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History of the Honda Civic

Honda Civic History



Although it had been producing motorcycles engines for over 10 years, Honda wasn’t well-known for its cars until after 1973 when it introduced the Honda Civic. Since its debut, the Civic has been changing customer expectations for compact cars and fuel efficiency. Although the first generation of any car has its kinks, the Civic went on to overcome plenty of issues and, thanks to incredible feats of engineering, it’s become one of the most popular cars on the road today.
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  • The original 1973 Honda Civic debuted with room for four passengers and earned an efficient 40 estimated mpg on the highway. Many ads boasted that the small Civic had more room for passengers than many larger cars. Some of the early Civics problems included a bulky center divider in the grille and odd turn signals. A 1,169cc four cylinder engine that pumped out 50 hp and, thanks to the Civic’s 1,500-pound curb weight, it was more than enough power.
  • The second generation Honda Civic debuted in 1980, bringing a larger engine and a sleeker body style. A four door sedan model hit the market in 1981 and the Civic S debuted in 1983.
  • Growing in both size and sophistication, the third generation 1984 Honda Civic brought a 1.5-liter four cylinder engine capable of producing 76 hp. In 1985, the Civic CRX Si boasted 91 hp and improved handling as well as high-performance tires.
  • The fourth generation Civic saw more powerful engines and new trims. Notably, the Civic LX sedan hit the market and production moved to Ohio. By 1991, the fourth generation had come and gone, taking the CRX model with it.
  • The Civic’s fifth generation brought a new level of safety with a standard driver-side airbag on all models. The EX sedan brought the standard anti-lock braking system to the model as well. The 1994 model brought more safety features, including a passenger-side airbag and an optional anti-lock braking system.
  • From 1996 to 2000, the Honda Civic entered its sixth generation and​ saw a sleek, streamlined design and a small increase in power from the engine.​ 
  • Come 2001, the Civic entered its seventh generation with both coupe and sedan body styles as well as a two-door hatchback for the Si. The 2002 Civic Si boasted a 160 hp engine while the 2003 Civic brought the hybrid model.
  • The eighth generation Civic entered the market in 2005. In 2006, a total of 16.5 million Civics had sold worldwide over the model’s history. This generation saw few major changes through the 2010 model.
  • Entering its ninth generation, the Honda Civic brought a more aerodynamic design for the 2011 model year. In 2013, the compact car underwent a refresh. All Civic models featured Electronic Brake Distribution, Vehicle Stability Assistance, and an anti-lock braking system.
  • The current tenth generation Honda Civic debuted as a concept car at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. The new model featured a 2L four cylinder engine and a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. With a new design and more powerful engines, the latest Civic is bound to continue to make history.

Stop by Avery Greene Honda today in Vallejo, CA to sit behind the wheel of the historic Honda Civic! Our dealership offers a wide selection of new Civic Sedans and Coupes, as well as other great new Honda vehicles like the Accord, CR-V and Pilot. You can also check out a reliable used Civic at Avery Greene! Browse our website to learn more, or give us a call at (888) 627-1956​ to set up a test drive in a new Civic. We’re proud to serve the areas of Fairfield, American Canyon, Napa and Benicia!
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