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Honda Civic History

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2006 Honda Civic
The 2006 Honda Civic lineup
Photo: Honda

The Civic is one of Honda’s longest-running nameplates in the U.S. The sporty compact has been on sale in North America since 1972, when it debuted with a 1.2-liter engine. The Civic led the way for other small (and therefore more efficient) cars when the price of gas in North America was on the rise and drivers needed something more economical.

Pre-Loved Sedan: Why a pre-owned Honda Civic might be your perfect match


The first generation of the Civic ran until 1979, when it was replaced by a larger version with a more powerful engine. Over the next few decades, the Civic would go through several generations that made it larger, lower, and more aerodynamic. By the seventh generation, which debuted in 2000, the Civic was re-classified as a compact car rather than a subcompact due to its increased interior space. Now, the Civic is on its 11th generation and is still as popular as ever with drivers, despite the demand for cars having decreased over the last several years.

As of 2022, Honda had produced almost 11 million Civics in North America.

Today’s Honda Civic

Honda began selling the 11th generation Civic in 2021 as a 2022 model. Today, it’s available as a sedan or a hatchback, each offering sporty styling, agile handling, and impressive fuel economy. The standard engine in LX and Sport models is a 158-horsepower 2.0-liter that achieves up to 40 mpg on the highway, continuing the Civic’s legacy of being efficient yet responsive and fun to drive. The EX and Touring models have a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that produces 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque and achieves up to 42 mpg on the highway.

2022 Honda Civic Sedan Touring preview
Photo: Honda

The 11th-generation Civic also has a bunch of new standard safety equipment, such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking system, and road departure mitigation system.

In January 2022, the all-new Honda Civic was named North American Car of the Year for the third time in the nameplate’s history.

Notable awards

  • 2005 International Car of the Year
  • 2006 North American Car of the Year (eighth generation)
  • 2016 North American Car of the Year (10th generation)
  • 2022 North American Car of the Year (11th generation)
  • 2021 Wards 10 Best Interiors Award and Wards 10 Best User Experience Award