The Honda Civic has been around in several iterations for a long time, which got us thinking: which generation is the best?
First introduced in 1972, the Civic is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and my esteemed colleague Brad Anderson has already given us an in-depth look at the key features of all 11 generations. That means we are well equipped to decide which edition is our favourite.
“Since the first generation launched with such success, the Honda Civic has been an iconic model for European customers,” said Honda Motor Europe Vice President Tom Gardner recently. “The 11th generation encapsulates the core features of functionality, usability and comfort of the very first generation Civic. It is designed to ensure that its powertrain, steering and suspension deliver the captivating levels of performance, dynamic response and feedback that have always been central to the Civic’s appeal.”
Also Read: Would You Pay Six Figures For A Brand New EK4 1996 Honda Civic SiR With 16 Delivery Miles?
So Honda officially thinks the 11th generation encompasses everything that is essentially Civic, which to me sounds like a clear claim to be the best. That sounds reasonable: why would Honda release another Civic if it didn’t believe it would surpass its predecessors?
But Honda’s demands on the Civic (high sales, mass-market appeal) aren’t necessarily ours. As a site aimed primarily at enthusiasts, I think I can safely say that the best Civic for our purposes should have high performance, light weight and, perhaps most importantly, appeal to a ephemeral sense of nostalgia that is uniquely is for every generation of enthusiasts.
Since the appeal of Japanese cars is felt most strongly by millennials, that VTEC has come to define the brand, and that the most prized variant is the Type R, I’ll argue that the sixth generation is the best.
Although the VTEC engine was introduced on the fifth generation car, it was well established by the next generation. More importantly, the sixth generation introduced the Type R, retaining all the lightweight design that really defined older Honda vehicles.
So what do you think? Which was the best generation of the Civic? Let us know in the comments below!