What Does ‘Civic’ Mean For The Honda Civic?

The Honda Civic is one of the most successful, popular and enduring cars of all time.

If you’ve read our guide to the Honda Civic history and generations, then you’ll know that this car has been for sale since 1973 across a number of generations.

Along with the Toyota Corolla (read our Toyota Corolla history guide here) the Civic is one of the best selling cars ever, and continues to be loved by many for bringing affordable, reliable transportation to the masses.

In a previous edition of Car Facts, we looked at the origin of the Corolla name.

But what does ‘Civic’ mean on the Honda Civic? What is the origin of the name here?

Let’s take a look.

For Cities and Citizens

The origin of the Honda Civic name stretches back to the early 1970s.

Prior to this point, Honda had made some cars – to mixed reception – but was primarily known for its motorcycles.

However, Honda assembled a team to work on building the concept for a small, economical and reliable car that could keep pace with the best Europe had to offer in terms of performance and capability, but be far more affordable.

Honda wanted to build a car that was “for cities and citizens”, hence the name ‘Civic’ was chosen.

Basically, the idea was that the Civic would be an affordable car for city-dwellers looking for reliable and economical transportation.

The Civic delivered on that promise, and continues to do so to this day – living up to its original intention of being a car for urban environments and those living in cities who needed affordable transport.

Recap – What Does The Name ‘Civic’ Mean?

The Honda Civic’s name means ‘for cities and citizens’ – owing to its original development in the early 1970s as a car primarily for city-dwellers who needed something compact, economical and highly reliable to stand up to the rigours of urban commuting.

Make sure you read our article on the history of the Honda Civic and its generations for more information on this legendary car.



  • Sam

    Sam focuses mainly on researching and writing the growing database of Car Facts articles on Garage Dreams, as well as creating interesting list content. He is particularly enthusiastic about JDM cars, although has also owned numerous European vehicles in the past. Currently drives a 3rd generation Suzuki Swift Sport, and a Volkswagen Touareg (mainly kept for taking his border collie out to the hills to go walking)

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