The first generation Honda Civic was introduced in 1972, but sold as a 1973 model. Equipped with a 1,169 cc (71.3 cu in) four-cylinder engine, the first generation Civic was designed to compete with American compact vehicles and offered features such as front power disc brakes and reclining vinyl bucket seats and AM radio. The Civic was available as a coupe, both a three- and a five-door hatchback, as well as a five-door station wagon. Due to the 1973 oil crisis, consumer demand for fuel efficient vehicles was high.The second generation Honda Civic was introduced in 1980. It was larger, had a more angular shape, and came with increased engine power. All Civic engines now used the CVCC design, which added a 3rd valve per cylinder; this introduced lean burn swirl technology. The base 1335 cc ("1300") engine made 55 hp (41 kW), with an optional 1488 cc ("1500") engine giving 67 hp (50 kW). Three transmissions were offered: a four-speed manual (on base models), a five-speed manual, and a two-speed semi-automatic that was unique to the industry.The third generation was released in 1984. The separate five-door hatchback and wagon models were merged into a four-door "shuttle wagon" or "wagovan" sometimes referred to colloquially as a "breadbox" due to its appearance. An additional two-seat coupe style—labeled CRX—was introduced, noted for its compact dimensions and light weight. The third generation Civic saw the introduction of the long running four-cylinder D series engine including a new 1.5 L (91.5 cu in) CVCC engine. 1984 also saw the release of a high-performance Si model for the Japanese market, featuring upgraded suspension and the 1.6 L (97.6 cu in) DOHC ZC engine which was rated at 130 PS. Si models were offered in the US as a 3-door Civic Si hatchback and the CRX Si variant with a 91 horsepower (68 kW) fuel injected SOHC 12-valve engine. A 4WD engine with different transmission mounts was introduced for the first time in 1984, and later upgraded in 1987. It delivered a fuel economy commensurate with today's AWD SUVs of around 28mpg highway. The AWD system was push-button operated and called "realtime" because it could be engaged and disengaged while driving. The manual transmission featured a synchronized 6th gear, called "SL," which was used for very low speeds. For 1988 the Civic was redesigned with increased dimensions and a lower hood line. A wide range of models and trim levels were offered for various markets around the world. The most notable of which include The Japanese market SiR, the European VTi (both featuring the new B16A DOHC VTEC engine), the UK/European 1.6i-16 (DOHC D16A9 engine) and the New Zealand market GTi (featuring full leather interior and a tuned version of the successful SOHC D16A7 engine). All U.S. models featured electronic fuel injection, but carbureted models were still available elsewhere. The fourth generation saw the introduction of a fully independent rear suspension across the entire model range.[Introduced in 1992, the redesigned Civic featured increased dimensions, as well as more aerodynamic styling. The wagon variant was now only available in the Japanese market where the previous generation wagon was carried over until 1995. The efficiency of the previous HF model was replaced by the VX hatchback which, with an EPA rating of 48/55 MPG, was Honda's most fuel efficient model sold at the time. In North America the Si featured a SOHC VTEC valve train, where as the VX featured the VTEC-E. The Japanese Si featured a DOHC non-VTEC valve train D16A9. In New Zealand the powerful Civic GTi was revised. Continuing in the sporty tradition of the original Civic SiR, Honda sold several similarly equipped variants of the fifth generation car, still referred to as the Civic SiR, in Japan, Asia, and Europe.
The sixth generation featured updated styling although less radical than previous redesigns. Suspension and engine options were their first Natural Gas Powered Civic, the GX. In 1996-2000 they made the EX, DX, LX, HX, CX, Si; all base models were made with 1.6L engines. The EX-CX are all SOHC (D16) and the popular Si is a DOHC (B16A2) The first civic SI coupe EM1 was introduced in 1999.The seventh generation was released in 2001. While the redesign retained the previous generation's exterior dimensions, interior space was improved in part by using a flat rear floor thus bumping up Civic to a compact car size segment. The front suspension was changed from that of a double wishbone to a MacPherson strut, in order to lower costs, as well as allow more engine bay room for the newly introduced Honda K-series engine. Power was also increased on some trim levels.For the 2006 generation Honda split the model into two different platforms, one primarily for the home market and North America and the other designed for the European market using a simpler rear suspension from the Honda Fit and more aggressive styling. Although the North American and the home market model differ externally, they are mechanically identical. The European model is available as a three and five-door hatchback while the Japanese/North American model is available as either sedan or coupe. Both Si and Type-R trim levels continue although the Japanese and European Type-R while sharing the same size engine are mechanically different. In the US an improved version of the Si tuned by Honda tuner Mugen is offered featuring cosmetic alterations and changes to the suspension and exhaust system. The Acura version of the Civic not only received the design change, but also saw a new nameplate, changing from the Acura EL to the Acura CSX.For 2009, the Civic received a minor face lift, including a slight redesign to the front and rear. The exterior changes include a new honeycomb-designed grill in the front, as well as revised wheels, with many more spokes than the original five-spoke rims, and a bar of chrome trim above the license plate area for the sedan. The chrome strip where the Honda front logo is was also refined with sharper edges on both ends. The design for the area of the grill where the fog lights are placed was also slightly revised to include differing designs for Civic models with fog lights and those without. The interior changes included bluetooth compatibility and an optional leather wrapped steering wheel in the LX model. A sportier LX model was also added, called LX-S. This trim level adds a rear spoiler, chrome exhaust tip, and black sports seats. The car retains many of its design cues and technical specifications from the pre-2009 model, including its 1.8 liter inline-4 engine and two-tier dashboard with a digital speedometer.On December 13, 2010, Honda unveiled a sketch of the new ninth-generation Civic which was described as "energetic, sleek and aerodynamic." Both coupe and sedan concepts were shown on January 10, 2011 at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. The production version of the ninth-generation Civic based on the revealed concept went on sale in the U.S. on April 20, 2011. Gasoline, hybrid and natural gas variants will be offered. The gasoline-engined lineup includes a sedan, coupe and two Si performance versions.