The Honda Civic Hatchback Has Changed A Bit In The Last 44 Years

What do the BMW 3 Series, Porsche 911, and Nissan GT-R all share in common? Well, they’re all handle like a dream, and they’ve all undergone significant testing at the Nürburgring. But that’s not what we’re referring to.

All three of those models have been profiled in Donut Media’s Evolution series – and now the Honda Civic has as well.

While the Civic has yielded coupes, sedans, and wagons – even convertibles, if you could the CR-X/del Sol – this latest animation follows the progress of the hatchback specifically, spanning from the first-generation model in 1973 to the latest for 2018.

Along the way, the model has grown significantly in size, to say the least. But it’s also progressed technologically, and in just about every other way imaginable – including motivationally. Where the first-gen model packed a measly 50 horsepower, the latest Type R has a massive 306, or more than six times as much.

Of course, it also weighs twice as much, the new hot hatch tipping the scales at 3,117 pounds to the original’s 1,500. But the power more than makes up for the weight, hustling from 0-60 in under six seconds and topping out at 169 miles per hour.


  • Bash

    96-97’s civic were awful.

    • SamuraiJack

      In what way? My brother had one and it was awesome, albeit somewhat lacking in torque

      • Bash

        Awkward shape and “somewhat lacking in torque” :D:D

      • KSegg

        I think “lacking in torque” was the least of that car’s problems.

        • SamuraiJack

          Mmm, you’re vaguely alluding that this generation was sort of a lemon, which is the exact opposite of the reputation it has over here. Interesting how perceptions can differ across the globe.

    • Infinite1

      I like that generation; however, the front end of the 96-97 did look funny until the facelift for the 98 to 00 models. I think the 01-05 Civics were awful.

      • Bash

        I was referring to the awkward shape of the front end and also the rear end tbh is not a looker either. so we are on the same page here. so you basically agree with me 😉

        • Infinite1

          You’re right, I take it back. The front end of that model along with the rear isn’t really appealing to me either. It wasn’t until the facelift that I paid some attention to it. I say I like the generation Civic but the per-facelift isn’t great looking all around. I agree with you

      • rodriguez256

        I drive my wife’s 05 4DR Civic to work daily. It’s really the only shape I liked. Can’t stand the look of the two door models.

      • alexxx

        I agree for 01-05…. What kind of shape is that?! Never understood…

    • LWOAP

      You insulted the beloved EK9?

      I’ll have your head for that. lol JK.

  • Craig

    My first car was a 1982 Honda Civic 1500GL. I absolutely loved that car. I drove it though 11 US states on a 2 month road trip! [Soon after graduating from high school] Sadly… soon after I got back home – a drunk in a 1969 Mustang shoved the car – with my friend and me in it – into the back of a Jaguar. All 6’3″ of me ended up UNDER the steering wheel! [Didn’t wear a seat-belt in those days!] It was a ‘write-off’. sigh. Over the years I owned a 1986 Honda Wagovan and a 1988 hatchback. [Never really like that one much] I’ve other Honda vehicles – but that’s it for the Civics! That all said… I would love for Honda to build a simple 2 door hatchback again.

  • Auf Wiedersehen
    • rodriguez256

      Yup it’s crazy how big the new civic is compared to the original but the same can be said for almost all of new cars. However the new Civic R looks rediculous all around.


    one of the most riced car

  • haudit

    They seem to have missed out the European 5-door Civic sold from 1995-2000, which is probably just as well, as I think it only existed so Rover had something to base their second-generation 400 on.

  • Subi-Rubicon1

    Damn, that 1973 Civic SB is so tiny compared to the over-sized and over-done Civic of today. As much as I love all the advances with today’s automobile’s technology, there is something to be said about the simplicity of the automobile’s of yesteryear.

    • Obsequious Lickspittle

      I agree.
      However there’s something to be said for not being impaled on a steering column.

      • Subi-Rubicon1

        LOL, absolutely agreed!

      • WTF

        lmao!! EXACTLY

  • Six_Tymes

    bloated, ugly and uses struts, when it should be using Dual Wishbone

  • Trackhacker

    From 2007…the hatchback became so ugly…eww.


    IMO, it changed for the worse. It got bigger and uglier after the FN2 was introduced. But considering how safety and emissions regulations have changed so much. The size that is, not the styling.

  • JGreen

    In 1999 I bought a Civic LX 4-door automatic from the dealership and still have it. My daughter now drives it. Almost 19 years later and not a single light bulb has burned out on it. Soichiro Honda was a great man.

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