Posted June 15, 2009on:
The Honda Civic is a line of compact cars developed and manufactured by Honda. In North America, the Civic is the second-longest continuously-running nameplate from a Japanese manufacturer; only the Toyota Corolla, introduced in 1968, has been in production longer. The Civic, along with the Accord and Prelude, comprised Honda’s vehicles sold in North America until the 1990s, when the model lineup was expanded. Having gone through several generational changes, the Civic has become larger and more upmarket, and it currently slots between the Fit and Accord.
It was introduced in July 1972 as a two-door coupe, followed by a three-door hatchback that September. With the transverse engine mounting of its 1169 cc engine and front-wheel drive like the British Mini, the car provided good interior space despite overall small dimensions. Early models of the Civic were typically outfitted with a basic AM radio, a rudimentary heater, foam-cushioned plastic trim, two-speed wipers and painted steel rims with a chromed wheel nut cap. The current Civic has become much more luxurious with air conditioning, power locks, and power windows, plus options like leather upholstery, satellite-linked navigation, and a six-speed manual transmission. Initially gaining a reputation for being fuel-efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly, later iterations have become well-known for performance and sportiness, especially the Civic Type-R and Civic Si.
The Civic has been rebadged for international markets with such models as the Honda Ballade and Honda Domani/Acura EL. The Civic platform also served as the basis for the CR-X sport compact, the CR-X del Sol targa convertible, and the CR-V compact SUV.
As of 2008, the Civic has been the top-selling car in Canada for eleven straight years. With high gas prices and a weak economy in June 2008, the Civic supplanted the Ford F-150 to become the top-selling vehicle in the United States for that month.
First generation (1972-1979)
The first generation Honda Civic was introduced in 1972. Equipped with a 1,169 cc (71.3 cu in) four-cylinder engine, the first generation Civic was designed to compete with American compact vehicles and offered features such as front power disc brakes and reclining vinyl bucket seats and AM radio. The Civic was available as a coupe, both a three and a five door hatchback as well as a five door station wagon. Due to the 1973 oil crisis demand for fuel efficient vehicles was high and the Civic’s build quality matched its fuel economy allowing it to succeed in the market
Second generation (1980-1983)
In 1980 the Civic was redesigned. The new model featured more angular and larger body styles and increased engine power in the form of an optional 1.5 L (91.5 cu in) engine. A “3-box” four door sedan was also introduced as well as a three-speed automatic to replace the two-speed unit available in the previous generation. In 1983 a sport-oriented “S” model was introduced offering firmer suspension, sports tires, and a five-speed manual transmission.
Third generation (1984-1987)
The third generation was released in 1984. The five-door hatchback and wagon were merged into a four-door “shuttle wagon” and an additional coupe style was introduced, labeled CRX. A new 12-valve 1.5 L (91.5 cu in) four-cylinder engine was also offered, once again with increased power. 1984 saw the release of a high performance Si model for the Japanese market featuring a more powerful 1.6 L (97.6 cu in) and upgraded suspension. The Si model was offered in the US as a 3-door model and the CRX variant. 4WD model was introduced for the first time in 1984 and later upgraded in 1987
Fourth generation (1988-1991) – EC/ED/EE/EF
For 1988 the Civic was redesigned again with increased dimensions and a lower hood line. A wide range of models and trim levels were offered for various markets around the world. All US models now featured fuel injection, but carbureted models were available elsewhere. The fourth generation saw the introduction of the long running D series engine.
Fifth generation (1992-1995) – EG, EJ1/EJ2
Introduced in 1992 the redesigned Civic featured the usual increased dimensions as well as more aerodynamic styling. The wagon variant was now only available in the Japanese market where the previous generation wagon was carried over. The old HF model was brought back and renamed VX which was Honda’s most fuel efficient model sold at the time. In North America the Si featured a SOHC VTEC valve train where as the VX featured a VTEC-E. Continuing in the sporty tradition of the original Civic SiR, Honda sold several similarly equipped variants of the fifth generation car, still referred to as the Civic SiR, in Japan, Asia and Europe. The range of models encapsulated by the SiR nameplate grew to include the hatchback, sedan and CR-X Del Sol, all of which used a slightly evolved form of the Honda’s 1.6 liter B16A DOHC VTEC engine, now yielding 170PS
Sixth generation (1996-2000) – EK, EM1 (Si)
The sixth generation featured updated styling although less radical than previous redesigns. Suspension and engine options were similar to the previous generation but several new variants were introduced, including two distinct wagon models: the “Orthia” based on the standard Civic which was sold in the Japanese market and the Domani based wagon which was offered in the European market. It also saw the introduction of the Acura 1.6EL, an upscale version of the Civic introduced in the Canadian market. None of these models were offered in the US. Building on the success of the Japanese market-only Civic SiRII a Type-R model was offered for the first time, available in Asia and Europe only. The Honda Civic Type R featured major reductions in weight as well as improved engine output and a number of other changes and additions designed to improve performance. The North American market saw the introduction of an upgraded Civic Si (SiR in Canada) with a more powerful Dual Overhead Cam 1.6L VTEC engine. In 1998, in the United States, Honda introduced their first Natural Gas Powered Civic, the GX.
Seventh generation (2001-2005) – EM2, ES1, EP3
The seventh generation was released in 2001. While the redesign retained the previous generations exterior dimensions, interior space was improved in part by using a flat rear floor thus bumping up Civic to a compact car size segment. The front suspension was changed from that of a double wishbone to a MacPherson strut, in order to lower costs, as well as allow more engine bay room for the newly introduced Honda K-series engine. Power was also increased on some trim levels. In North America, coupe and sedan bodystyles were available, except for the Si (SiR in Canada) which was offered only as a three-door hatchback.The rest of the world received three and five-door hatchbacks. The Type-R (Available in Europe and Asia only) was redesigned as well this time using a more powerful i-VTEC motor and using the three-door hatchback body style. This generation saw Honda introduce their first Civic Hybrid, powered by a 1.3 litre engine.
Eighth generation (2006-present) – FN2, FD2, FG2
For the 2006 generation Honda split the model into two different platforms, one primarily for the home market and North America and the other designed for the European market using a simpler rear suspension from the Honda Fit and more aggressive styling. Although the North American and the home market model differ externally, they are mechanically identical. The European model is available as a three and five-door hatchback while the Japanese/North American model is available as either sedan or coupe. Both Si and Type-R trim levels continue although the Japanese and European Type-R while sharing the same size engine are mechanically different. In the US an improved version of the Si tuned by Honda tuner Mugen is offered featuring cosmetic alterations and changes to the suspension and exhaust system. The Acura version of the Civic not only received the design change, but also saw a new nameplate, changing from the Acura EL to the Acura CSX.
In Europe this Civic has a 3 or 5 door hatch featuring a 1.4 VTEC, 1.8 VTEC (5.5–9 km/lite in city, 11.2–13.7km/lite on highway), or 2.0l (Type-R) engines (5.5–8.1 km/lite in city, 8–10 km/lite on highway), as well as a powerful and economical 2.2 CTDI diesel (140BHP) which does 0–60 km/h in 8.6 seconds and fuel economy is 28.3 MPG 10–12 km/lite in city and 11–14 km/lite on the highway. There is also a saloon version for the Hybrid, which has a 1.4 IMA engine giving 61MPG with 0–60 in 12.1 seconds. The Hybrid is the only Civic in the UK that is a saloon.
 2009 facelift
For 2009, the Civic received a minor face lift, including a slight redesign to the front and rear. The exterior changes include a new honeycomb-designed grill in the front, as well as revised rims, with many more spokes than the original five-spoke rims. The design for the area of the grill where the fog lights are placed were also slightly revised to include differing designs for Civic models with fog lights and those without. The interior changes included bluetooth compatibility and an optional leather wrapped steering wheel in the LX model. The car retains many of its design cues and technical specifications from the pre-2009 model, including its 1.8 liter inline-4 engine and two-tier dashboard with a digital speedometer.