesser mileage. Later in 1996, the HX was offered with continuously variable transmission (CVT).
In 1997, the Ek9 was produced. It was given the Type-R badge. It was fitted with a B16B engine. The output was 162 hp and the 1.6-liter civic screamed power by a redline of over 8,000 rpm.
Due to popular demand, Honda reintroduced the Civic Si in 1999. It was fitted with a 1.6-liter VTEC engine that produced 160 hp.
In 2001, the redesigned Honda Civic was introduced. There were some significant changes. The double-wishbone suspension was replaced by a MacPherson strut system. This allowed low costs so, money was saved. Honda offered coupe, sedan, and hatchbacks versions of Civic. The options to choose from were plenty, including DX, LX, HX, EX and GX.
The Mk2 Type-R was introduced in 2001. It was a 3-door hatchback model featuring a 197 horsepower 2.0-litre I-VTEC engine.
The eighth generation model was introduced in 2006. It was different to the previous generations as the look was new, modern, and bigger. The bonnet was compact, and the windshield was highly raked. Honda Civic’s new design was labelled as “North American Car of the Year” and Motor Trend’s 2006 “Car of the Year”.
Honda continued to offer a hybrid model. This was outfitted with a CVT transmission and a 1.3-liter petrol engine. The hybrid Civic produce 110 hp and could deliver 50 mpg in the city and 50 mpg on the highway.
The FD2 Type-R was launched in 2007. This was a 4-door sedan and not a 3-door hatchback.
The ninth generation Civics were energetic, sleek, and introduced with better safety standards. The DX, LX and EX models were offered in petrol-powered, natural gas-powered and hybrid variants. Honda also launched the Civic HF sedan. This featured a 1.8-litre inline four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed auto transmission. It could deliver 41mpg in the city.
The 5-door hatchback variant of the Civic was unveiled in 2011. The wheelbase was reduced by 30 mm and the car’s aerodynamics were improved.
The latest cars feature a futuristic look. The exterior design is fastback with the rear C-pillar flowing in the tailgate. The interior received massive design changes as well. The Civic Si was reintroduced once again, in 2016. It’s powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine that produces 205 hp. Most variants of the tenth generation come with turbo-charged 1.5-liter engine.
The Mk5 Type-R was revealed in 2017. It was outfitted with a winged carbon fibre splitter and with diamond-mesh air intakes. This car is fuelled with a 306 horsepower 2.0-litre inline-four turbocharged engine. A six-speed manual transmission is offered.
Honda Civic has come a long way. There is constant innovation and advancement in the Civics. It was the combination of reliability, high-quality, low cost and fuel efficiency that steered Honda Civic and the Japanese motor industry to the forefront of the automobile world.