Honda Through the Years: The Honda Civic


When you visit Superior Honda to test drive a new vehicle, keep in mind just how far Honda has come since the auto manufacturer sold its first Honda Civic in the United States in 1973. The throwback Honda had only a tiny 70 cubic-inch engine. The vehicle was also quite small and looked nothing like today's Civic.

The Beginning

The first Civic featured a transversely mounted inline four-cylinder engine and it sold for $2,200. As the Civic was developed it got longer, wider, higher and a new 1,170 cc engine that made a whopping 50 horsepower. Features included vinyl seats, power front disc brakes, a wood grain-accented dash and reclining bucket seats. In 1974, the Civic had a 1,237 cc engine that made 52 horsepower.

The hatchback version featured an AM radio, a rear seat that folded down and cloth upholstery. Options were few and far between for the Civic; and those included an automatic transmission, air conditioning, a rear wiper for the hatchback and radial tires. At the time, the Civic got about 40 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway.

Other Versions

Back in the day, Honda had a four-door version of the Civic, but that was never available in the United States. The hatchback did not appear at American dealerships until 1978. Honda's marketing strategy for the Civic was, “Honda, we make it simple.” Honda used that marketing technique until 1984. The product lineup was revamped in 1984.

The Oil Crisis

The Civic showed up in American showrooms as the oil crisis hit in 1973. It was this event that helped the Civic become widely popular. The small vehicle's competitors were the Ford Pinto and the Chevy Vega.

The Civic's smaller size allowed it to outperform American competitors such as the Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto. When the 1973 oil crisis struck, automobile buyers turned to economy cars. Good fuel mileage benefited the standing of the Honda Civic in the lucrative U.S. market. With this push, the Honda brand grew over the years, and every year, improvements were made on the vehicle.

Visit Superior Honda

Stop by Superior Honda to test drive today's version of the Civic and to learn more about the Civic's standard and available options.

Categories: New Inventory