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The Honda Civic | The Poster Car of India

In the Automotive community, it is a famous phrase used for good looking cars which do now perform well, ‘All-show no go’. It’ll be a shame to say the same for the Honda Civic. The Civic is indeed a masterpiece and it seems the Picassos of the automotive industry designed it. Looking good is one thing and performing good quite another, Honda Civic manages to impress in both the terms. How did Honda do it? let us have a glimpse.

Honda Civic | Insights

The first-ever Civic set foot in the year 1972 as a fairly sporty hatchback. It wasn’t later in 1987 that Honda decided to launch the car as a sedan. By now the car was far from being launched in the Indian markets. Later there were constant updates in about every 5 years to modernize the car.

The car came with both the shapes a sedan as well as a hatch, and Honda was working hard to regularly update the car. In 2005 the car finally steps into the Indian market. What all went into the development?

The year 1972 | The Honda Civic was born

Honda Civic 1972
Honda Civic 1972

The first Civic was intended to stabilize the sales of the Honda vehicles. This Civic was a very small hatchback, for reference even smaller than the Honda Brio.

  • The car came with a 4-cylinder naturally aspirated engine driving the front wheels.
  • You may wonder when was the RS badge introduced in the Civic. Well, it is fun to know that the first-ever Civic on the roads was the first to get the RS badge.
  • The Civic RS came with a 1.2-litre, 4-cylinder engine producing 76ps of power and about 101Nm of peak torque.

Through the years the car got many updates and upgrades but the super major upgrade was in 1987.

1987 | The V-tech Power


This is where the V-Tech came into the engines of the Honda including the then-new Honda civic (It’s always fun when V-Tech Kicks in). For all those who don’t know it is the patient Honda tech of variable valve timing letting the engine run on high revolutions with ease and mush loss in power. With that, the Civic also came as the first sedan.

1991 | Honda Civic Refined


  • The designers at Honda took an entirely different approach while designing the new Civic. Instead of sharper curves and lines, the body of Civic got smoother and more elegant.
  • This is where the Hatchback and variant were dropped until more to come in the future. The car was equipt with softer suspension for a better ride comfort at the expense of handling.

Well, the handling was not that bad. Talking about the handling the engineers at Honda had something different in mind, not for this generation but the gen in 1995.

1995 | Honda Civic Sports Coming-up


Honda turned the tables upside down and Yeeted in the 1995 generation model. Everything went in favour of Honda.

  • For starters, this is where the Honda Civic got its first diesel engine alongside the traditional I-Vtech petrol engine.
  • Though the engine was not Honda own and borrowed unit from the MG Rover. Civics running on CNG were also introduced.
  • The R-Type Badge finally makes to the roads in this generation (Only in Japan). The car was powered by a power 4-cylinder motor producing a whopping 185ps of power.
  • With that, the Type-R also came with a 5-speed manual transmission to add the excitement to the car and was also equipped with an LSD for the front axles.
  • A re-enforced chassis, bigger brakes for better braking bite, more precise steering wheel, steering wheel from Momo, Recaro Seats, titanium shift know, the light-weight programme which removed sound deadening material, and many other specific features. The Civic Type-R had it all, well Honda didn’t want to compromise the driving dynamics of the vehicle.


2006 | Honda Civic Makes to India

2006 Civic
2006 Civic

Honda launched this generation in the Indian Automotive market.

  • A Civic also was launched in the same year in Europe but it was different from the Civic in India. It was done to attract European buyers with their different design tastes.
  • 2006 Honda Civic in India came with its traditional 2 step dashboard which felt like as it was straight pulled out of a spacecraft from the future.
  • Did anyone know that Honda offered two powertrains with the Civic in India? The car could be bought with a 1.8-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine or 1.3-litre petrol paired with an electric motor. The Bigger engine had an option of either a 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT automatic gearbox.
  • Well, Type-R was also launched in this generation but it never made it to the Indian market.
2006 Civic Interior
2006 Civic Interior

2009 | First Face Lift for India

2009 Honda Civic
2009 Honda Civic

This is when the Civic was updated only for India. Though the car didn’t get any major changes the most prominent changes were cosmetic changes. New headlight and taillight were introduced with some difference in paint schemes.

After some time, the year 2012 to be exact the Japanese carmaker decides to pull the plug on the Honda Civic.

2019 | Return of the Showcar

Civic 2019
Civic 2019

Sure, Honda brought bach the Civic in the Indian markets, but not in those aspects we wanted.

  • Honda Civic was famous for its ultimate performance and really good driving dynamics. But wait? Didn’t that car offer a good engine? No, in 2019 the car offered the same 1.8-litre engine with some better refinement.
  • It’s hard to see that the car had such a brilliant driving dynamic but not a powerful engine to complement the drive. Like the chassis, the steering was screaming of more.
  • On the design aspects, the car was again seemed to arrive from the future with its cutting edge design and features.
Civic 2019 | Interior
Civic 2019 | Interior

Honda Civic Type-R

Civic Type-R
Civic Type-R

It is impossible to miss the Civic Type-R when talking about the car. To be honest, apart from the Civic here in domestic market it is a relly ver engineered car and Honda have surely done their homework.

  • The most powerful Type-R is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine which produces a whopping 306hp@6,500rpm and about 400Nm of peak torque at 2,500-4,500rpm.
  • About the Type-R the last generation in April 2017, the Honda Civic Type R did the full Nurburgring circuit in just 7minutes and 43.8 seconds and became the fastest FWD car at the circuit smashing the previous record set by the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S.
  • It took almost two years, but the Civic Type R’s Nurburgring record has finally been beaten by a French hot hatchback. But for at least that part it is still one of the fastest front-wheel-drive cars.

Though sadly, Honda didn’t get the full beefed up Civic to Indian shore but it is commendable the work gone into the Civic. The engineers have surely done a great job at Honda that they gave a capable car like Civic.

Utkarsh Bhardwaj
Utkarsh Bhardwajhttps://gomechanic.in/blog
Technical Content Strategist at GoMechanic | Big Time Petrolhead with the passion for building cars and driving those beauties.


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