A Comprehensive Guide to the Different Generations of the Honda Civic - From the Original to the Latest Model

As one of the most recognized and popular automobile models of all time, the Honda Civic has generated praise throughout the years due to its fuel efficiency, reliability, and affordability. Though the competition for the sedan class can be fierce, Honda continues to lead the pack thanks to its innovative technology and commitment to providing high-quality and durable cars.

While there have been many iterations of the model since its inception in 1973, the Civic retains its reputation as a market leader for practical sedan options. We'll dive deeper into how the Honda Civic has changed over the years, starting with the original model and continuing to the latest model year Civic. 

The First Generation Honda Civic (1973)

In the early 1970s, Honda launched the Civic model with the slogan "It will get you where you going." With this emphasis on practicality, the first-generation Civic model was the reliable, affordable, and fuel-efficient car that the automobile market sorely needed. Due to the oil crisis in 1973, the Civic quickly became a popular car with its 1,169 cc, four-cylinder engine that could run on leaded or unleaded gasoline. 

In addition to its fuel efficiency, the Civic also wowed consumers with its combination of affordability and quality. Though Honda was a Japanese automobile manufacturer, the Civic had a quality finish similar to German automobiles. With the Civic, the Honda brand entered the global automobile market as a quality competitor. 

The Second Generation Honda Civic (1980)

With the second generation, the Honda Civic received an upgrade in style and design with new performance capabilities as well. Released in 1980, the Civic was new and improved with a more sleek and sophisticated appearance. The standard engine for Civic base trims was 1,335cc and capable of generating up to 55 horsepower. The civic also used its innovative CVCC engine technology for all models.

The Third Generation Honda Civic (1983)

The third-generation Honda Civic offered significant upgrades to the engine. Depending on the model, the Civic was outfitted with one of two engine options. For the hatchback model, the Civic had a standard 1.3-liter 60 horsepower engine, while the sedan models had an engine capable of generating 76 horsepower. 

With this launch came new models, including the incredibly popular CRX. The CRX was in-demand due to its high fuel efficiency. Its lightweight construction coupled with its 1.3-liter engine allowed for amazing fuel economy ratings at a 51 city mpg rating and a 67 mpg rating on the highway. 

The Fourth Generation Honda Civic (1988)

Near the end of the 80s, Honda launched the fourth generation of the Civic. With this new model, drivers could expect a Civic that was more sleek and powerful than ever before.

Along with the redesign, the new Civic boasted more powerful engines. The sedan and wagon options came with a 1.5-litre 16-valve engine, capable of producing up to 92 horsepower. The hatchback option was slightly less powerful with its engine only capable of generating up to 70 horsepower. 

The Fifth Generation Honda Civic (1992)

This generation of the Honda Civic focused on providing drivers with the best small car design. With better aerodynamics and an overall sleek design, the fifth generation of Civics were popular among consumers. Additionally, with this generation of Civics, Honda added new and improved safety features, such as making passenger-side airbags standard in 1994. 

The Sixth Generation Honda Civic (1995)

With this new generation, the Civic had overall bigger dimensions than the previous generation. One of the more significant changes in this generation was the introduction of the HX coupe. The HX was meant to replace the VX hatchback. The HX, though less fuel efficient than the VX, was powerful–generating up to 115 horsepower. 


The Seventh Generation Honda Civic (2001)

The seventh generation of the Civic underwent a lot of changes both inside and outside. The completely redesigned exterior offered a much different look than previous generations. One of the most significant changes to the car was the new suspension setup. The MacPherson suspension design was cheaper and allowed more room for the engine. 

The Eighth Generation Honda Civic (2006)

The appearance of the eighth generation Civic differed strongly from the previous generation. The modern appearance of the new generation was noticeable in both the exterior and in the cabin. Additionally, this generation offered fuel efficient options in the form of a hybrid trim. With Civic Hybrid, Honda managed to create a car that was powerful and fuel efficient. It had a 50 mpg rating in the city and highway, while also capable of generating up to 110 horsepower. 

The Ninth Generation Honda Civic (2012)

This generation focused on creating a model that was ultra-fuel efficient and affordable. The brand's Eco-Assist technology was made standard on most models, which helps offset fuel costs for drivers. Additionally the design of the car was made to be more aerodynamic, which helped to improve the Civic's overall fuel efficiency. 

The Tenth Generation Honda Civic (2016)

The tenth generation Civic unveiled new improvements to the design and performance of the model. It was made with a higher grade of steel, which is lighter than previously used materials. Additionally, a new dual pinion steering system was introduced, which improved the overall steering feel. 

The Eleventh Generation Honda Civic (2021)

From 2021 onward to the current model year Civic, the eleventh generation focuses on efficiency, style, and quality. With this generation, you'll find improvements in overall ride quality, handling, and updated safety technology. With its decades-long history as a reliable and efficient sedan model, the newest generation continues this tradition by offering high-performing and practical cars. 

The Honda Civic has been a popular car option since it was first introduced in the 70s. Over the years, it has developed a strong reputation for reliability and quality, making it a great choice for car shoppers. With the latest generation, the Civic remains one of the best choices on the market for consumers looking to find the best value for their money. Visit our dealership in Miami to test-drive one of the Civic models to see why they have been popular for the last fifty years.