Most sedan lovers in India can be found talking about the eighth-generation Honda Civic model, which was known for its sleek design and spacious interior with a spaceship-like instrument cluster. Undoubtedly, this car offers premium-ness like no other sedan in its segment. Some might remember the Civic version imported to Indian shores in the early years. Still, people won’t forget the RS variants as they were godly machines and legendary as well. None of these were able to come to the Indian shores, but their fame reached so far that people can’t stop admiring Honda Civic’s journey so far.
These glimpses from history allow us to know the fact how Honda Civic of today made its way to our shores. This story talks about the evolution of Honda Civic that took ages to bring the best out of this machine.
This was the first generation of Honda Civic into production. If the oil crisis of 1973 was not popular then the civic won’t have become as popular as it is at the present day. It was introduced in the United States by 1973. Measuring just 3551 mm in length, the first-gen Honda Civic was even smaller than Brio at that time. The car somehow managed to offer a spacious cabin and fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine coupled with front-wheel design and superior build quality.
By the time the second generation came into picture, the first generation Civic evolved from a 2-door hatchback to a 3-door hatchback and a 5-door hatchback. Also, the company introduced a 2-speed Hondamatic automatic transmission.
Introduced in mid-1979, the second generation civic was widely known as the 1980 model year. This hatchback had a more angular shape and offered better power than the first-generation model. All the engines used the CVCC design, adding a third valve per cylinder with lean burn swirl technology.
The base 1335 cc engine produced 55 hp while an optional 1488 cc engine developed 67 hp. Three transmission options were available: a four-speed manual (on base models), a five-speed manual, and a two-speed Hodamatic. This second-gen Civic comprised of a 3-door hatchback, a four-door sedan, a five-door hatchback, and a five-door wagon
Christened as ‘tall-boy’, this Civic wanted to offer a spacious cabin to its passengers. That time CRX Coupe design was introduced that made the Civic a stylish compact car. The funky looking Wagon variants offered better space and on-the-fly 4WD system (later upgraded to a real-time 4WD configuration).
The fourth-generation Civic came into existence in late-1987 with increased dimensions and lowered hood. In this particular generation, Honda offered a wide range of models and trim levels across various markets. All the models sold in the U.S. featured electronic fuel injection systems, while the carburetor ones were available in the rest of the countries. This generation saw the use of fully independent rear suspension across the complete lineup.
Brought up in 1991 as 1992 Civic model year, the car got a completely fresh design with increased dimensions and aerodynamic styling. In the Japanese market, the Wagon variant was carried over until 1995. Also, a new body style was introduced with this generation known as the Civic Coupe, which was based on the Civic Ferio Sedan. It was sold in North America, Europe, and Japan. The fifth-generation civic eventually became popular among racers and car tuners.
Introduced as the 1996 model year, the Civic in its sixth generation featured updated exterior styling, unlike the predecessor redesigns. The suspension and engine options available were also having an option for natural gas-powered Civic, the GX variant.
In the United States, the Civic was sold in variant names like CX, DX, EX, EXR, HX, and LX. In Europe, the company offered DOHC 1.6-litre VTi hatchback and Sedan along with DOHC 1.8-litre engine with liftback and estate variants.
In the seventh generation, the Civic’s exterior dimensions remained the same as the sixth-generation models. The seventh-gen Civic had increased cabin space along with a flat floor. Also, there was the use of MacPherson struts instead of double-wishbone suspension.
In the U.S., the Civic was powered with a combination of a 1.3-litre in-line 4-cylinder petrol engine coupled with electric motors. In order to handle handling issues, Honda added Projector HID headlamps, a lighter clutch, light flywheel, and improved steering wheel.
The 2006 model year Civic hit the markets with a blast. Honda split the model into two platforms. One as Sedan and the other one as Coupe. The hatchback model was designed for European markets only. In Europe, the Honda civic was sold as a hatchback body type with aggressive styling and rear suspension sourced for Honda Fit. Mechanically, all the bodyty[es were identical.
In the U.S., the Civic Si 4-door featured cosmetic tweaks along with suspension change, slight exterior differences, and tuned exhaust note.
Coming to the ninth generation, the Honda Civic transformed itself into a sleek, aerodynamic, and energetic car. Both the Sedan and Coupe concept cars were showcased at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. The production model of the 9th generation Civic went for sale in the U.S by April 2011. In 2012, Honda brought Civic facelift with new exterior and interior trims. Honda also added its Eco Assist technology in most models and became the first gasoline-only powered car to be sold in North America.
All models were offered with standard safety equipment such as ABS (Anti-Lock Brake Systems), VSA (Vehicle Stability Assistance) and EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution). Other major improvements included a new multilink rear suspension in order to smoothen the drive on highways.
Again with a good heart, Honda Civic returned in its tenth generation after a long wait. The petrol variant features a 1.8-litre, 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol engine which produces 141PS of power and 174Nm of peak torque. The new engine is worked upon as BSVI-compliant. The engine comes paired to a CVT, and Honda had no word about bringing any manual option sooner.
The price for base Honda Civic trim in India starts from Rs. 17.93 lakh, the mid-trim VX is priced at 19.45 Lakh, while the top-spec ZX trim costs Rs. 21.25 lakh (ex-showroom price). Just like any modern-day sedan, the Honda Civic is delightful to see. The car comes with a comprehensive package altogether. In India, it rivals against the likes of Hyundai Elantra and Skoda Octavia.