Honda Civic History Ultimate Guide – Every Honda Civic Generation

For more than 40 years, the Honda Civic has been a popular car among drivers from around the world due to its reliability, affordability and features. There have been a load of different models from four-door sedans to two-door hatchbacks, cheap runabouts and loved performance cars.

To celebrate this, we have decided to write an article on the complete history of the Honda Civic and how it become such a motoring icon, as well as a full breakdown of all the generations of this ever-popular vehicle.

Before the Civic, things like front-wheel drive, reliability and performance just didn’t go together. The Civic showed the world that front-wheel drive cars could be fun and that Japanese cars weren’t just reliable, fuel-efficient cheap runabouts – they could be reliable, fuel-efficient, cheap runabouts that were also great to drive.

The Civic has completely changed over the years and with well over 20 million units sold, it is one of the most popular cars of all time. It is one of the longest running nameplates in automotive history and shows no signs of slowing down.

Here’s a look back at all the past and present Honda Civic generations, as well as what to look forward to in the future!

Honda Civic Generations – What Came Before The Civic?

Honda in the 1960’s was vastly different to what it is today. The company was well known for its motorcycles, but many of its cars received lukewarm reception and competition was fierce.

Honda even considered pulling out of the car market in the early 1970s, but the launch of the Civic in 1972 changed all of that.

Thanks to the Civic’s reliability, low price and fuel economy in an era of rising fuel prices, it was an instant success. Honda’s CVCC technology helped make the car affordable and it did not need an expensive catalytic converter to meet 1970s and early 80s emissions standards.

Let’s take a look at the history of this legendary car, and how it helped to shape Honda’s fortunes for years to come.

First Generation Honda Civic (1973 – 1979)

first generation honda civic in yellow

The 1st generation Honda Civic wasn’t the company’s first car, but it was the first with something bigger than a two-cylinder, 600cc engine. It launched on 11 July 1972, but was sold as a 1973 model in Japan.

Honda’s slogan for the Civic was “It will get you where you’re going” and with its 1,169cc, four-cylinder water-cooled engine it could do just that. For the first time ever, consumers were exposed to a car that had the finish of a German automobile, but at a low cost and incredible reliability. That combination of reliability, quality finish, cost and fuel efficiency helped propel the Civic and the Japanese motor industry to the forefront of the motoring world

The Civic has featured reclining vinyl bucket seats, optional air conditioning, an AM/FM radio and front disc brakes. It was available as a coupe, with both three and five door hatchback options, as well as a five-door station wagon.

Due to the 1973 oil crisis, there was a large demand for fuel efficient vehicles and as the Civic could run on either leaded or unleaded fuel, it became a hit.

Honda introduced their CVCC engine in 1975, which had a head design that allowed for more efficient combustion. As a benefit of the new CVCC system, the Civic did not require a catalytic converter or unleaded fuel to meet the 1975 Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards.

This system, along with the VTEC system that would come later, is what characterised Honda as one of the world’s leading engine manufacturers and developers.

The first year Civic put out an impressive 50 horsepower, which was considered good for its displacement. You get the car in a four-speed manual or two-speed “Hondamatic” automatic gearbox. An all-independent suspension setup let the Civic run circles around its bigger American competitors.

In 1974, the Civic’s engine received a slight power boost to 52 horsepower, as the displacement was increased to 1,237 cc. Power was again increased in 1975, due to the introduction of the CVCC engine (now 53 horsepower) and a new five-speed manual gearbox became available. By 1979, power for the base engine Civic model was at 55 ponies, and the CVCC model was at 63.

Second Generation Honda Civic (1980 – 1983)

second generation honda civic in blue

Honda continued its momentum with the second generation Civic in 1980. The new Civic was sleeker, bigger and more like the Civic we have come to know today. All Civic engines now used the CVCC design and the base model was fitted with a 1,335cc engine that produced 55 horsepower. Honda also launched a 1,488cc model that produced 67 horsepower.

Three transmission options were available for the second generation Civic at launch: a four-speed manual (fitted to base models), a five-speed manual and a two-speed automatic.

What was notable about this generation Civic was the introduction of a special FE (fuel economy) model that was designed to boost gas mileage and a sporty new “S” model. The FE model was rated at 41 mpg in the city and an impressive 55 mpg on the highway.

Honda replaced the 1500 GL with the Civic “S” in 1983. It was based on a chassis with a stiffer suspension setup with a rear anti-sway bar and more capable Michelin tyres. The emblem of the Civic “S” was accented with what would become known as Honda’s signature colour of speed: red.

To broaden the Civic’s market appeal, Honda offered the car as a four-door sedan, a five-door wagon and a three or five-door hatchback.

Third Generation Honda Civic (1984 – 1987)

honda civic third generation "special edition" in two tone

The third generation Civic is really what propelled the car to what it is today. With the launch of the new generation Civic, Honda introduced a couple of new engines for the car. A 1.3-litre 60 horsepower engine was fitted to the base hatchback, while other models were decked out with a 76 horsepower unit.

Transmission choices for the new Civic were the same as the previous generation, with a four and five-speed manual on offer, along with a three speed auto.

Honda launched the base, DX and S models at launch, but it was the CRX that was the real star of the show. The CRX was offered in two models: the base 1.3-litre CRX and the more powerful CRX 1.5. Due to its light weight and efficient 1.3-litre engine, the CRX scored amazing fuel economy ratings of 51 mpg in the city and 67 on the highway.

The 1984 Civic was an immediate success with consumers. Dealers had trouble getting enough of them, and, as a result, they did not usually offer any discounts.

Honda introduced 4WD into the Civic range in 1984, along with a six-speed manual gearbox. This model had a fuel economy rating of around 28 mpg on the highway.

The CRX Si, which was introduced in 1985 was the real powerhouse of the fleet. It came with a 91 horsepower, 1.5-litre engine and Honda kept the weight to a minimum by using   parts like plastic fenders. The powerful engine combined with a lightweight body meant that the Si was the fastest Civic yet. It could hit 100km/h in under 9 seconds and was a corner monster thanks to its 185/60R14 high-performance tyres.

For those looking for savings at the pump, Honda introduced a high fuel economy CRX that replaced the 1.3-litre CRX. The CRX HF was fitted with an eight-valve version of the 1.5-litre engine and could reach gas mileage as good as many hybrid vehicles that appeared two decades later.

The Civic range remained largely unchanged until 1987, when Honda outfitted station wagon models with its Real Time 4WD system. This was an upgrade over the push-button system introduced in 1984. Honda’s “Real Time” system automatically directed power to the wheels that had optimum grip and removed the need for the driver to decide when 4WD needed to be engaged.

Fourth Generation Honda Civic (1988 – 1991)

4th generation Civic in white

If the third generation Civic didn’t make you believe that Honda could produce a great sports car, the fourth generation would make you change your mind. The new Civic was sleeker, more refined and more powerful.

To complement the redesigned exterior, Honda launched a family of new engines. The DX, LX sedan and wagon models came with a 1.5-litre 16-valve engine that produced 92 horsepower. The base model hatchback was fitted with a less powerful 70 horsepower version of the same engine.

Honda’s fuel economy champion, the CRX HF, returned with a 62 horsepower eight-valve engine, and a fuel economy rating of 56 miles to the gallon. The standard CRX came fitted with a 92hp power unit, while the CRX Si and Civic 4WD wagon came with Honda’s 105 horsepower 1.6-litre 16 valve engine.

Fuel injection was now standard on every Civic as was the widely lauded double-wishbone suspension setup that was inspired by Honda’s involvement in Formula One. The new double-wishbone design promoted agile handling and a comfortable ride by precisely controlling the travel of each wheel and keeping contact between the tyre and the road.

Honda’s new LX sedan Civic was outfitted with features such as power windows, mirrors, locks, intermittent wipers and more. The LX took the place of the Si hatchback at launch, however, the Si returned for the 1989 model. This was fitted with the same 108 horsepower power unit that was installed in the CRX Si and 4WD Civic wagon.

In 1990 an EX sedan joined the Civic family and took its place at the top of the sedan range. The EX was fitted out with the same engine that was found in the Si, along with 14-inch wheels and all of the features found on the LX. The last change for the 1990 model year was the introduction of four-wheel disc brakes that were a first for the Civic range.

Fifth Generation Honda Civic (1992 – 1995)

5th generation Civic in blue

No Civic before or after embodies the small-car performance movement as well as the fifth generation model. Honda completely redesigned the Civic, giving it a more aerodynamic body that brought the Civic to the forefront of small car design and development.

Honda continued the trend of offering hatchback and sedan models with a range of different power units and trim levels available for each. The hatchback trim levels included the CX, DX, VX and Si. CX models were fitted with a 1.5-litre 70 horsepower power unit, while the DX had a 102 horsepower one. The other two models, the VX and Si, were kitted out with Honda’s variable valve timing (VTEC) engine. The VX was fitted with a 92hp VTEC-E (economy) engine, while the Si had a 125 horsepower VTEC unit.

Despite the increase in power and ability to carry five passengers, the VX managed fuel economy figures of 48 mpg in the city and 55 on the highway – almost the same as the old CRX HF.

Three different trim levels were offered for those who wanted the sedan: the DX, LX and EX. The DX and LX both sported the 102 horsepower engine, while the EX had the 125hp 1.6-litre VTEC unit under the hood.

A five-speed manual transmission was offered as standard, and a four-speed automatic was offered on the DX hatchback and all of the sedan models of the Civic.

1993 saw the introduction of a new car based on the Civic range, the del sol. It debuted as a replacement for the CRX, but was built on a wheelbase 8 inches shorter than the Civic hatchback. The car featured a snug two-seat cockpit, a targa-style roof and buyers could opt for either a 102 horsepower 1.5 litre engine or a more powerful 1.6-litre 125hp unit. The less powerful model was labelled the “S”, while the more powerful model sported the “Si” nomenclature.

Honda improved safety for all Civic models in 1994, making passenger-side airbags standard. Additionally, antilock brakes were now optional on the EX coupe, Si hatchback and LX sedan.

The del sol was given a massive overhaul for the 94 model year. A new model, the del sol VTEC, was given a 1.6-litre DOHC engine (B16A3) that produced a mighty 160 horsepower. Interestingly, this engine was not made available for other Civic models, but it didn’t take long for fifth gen Civic coupe, hatchback, and sedan owners to work out that it could be easily swapped to their cars. The new del sol also received other upgrades such as bigger brakes, firmer suspension and high-performance (195/60VR14) tyres.

Due to the ability to easily bolt-in upgrades and swap parts, the fifth generation Honda Civic remains popular among tuners and racers alike.

Sixth Generation Honda Civic (1996 – 2000)

Honda launched a new generation Civic for the 1996 model year that was overall bigger than the previous gen. Hatchbacks now had the same 103.2-inch wheelbase as the coupes and sedans, and the overall length of the car was up around two to four inches.

Once again, sedans were offered in DX, LX and EX trim levels. Honda replaced the VX hatchback with a new coupe, the HX. Despite being designed to replace the fuel efficient VX hatchback, the HX could only manage to offer 39 mpg in the city and 45 on the highway, a significant reduction when compared to the VX. This was in part due to a more powerful 1.6-litre 115 horsepower VTEC-E engine and added body weight.

Later in the year, Honda introduced a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) for the HX that promised seamless performance with manual-like fuel economy performance.

Hatchback models were reduced to two models, the CX and DX. Honda installed a new 1.6-litre 106 horsepower engine in the CX and DX, which meant the cars qualified for Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) certification.

The del sol was excluded from the redesign of the Civic range, but was given a number of tweaks to bring it up to date. The 1.6-litre power unit from the new Civic was fitted to base models and the Si version was given the VTEC’s stiffer suspension. A new front fascia was installed on all models of the del sol. No updates were made to the del sol in 1997 as it was the final year for the vehicle.

Due to popular demand and to the joy of small-performance car enthusiasts across the world, Honda reintroduced the Civic Si in 1999. It now featured a coupe style body and was kitted out with a potent 1.6-litre 160 horsepower VTEC engine that gave the car similar performance to the del sol and the more expensive Integra GS-R. There were new 15-inch alloy feels with 195/55R15 tyres, firmer suspension, a front strut tower brace, and disc brakes all round. On the outside, a front spoiler, side sills and subtle body graphics set the Si apart from other Civics.

Honda Civic Type R EK9 (1997 – 2000)

While the Si’s reintroduction was a pleasure for all motoring enthusiasts, it was the Civic Type R that really showed that Honda meant business. The Type R name was reserved for Honda’s special performance models, with the first one being the NSX Type R that launched in 1992.

The Ek9 Civic was the third car to be given the Type R badge after the NSX Type R and the Integra Type R DC2. It was introduced in 1997 and shared many characteristics with the Integra Type R. The Civic went on a serious diet, with anything unnecessary being removed (sound deadening, other creature comforts).

Honda installed a hand ported B16B engine in the Civic that boasted one of the highest power outputs per litre of all time for a naturally aspirated engine. With 182 horsepower on tap and a redline of over 8,000rpm, the 1.6-litre Civic was a real screamer. It also featured a front helical limited-slip differential and a close ratio gearbox.

While the magnificent engine performance was a much talked about feature of the Civic Type R, it was the handling that really stole the show. For the first time, a strategically seam welded monocoque chassis was used to improve chassis rigidity and cornering performance. There were also upgraded sway bars and strut bars, along with 15-inch wheels and performance tyres.

On the inside of the Type R, Honda fitted red Alcantara trimmed Recaro seats, red door cards, red Type R floor mats, a Momo leather-wrapped steering wheel and a titanium shift knob.

In 1998, the Civic Type R Motor Sports edition was unveiled. This came with steel wheels, no power windows, no power steering, no radio, no air conditioning, and the same iconic red Type R interior.

For those who wanted a few more comforts they could opt for the Civic Type Rx, which featured air conditioning, power windows, electric door mirrors, keyless unlock, a carbon centre panel and aluminium sports panels.

You can read our Buyer’s Guide for the EK9 Type R here.

Seventh Generation Honda Civic (2001 – 2005)

The redesigned seventh generation Honda Civic made its debut in 2001. Apart from an almost identical wheelbase, the seventh gen Civic had undergone a vast array of changes. Not only was the body shape completely different, but it was also completely changed underneath as well.

The biggest change was the introduction of a new front suspension design, with the double-wishbone setup being replaced by a more comfort-orientated MacPherson strut design. The new suspension setup also allowed Honda to reduce costs and let them create more room for the K-Series engine.

Once again, Honda offered coupe, sedan and hatchback variants of the Civic. They continued to use the same naming scheme for the different levels of trim available, and buyers could choose from the DX, LX, EX, HX and GX models.

Most models on offer were fitted with a slightly larger 1.7-litre 117 horsepower engine, but the EX was kitted out with a 127hp unit and the HX had a fuel efficiency focused 1.7-litre power unit with 115 horsepower. Buyers could opt for a five-speed manual, a four-speed automatic, and on the GX or HX models, a CVT transmission.

While Honda decreased chassis flex by stiffening up the seventh gen Civic, their decision to replace the double-wishbone setup with a cheaper, softer riding MacPherson design disappointed many driving enthusiasts.

Honda reintroduced a fan favourite in 2002 in the form the Civic Si, which was based on the European-built hatchback body style. The car featured a rally-inspired dash-mounted five-speed manual transmission and a high-revving 160 horsepower engine. However, compared to the previous generation Civic Si performance numbers were actually down. Additionally, the car was a bit softer in terms of handling when compared to the razor sharp sixth generation Si.

The next big change came in the form of a hybrid model that mated a 85 horsepower 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 13hp electric motor. This new Civic could manage 46 mpg in the city and 51 on the highway. While this was impressive at the time, it was still no match for the early 90’s VX Civic that could hit 48 mpg in the city and 55 on the highway.

2004 brought some minor changes to the Civic range; such as new front and rear bumpers, headlights, bonnet, new stereo speakers, and upgraded 15-inch wheels on the LX model. The Si got larger 16-inch wheels and Honda offered a new value package for base model cars.

For the seventh generation’s final year of production in 2005, Honda introduced a special edition package for both the sedan and coupe. The special edition featured an upgraded audio system with MP3 capability, an auxiliary audio jack, and a six-disc CD changer.

Mk2 Type R Civic EP3 (2001 – 2005)

Honda unveiled a second generation Civic Type R in 2001, that was based on the 3-door hatchback model. This model was manufactured in Swindon, England and featured a 197 horsepower 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine. The Mk2 Type R continued the trend of a seam welded chassis and a close ratio transmission, which was up to six gears now from the previous gen’s five.

Upgraded brakes came as standard on the EP3, but features such as the red Recaro seats and helical LSD weren’t carried over from the EK9 Type R. However, these features were added to a JDM version of the car that was built in Swindon, but then shipped to Japan.

The JDM EP3 Type R also featured a more track-orientated chassis and a more powerful 212 horsepower i-VTEC engine. The JDM car’s engine had a fully balanced crankshaft assembly with a different intake manifold, exhaust manifold, higher-lift camshaft, higher-compression pistons, a chrome-moly flywheel and an updated ECU.

All of the engines for the JDM Type R were manufactured in Japan and then shipped to Swindon to be installed. Additionally, the JDM model was available in the traditional Type R colour, championship white, while the European model was not.

Thanks to its more powerful engine, the JDM Type R could hit 100km/hr in as little as 5.8 seconds, while the European model took 6.4 seconds.

A number of improvements were made for the 2004 model year. Honda revised the suspension setup and made the steering slightly quicker. A lighter clutch and flywheel assembly were installed, along with new projector headlights. The revised suspension and steering setup was targeted at addressing the numb steering response, understeer when at the limit and low end torque that customers and critics had complained about.

To commemorate 30 years of the Civic, Honda launched a special edition 30th Anniversary Type R in 2003, which was limited to 300 units. Other special edition Type Rs included the Premier Edition that was launched in 2005 and the JDM C Package that came in 2004. An even more hardcore Civic Type R was created by Mugen Motorsports, and featured a sport exhaust system, new anti-roll bars and special engine tuning.

Read our Buyer’s Guide for the EP3 Type R here

Eighth Generation Honda Civic (2006 – 2011)

The eighth generation Civic was available from 2006 and was radically different to the previous gen. The car’s relatively compact bonnet and highly raked windshield gave the coupe and sedan models a more spaceship like appearance. This high-tech look was carried over into the interior, with a funky looking dashboard that while ergonomic, did have some oddities.

The Civic’s new interior was actually down on space when compared with the previous gen, but consumers didn’t seem to mind. Honda’s new Civic design was recognised as the 2006 “North American Car of the Year” and Motor Trend’s 2006 “Car of the Year”.

Honda split the Civic into two different platforms, one for the sedan and coupe, and one for a hatchback that was designed for the European market. The car was offered in familiar trim levels (DX, LX and EX) and they were powered by a SOHC 1.8-litre, inline-four that featured Honda’s i-VTEC system. This engine produced a modest yet respectable 140 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque. Buyers could opt for either a five-speed auto or a five-speed manual to go along with the new engine.

While the previous gen’s Si hatchback was met with lukewarm reception, the eighth gen’s Si was widely praised. Initially only available in coupe form, the Si packed a peppy 197 horsepower 2.0-litre engine, sport-tuned suspension, a limited-slip diff and a six-speed manual transmission.

Following on from previous generations, Honda offered a natural-gas powered GX model that was fitted with a conventional five-speed automatic transmission. With its 1.8-litre engine, the GX produced 113 horsepower and 109 lb-ft of torque.

Honda continued to offer a hybrid model for those who had fuel economy in mind. This was kitted out with a CVT transmission and a 1.3-litre petrol engine that was mated to an electric motor. All together, the hybrid Civic produced 110hp and could hit 50 mpg in the city and 50 on the highway.

Mk3 Civic Type R FD2/FN2 (2006 – 2011)

Honda continued the trend of offering a high performance Type R with the launch of the Civic Type R FD2 in March 2007. For the first time ever, the JDM Civic Type R was sold as a four-door sports sedan rather than a three-door hatchback.

The new Civic Type R was both bigger and heavier than the previous gen. The wheelbase was now at 2,700mm compared to 2,570mm for the earlier car and weight was now up to around 1,300kg from 1,204kg.

Japanese models once again came with a more powerful engine at 222hp compared to the European Type R’s 198hp. The engine itself was borrowed from the Accord Euro R and new technology such as a drive-by-wire throttle was used. Honda used the same techniques as was used on the NSX to port the intake valves for the Civic Type R. All the power was sent through a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission and a helical limited-slip diff was fitted as standard.

The new Type R featured independent rear suspension, rather than the torsion beam setup that was used on the previous gen Civic Type R. To keep weight to a minimum, Honda used aluminium and bonded rather than welded where possible.

In back to back tests the FD2 Type R was on average four seconds quicker than the Integra Type R DC5 at Suzuka Circuit. Fifth Gear also conducted performance tests, pitting the Type R FD2 (JDM) against the European FN2 model at Castle Combe Circuit, which showed that the FD2 was 3 seconds a lap quicker.

Civic Mugen RR

In addition to the Type R, 300 Civic Mugen RR cars were produced and they were available exclusively in Milano Red. These were solely available for the Japanese market and they received a number of modifications/upgrades over the standard Type R.

Firstly, the weight was received to 1,255kg via the use of carbon fibre bumpers and an aluminium bonnet. Power was now at 237hp at 8,000rpm and 218 lb-ft of torque. This power increase was achieved through the use of Mugen parts such as a new exhaust system, camshafts, and a new ECU. The car also featured Recaro SP-X seats and other Mugen parts such as special 18-inch Mugen 7-spoke wheels.

The next year, at the 2008 Tokyo Motor Show, Mugen unveiled the Civic Type RR Experimental Spec Concept car. This featured a larger 2,157cc K20A engine that was rated at 256 horsepower at 8,250 rpm and 237 lb-ft of torque. Weight was reduced even more and there was a new titanium exhaust system. More carbon fibre was used on the inside of the car and it also feature’s Mugen’s Intelligent-Tire Condition Monitoring System (i-TCMS).

An advanced version of this concept Type R was unveiled at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show and was based on the face-lifted FD2. This car had a weight of 1,095kg and bigger brake discs.

Ninth Generation Honda Civic (2012 – 2015)

Honda’s next Civic launched in 2011 for the North American market and later in 2012 for the Asian and European markets. It was originally designed to be larger, but the 2008 financial crisis and the growing demand for fuel efficient cars led Honda to develop a smaller, lighter vehicle that was more fuel efficient.

The new Civic was slightly smaller than the outgoing model and featured a plethora of new engines. The usually petrol powered DX, LX and EX models were offered, along with a hybrid and natural gas powered variant. In addition to these models, Honda launched the Civic HF sedan.

The HF sedan received a number of aerodynamic and fuel efficiency enhancements, and revived the “HF” moniker that was last used on the 1991 CRX HF. This car featured a 1.8-litre inline four-cylinder engine that was mated to a five-speed auto transmission and could hit 41mpg in the city.

Honda’s Eco Assist technology was added to most Civic models (except the Si) to improve fuel economy performance. Eco Assist is an information system that helps drivers adopt a more fuel-efficient driving style and is proven to improve fuel economy by about 10%. It works by using colour-changing indicators to indicate to the driver how fuel efficient they are.

Compared to the previous gen, the new Civic was about 8% more fuel efficient thanks to aerodynamic improvements and less weight. The hybrid Civic was fitted with a 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine that produced 90hp and a new electric motor that was rated at 23hp. This new hybrid Civic could hit 44mpg, whereas most other petrol powered versions had to make do with 39mpg.

The new Si was the first generation to use a different engine to other models of the Civic. It was available in both sedan and coupe forms, and was powered by a new 2.4-litre K-Series inline-four engine that produced 201 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. Power was increased to 205 hp in 2014, thanks to a retuning of the exhaust system.

The new engine was mated to a six-speed manual transmission and a helical limited-slip differential returned for the new Si. Honda increased chassis rigidity over the eighth gen Si and weight was reduced as well.

A five-door hatchback variant of the Civic was unveiled in 2011, but retained the basic look of the previous gen. However, Honda improved the car’s aerodynamics and reduced the wheelbase by 30mm. The rear beam axle was completely redesigned for higher stiffness, and new fluid-filled bushings were used to improve stability and cornering ability.

Mk4 Honda Civic Type R FK2 (2015 – 2017)

While rumours were circulating about a new Type R in 2012, the car did not appear until the 2014 Geneva Motor Show and was not unveiled in full until the 2015 show. This new Type R based on the ninth gen platform would be the first turbocharged Civic Type R.

The new Type R was powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four engine with Earth Dreams Technology. This new Civic produced an impressive 306bhp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and could hit 100km/hr in 5.7 seconds. The powerful engine was mated to a six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential was fitted from factory.

Honda’s new Civic Type R went on to claim the front-wheel drive lap record at the Nürburgring, setting a time of 7:50.63 and beating the Renault Megane 275 Trophy R. The Type R was dethroned by the VW GTI.

Tenth Generation Honda Civic (2016 – Present)

The tenth generation Honda Civic is based on the company’s all-new compact global platform. It was first unveiled in 2015 and continued to show why Honda is at the forefront of the compact car segment.

The tenth gen features a new fastback exterior design, with the rear C-pillar flowing in the tailgate. Additionally, the front end was updated to be more futuristic and the interior received massive updates.

Honda decided to use higher grade steel for the tenth gen, which meant that the body of the car was 31kg lighter than the previous model (although the overall weight is heavier). A dual pinion steering system was introduced and Honda’s engineers increased the diameter of the steering column to improve steering feel.

Engines on offer include a 1.6-litre i-VTEC inline-four, all the way to the 2.0-litre K20C1 turbocharged engine found in the Type R. Transmission options are limited to a six-speed manual or a CVT transmission.

The Civic Si returned in 2016 and is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine that produces 205 horsepower. Honda mated the punchy engine to a six-speed manual transmission and a helical limited-slip differential comes as standard. The new Si can go from 0-100km/hr in around 7 seconds and power maximum power arrives at 5700rpm, compared to the old model’s 7000rpm.

Thanks to the new steering design, the tenth gen Si is regarded as a better overall performance car than its predecessor. It also features adaptive dampers, beefier brakes and an overall stiffer setup when compared to the standard Civic.

Mk5 Honda Civic Type R FK8 (2017 – Present)

A prototype Mk5 Civic Type R roared onto the seen in 2016, but it wasn’t until the Geneva Motor Show in 2017 that a full reveal of the production version was made. Unlike previous versions of the Type R, the Mk5 was designed and developed from the ground up as a performance machine, instead of being adapted from an existing model

Honda based the design on the Civic hatchback and the car features a winged carbon fibre splitter, with diamond-mesh air intakes and go-faster red accent lines. The bonnet features an intake to help cool the powerful beast underneath. To accommodate the larger 245/30 R20 tyres, Honda increased the size of the wheel arches and there were also new carbon fibre side skirts. At the back, a new carbon fibre diffuser was fitted and three tailpipes that finished off the Type R’s sporty appearance.

Under the hood, the Civic Type R features a 306 horsepower 2.0-litre inline-four turbocharged engine that is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The Japanese and European market’s Civic Type R has a slightly more powerful engine at 316hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Once again, the Type R set the front-wheel drive lap speed record at the Nürburgring with a time of 7:43.80, seven seconds faster than its predecessor. Additionally, the Mk5 Type R has won many awards and accolades. It was crowned Top Gear Magazine’s Hot Hatch of the Year for 2017 and was voted International Editor’s Choice and overall Car of the Year 2017.

Eleventh Generation Honda Civic (2021/2022)

Credit: Honda

On the 17th of November 2020, Honda unveiled their eleventh generation 2022 Honda Civic for release in 2021. The new Civic features a more formal exterior with fewer curves, and it borrows quite a bit from the larger Accord. On the inside, the eleventh gen Civic will feature a modern, minimalistic interior.

Currently, the car has only be unveiled in prototype form, but Honda will reveal the full production model in 2021, closer to the vehicle’s launch date. Honda will produce a range of different variants, including a hatchback, hotter Si variant, and of course a Mk6 Type R.

Wrapping Up This Guide To The Generations Of The Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is one of the most iconic vehicles of all time. It turned Honda from primarily a motorcycle manufacturer into one of the largest car companies in the world. The Civic is not only known for its famous reliability and dependability, but also its performance models such as the Type R and Si. We look forward to seeing what Honda can develop in the future and hope to see many more generations of the Civic in the future.

Now check out this cool video from Donut Media!


  • Ben

    From his early days playing the original Gran Turismo and with his Hot Wheels car set, Ben has had a long interest in all things automotive. His first foray into the world of automotive journalism was way back in 2009 and since then he has only grown more interested in the industry. Ben also runs and heads up the video production side of Garage Dreams, focusing on small informative documentaries about some of the world's most legendary cars.

Leave a Comment