Having been around for over four decades, the Honda Civic is a mainstay of the compact and subcompact market, still going from strength to strength.
While it may not have in the past boasted sales numbers to match its rivals (such as the Ford Focus and VW Golf), the Honda Civic is now thought of as one of the most reliable and affordable cars on the market. Largely down to a constant reputation of reliability and good scores among customer satisfaction surveys, the Honda Civic continues to evolve as a car and gain popularity with buyers.
Honda Civics are some of the most reliable cars on the market.
A marker for well-built, reliable cars (in 2011 the manufacturers were named the Which Car? most reliable car brand), the Honda name is one well worth looking out for when shopping for a used car. With the Honda Civic the reliability is coupled with a car made to run smoothly and efficiently, and so is a good all-rounder in the compact and subcompact market.
A stand out feature is undoubtedly the Civic's eye catching design, which is not only sleek and modern, but also a trendsetter in the market - a number or cars in the same class have followed on where the Civic started, using a similar curved bonnet and split rear window. The most recent models, while not being radically redesigned in terms of looks, have been designed with aerodynamics and efficiency in mind.
Inside, the design of the most recent models has found critics finding fault with a jumbled dashboard and limited head room, but the Civic's boot and leg space is generally thought to be adequate, if not excellent. This makes it an ideal choice for families and those looking to fit in five people and still have ample storage room.
Civics are some of the most fuel efficient on the market, generally offering miles per gallon returns in the mid 40s for petrol engines. The universally lauded 1.6 diesel however, is noted for its efficiency, offering 75mpg and CO2 emissions of 94g/km, which means that it is road tax exempt.
The 1.6 diesel has also been praised for its drive, which is widely thought to offer something a bit more lively than the rest of the range. Overall however, Civics are comfortable and reliable, if not always thrilling. The 1.4 petrol engine is thought to be the best entry-level car of the bunch, offering good all round specifications, including the six-speed manual gearbox that comes as standard on the full range.
Honda Civics have been awarded the maximum five stars from Euro NCAP, and all come with ESP and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution. The EX GT trim however, features a Collision Mitigation Brake System, an automatic braking system which uses radar to detect imminent collisions.
Having been around for over 40 years, Honda Civics have remained one of the most reliable and visually exciting cars on the market.
Here's a brief history of the Honda Civic, stretching right back to the first one, launched in 1972.
- The first Honda Civic was launched in 1972 , first as a two-door model, but coupé, three and five-door hatchback models were subsequently produced.
- The high prices of fuel at the time and the fact that the Civic engine could run on both leaded and unleaded petrol made the car popular among buyers looking for fuel efficient cars.
- The second generation Civic was launched in 1980 offering a redesigned shape, and a more powerful, CVCC designed engine.
- 1983 saw the third generation Civic released, featuring a four cylinder D series engine.
- In 1988 the fourth generation model was launched having grown bigger and more powerful. This Civic proves to be considerably more popular in the mainstream market than previous models.
- The fifth generation Civic was introduced in 1992, boasting yet again more power.
- A sixth generation was launched in 1996 and was the top selling small car in the US in 1999 and 2000.
- 2001 saw the arrival of a seventh generation Civic.
- The end of 2001 saw the introduction of the Civic Hybrid, the first car to be certified as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle by California's Air Resources Board.
- In 2006 the eighth generation of Civic was launched, this time with a radical exterior redesign.
Having been around for over forty years there are a number of different Civic models on offer. Here we take a look at some of the more recent models and what features they offer:
Honda Civic SE
6 speed manual transmission, 5 speed automatic transmission, 16" alloy wheels, selectable door unlock, front and rear power windows, LED Daytime Running Lights, idle stop, halogen headlights, radio/CD player, electric adjustable and heated door mirror
Honda Civic SE-T
SD navigation system with integrated Bluetooth Hands Free Telephone, 6-speed manual transmission, 5-speed automatic transmission, 16" alloy wheels, selectable door unlock, front and rear power windows, LED Daytime Running Lights, idle stop, halogen headlights, radio/CD player, electric adjustable and heated door mirrors
Honda Civic ES
6-speed manual transmission, 5-speed automatic transmission, leather multi-functioning steering wheel, drilled aluminium foot pedals, dual climate control, front fog lights, rear view parking camera, electrically retractable door mirrors, remote retractable door mirrors, remote power windows, dusk-sensing auto lights, rain-sensing auto wipers, cruise control with speed limiter, Bluetooth Hands Free Telephone system
Honda Civic ES-T
SD navigation system with integrated Bluetooth Hands Free Telephone, 6-speed manual transmission, 5-speed automatic transmission, leather multi-functioning steering wheel, drilled aluminium foot pedals, dual climate control, front fog lights, rear view parking camera, electrically retractable door mirrors, remote retractable door mirrors, remote power windows, dusk-sensing auto lights, rain-sensing auto wipers, cruise control with speed limiter, Bluetooth Hands Free Telephone system.
Honda Civic EX
6-speed manual transmission, 5-speed automatic transmission, heated front seats, premium audio set up - subwoofer with MP3 capabilities, video jack/USB connection, HDD navigation.
Honda Civic EX GT
6-speed manual transmission, 5-speed automatic transmission, 17" alloy wheels, Smart Entry and Start, high beam support system (HSS), Bi-HID headlights, headlight washers, privacy glass, panoramic glass roof, auto dimming rear view mirror, HDD navigation system.