Honda Civic is a winner in Canada for 16 years in a row.
The Honda Civic is a line of subcompact and subsequently compact cars made and manufactured by Honda. The Civic, along with the Accord and Prelude, comprised Honda’s vehicles sold in North America until the 1990s, when the model lineup was expanded. Having gone through several generational changes, the Civic has become larger and more upmarket, and it currently slots between the Fit and Accord.
It was introduced in July 1972 as a two-door model, followed by a three-door hatchback that September. With the transverse engine mounting of its 1169cc engine and front-wheel drive like the British Mini, the car provided good interior space despite overall small dimensions. Early models of the Civic typically included a basic AM radio, heater, foam-cushioned plastic trim, two-speed wipers, and painted steel rims with a chromed wheel nut cap. As the years went by, it has become much more upscale with options such as air conditioning, power locks, power windows, leather upholstery, satellite-linked navigation, and a six-speed manual transmission. Initially gaining a reputation for being fuel-efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly, later iterations have become known for performance and sportiness, especially the Civic Type-R, Civic VTi, Civic GTi and Civic SiR.
The Civic has been rebadged for international markets with such models as the Honda Ballade which became the British Leyland-produced Triumph Acclaim in Britain and Honda Domani/Acura EL. The Civic platform also served as the basis for the Honda CR-X, the Honda CR-X del Sol, the Honda Concerto, the first generation Honda Prelude, the Honda Civic Shuttle (later to become the Honda Orthia), and the Honda CR-V. Starting in 1985 until 2006, the Civic was dedicated to Japanese dealership Honda Primo, with Civic variants sold at Honda Clio, and Honda Verno locations.
As of 2006, a total of 16.5 million Civics had been sold worldwide, with 7.3 million of them in the United States. By 2012, Civic has been the top-selling car in Canada for 14 years. With high gas prices and a weak economy in June 2008, the Civic supplanted the Ford F-Series to become the top-selling vehicle in the United States for that month.
In Japan, production of non-hybrid Civic for domestic market ended in August 2010 and production of Civic hybrid for home market ended in December 2010. In recent years, customers shifted to minivans and compact cars like Honda Fit. Honda launched Fit hybrid in October in Japan. However, production of Civic and Civic hybrid for export markets will continue.
Honda Civic EX was International Car of the Year in 2005. From 1972 to 1974, the Civic was awarded Car of the Year Japan. In 1973, the Civic ranked third in the European Car of the Year awards, the highest ranking for a Japanese vehicle at that time. It also was awarded the U.S. Road Test magazine’s “1974 Car of the Year.” The Civic was the Motor Trend Import Car of the Year for 1980 as well as its 2006 Car of the Year. In 2006, the Civic earned the 2007 “Semperit Irish Car of the Year” title. In 1996, Automobile Magazine honored the Civic as its Automobile of the Year. The Civic has been on Car and Driver magazine’s yearly Ten Best list six times, in 1985, 1988–91, and 1996. The Civic Si was named “Best New Sport Car” and the sedan was named “Best New Economy Car” in the 2006 Canadian Car of the Year awards. The Civic also won the North American Car of the Year and the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Car of the Year awards for 2006. In November 2006, the Civic received the prestigious “Car of The Year” award from Brazilian magazine Auto Esporte. The four-door Civic VXi sedan won the South African Car of the Year award for 2007.
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