Visit any college campus in America and you will find a sea of Honda Civics crowding the parking lot. Why? Because the Civic is reliable, practical and inexpensive. In other words, it’s the perfect car to give an undergraduate with a lack of responsibility and limited driving experience. But, the civic isn’t just great for young people – it works for anyone who wants a car that’s low-cost and lasts longer than an unopened Twinkie.
The History of the Honda Civic
Before the Civic debuted in 1973, Honda was known more for its motorcycles than for its cars. This all changed when the civic hit the scene, sporting amazing space efficiency, fun driving dynamics and 40 mpg. For the next 41 years, the Civic remained a bestseller by staying true to its original design.
Seventh Generation Honda Civic
When the seventh generation (2003-2008) was introduced in 2003, it gained interior space, bumping it from the subcompact to the compact car segment. By 2006, 16.5 million Civics had been sold worldwide, with 7.3 million of them being sold in the United States.
In 2004, the Civic received a number of updates including new exterior styling for the coupe and sedan, upgraded audio speakers, more sound deadening and the introduction of a value package. For the 2005 model year, a Special Edition package was introduced for both the sedan and coupe, featuring an upgraded audio system with an AUX jack.
The civic received another redesign in 2006. Changes included a new exterior, updated interior, more standard and options features and a more powerful and fuel-efficient 1.8-liter engine. In addition, the integrated motor assist system was upgraded on hybrid models and a natural gas model was introduced midyear. In 2007, the Si trim level became available on sedan models. For 2008, the high performance Mugen Si trim debuted – the rest of the lineup was left unchanged.
Eighth Generation Honda Civic
Finally, the eight generation civic (2009-2015) was introduced. It was an instant success, and quickly found its way into the driveways of savvy consumers everywhere.
Model year 2009 saw many changes in the form of a redesigned exterior, a pair of new trim levels (the LX-S and DX value package), Bluetooth and USB. The 2010 Civic was left virtually unchanged.
In 2012, the Civic was redesigned once again. Changes included a new exterior, interior and the introduction of a 2.4L engine in Si models. Stability control was made standard on all models and a 5-inch information display was made available. For 2013, the Civic was refreshed with styling updates, additional standard equipment and a refined interior. Model year 2014 introduced a restyled coupe, and an updated interior for all models. The traditional 5-speed automatic transmission was replaced by a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Like WD-40 or OxyClean, the Civic is a timeless formula that actually works. It’s simple, inexpensive and effective. What more could you ask of a compact car? Until Honda starts rolling out in-dash expresso machines, the answer is nada.