The Evolution of the Honda Civic

Evolution of the Honda Civic

From a tiny family car to a full-on sports car, the Honda Civic has come a long way since its 1973 arrival in the United States. The 1973 Civic shares little resemblance to its 2021 counterpart, but from the beginning the Civic remains a true industry gamechanger.


1st Generation 1973-79

Honda Civic 1st Generation

The one that started it all, the diminutive, first-generation Honda Civic made a big splash in the years following the 1970s energy crisis due to its high gas mileage and overall quality.


2nd Generation 1980-83

Honda Civic 2nd Generation

Why mess with perfection? The second-generation Civic shared many similarities with its predecessor, although featured a slightly smaller body and under-the-hood mechanical changes, including a third valve per cylinder that boosted engine efficiency and power output.


3rd Generation 1984-87

Honda Civic 3rd Generation

Available in hatch, sedan, and wagon body styles, the biggest change to the third-generation Civic saw the introduction of a 1.6-liter engine producing 128hp and badged "si".


4th Generation 1988-91

Honda Civic 4th Generation

The fourth-generation Civic saw perhaps the greatest visual change, moving away from the previous trend of sharp straight line styling and instead toward a softer, more polished shape. Under the hood, important mechanical changes included a new fuel-injected engine.


5th Generation 1992-95

Honda Civic 5th Generation

The fifth-generation Civic brought about more rounded styling, a physical increase in size, and the continued adoption of the VTEC system.


6th Generation 1996-2000

Honda Civic 6th Generation

1997 marked the first time the high-performance Type R arrived on the scene, featuring an impressive 182bhp from the 1.6-liter engine, Type R badges, front and rear lip, wing, and fitted Recaro bucket seats and matching Momo steering wheel.


7th Generation 2001-05

Honda Civic 7th Generation

The seventh-generation marked Civic’s move from a subcompact to a compact model, along with the addition of a hybrid model.


8th Generation 2006-11

Honda Civic 8th Generation

The eight-generation Civic brought about the most dramatic exterior changes to date by showing off a futuristic and funky styling, including a short hood, expansive windshield, and more traditional profile.


9th Generation 2012-15

Honda Civic 9th Generation

The ninth-generation Civic built upon the last iteration, making small tweaks such as a longer hood, sculpted bumper, and larger taillamps, along with the introduction of Honda’s Eco Assist fuel efficiency information system.


10th Generation 2016 Onward

Honda Civic 10th Generation

From its modest beginnings as a subcompact family car to the current model, the Civic has changed dramatically in its nearly 50 year history. More muscular and sportier than past models, the all-new tenth generation Civic launched as a four-door sedan but was quickly joined by two-door coupe and four-door hatchback versions, all of which drive with an enthusiasm and sharpness unmatched in the industry.


Don't yet have a Honda Civic? What are you waiting for? For pricing and availability info, browse our new Honda Civic online inventory, call us, or stop by our neighborhood location.


Sources & Photos: Hotcars.com, Caranddriver.com

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