Evolution of the Civic


First & Second Generation (1972-1983)

Introduced in 1972, the original Civic featured US-focussed innovation s like front discs, reclining seats and radio as standard. It was notoriously prone to corrosion, so you won’t find many original first generation examples these days. Coming on like a mini from the land of the rising sun, this was in fact a true child of the oil crisis. Come the eighties the formula was refreshed with a new, more angular design, a choice of larger engines and the emissions reducing CVCC was introduced across the range.


Third Generation (1983-86)

The concept for the third-generation Civic was “maximum space for people, minimum space for mechanisms.” Based on this concept Honda developed three-, four- and five-door variations of the Civic—a three-door hatchback and four-door saloon, as well as a five-door shuttle offering superior utility space. The Civic Si was introduced in 1984, which featured an engine wit double overhead cam technology – the two door CRX variants were introduced here for the first time: and the first familar lines of moddable civic culture crept over the horizon…


Fourth Generation (1987-91)

Developers of the fourth-generation Civic emphasized “exhilarating performance based on human sensitivities.” Targeting higher efficiency, Honda created its Hyper 16-valve engine in five variations, from 1,300cc to 1,500cc. The 4th gen also saw the introduction of all-round double wishbone suspension, different dimensions and a lowered front three quarter…


Fifth Generation (1991-94)

The new series heralded the arrival of new VTEC engine variations to provide an excellent mix of driving performance and high fuel efficiency. These included the 170-horsepower DOHC VTEC, the ultrahigh fuel efficiency VTEC-E and a high-balance VTEC. The new cars represented a leap forward in safety and environmental friendliness. There were enhanced safety features and a high proportion of recyclable components.


Sixth Generation (1995-1999)

In the mid nineties Honda sought to transcend the Civic’s traditional “car for the masses” appeal. Reaching out to an increasingly global market it incorporated a range of new technologies to satisfy strong demand for high performance, safety and low emissions. These included the 3-stage VTEC engine, boasting high output and high fuel efficiency and Honda Multimatic, a next-generation, variable-speed automatic transmission.


Seventh Generation (2000-2004)

The seventh-generation Civic was developed as the “benchmark for compact cars,” satisfying all important criteria, with maximum cabin space, superlative economy and smooth ride, and unparalleled safety for occupants and pedestrians. The interior space was made more comfortable based on a low, flat-floor design enabling occupants to easily move between front and rear seats. Due to Honda’s G-CON collision safety technology, the seventh-generation Civic has met the highest safety standards, winning “Car of the Year Japan” awards in 2001 and 2002.


Eight generation (2005-Present)

In October 2005 production began at the Civic plant in Swindon – a facility that cost over one and a quarter billion pounds to build and start to operate. The product has on the whole lived up to its venerable badge, though at first its striking new lines appeared to divide commentators and punters alike.