November 29, 2021
| On 2 months ago

Top 10 Honda Civics of All Time

The eleventh-generation Honda Civic SI has just been introduced, continuing a long line of performance orientated Civics.

Many feel the the last generation Civic was a return to form with improved style, substance, and power thank to the addition of turbocharged engines. The new model is hoping to continue this momentum, with a more mature look and packaging. 

SEE ALSO: 2016 Honda Civic gets VTEC Turbo, Hatchback Bodystyle

There’s also a good chance that the new Type R will be the best Civic ever made. It will be a hard feat considering how amazing the out-going Type R was, with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 306 HP. But it’s not here yet. So while we wait, let’s revisit this list on the greatest Civics ever since its was introduced more than four decades ago.


10. 1984 Honda Civic Si

Although there were some sporty versions of the Civic early on, it was in 1984 that Honda got serious about the Civic’s performance. Only available in Japan, the Civic could be had with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that made 122 HP, which was very impressive for its time. This was also the first time that the Si designation was attached to the Civic.


9. 1985 Honda Civic Wagon/Wagovan

A Civic Wagon may not seem all that exciting, but the Wagovan was way ahead of its time. Wearing a taller, five-door hatchback body, the 160-inch-long Civic Wagon could be had will all-wheel drive and seven inches of ground clearance. Sound familiar? That’s because this is the basic formula being used today in the super-hot subcompact crossover segment.


8. 1990 Honda Civic SiR

In late 1989, the Civic took a big leap in terms of performance. This was the year that the legendary B16 engine was stuffed into the EF Civic SiR. For those not up on Honda acronyms, this basically meant the Civic hatchback received a 1.6-liter engine that incorporated VTEC to make 158 HP. For a car that didn’t weigh much over 2,000 lbs., that’s a good amount of grunt. And of course, the Civic SiR had the handling prowess to back up this power.


7. 2002 Honda Civic Si/SiR

The seventh-generation Civic didn’t include a conventional Si model in North America, so one was imported. Built in England, the Civic Si (SiR in Canada) featured a hatchback body called the EP. Its interior and exterior differed from the regular Civic as did the powertrain.

SEE ALSO: Honda Civic Type R Sets 7:50 Nurburgring Lap Time

Under the hood was a KA20 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 160 HP. With a larger engine compared to the previous generation Civic Si, the new car had more torque. But it was also significantly heavier and ultimately slower in a straight line. The car also lost some of the handling magic found in the Civics from the 1990s.

Worse still for North Americans, there was a hotter version of the EP hatch, the Civic Type R, available in other markets.


6. 1999 Honda Civic SiR

In 1998, North America finally received a properly-hot version of the Honda Civic. Carrying the Si nomenclature and available only in a coupe body style, the new sporty Civic came with a B16 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that made 160 HP at 8,000 RPM. At that time, mainstream manufacturers were not offering North Americans cars that produced 100 HP per liter or a redline that high.

More than just an engine, the Si also received wheel, tire, suspension and bodywork upgrades to make it a proper budget enthusiast machine. The Si could rocket to 60 MPH in just 7.1 seconds


5. 2006 Honda Civic Si

For the 2006 model year, Acura was no longer selling the RSX in North America and the Civic benefited by receiving the 197 HP version of the K20 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Other upgrades included a limited slip differential, stiffer suspension, larger brakes and lower profile tires.

Having become woefully outgunned by the competition in the early 2000s, the 2006 Civic Si coupe brought respectability back to the sporty Civic. As usual, there were hotter versions of the Civic in Europe and the Japan, but at least the car in North America wasn’t a slouch anymore.


4. 1992 Honda Civic SiR-II

The Honda Civic EG hatchback has become a massive cult favorite around the world. And the king of the EG hatchbacks were the Japanese market SiR-II models. Using a B16 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, the little hatchback pumped out an impressive 167 HP. This car, like many Civics, became a darling of aftermarket tuners. Consequently, finding a stock example anywhere in the world is quite the feat.


3. 1973 Honda Civic

It would be hard to make a list of the best Civics of all time without including the original. Taking full advantage of the booming small car market fueled by the oil crisis, the Civic cemented itself as a practical, yet enjoyable small car.

When it came on the scene in 1973, the Civic had a handling and fuel economy advantage over a lot of its competition. But more importantly, it proved that Honda was serious about building small cars designed for worldwide consumption.


2. 2007 Honda Civic Type R

While North America finally got a near 200 HP Civic Si in 2006, Japan and Europe were getting ready for something a little more special. Once again called the Type R, the hot Civic arrived as a hatchback in Europe and a sedan in Japan.

SEE ALSO: Honda Civic Type R Confirmed for America

The Japanese model was the more potent Type R, with a 222-HP version of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder K20 engine stuffed under the hood. As had come to be expected in a Type R Civic, all the go-fast upgrades were included like a limited-slip differential, larger brakes and grippier tires.


1. 1998 Civic Type R

Topping this list is the original Type R Civic – the 1998 model. Based on the EK three-door hatchback, the Type R came with a frantic B16B 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that put out an incredible-for-its-size 182 HP.

Weighing around 2,400 lbs, the Type R included a limited-slip differential, a strengthened body structure, a Momo steering wheel and Recaro seats. There was even the option to order a Type R without weight adding devices like air conditioning, power windows, power steering or the radio.


Bonus 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition

Since this list was created a new fire breathing Honda Civic came to the market, the 2017-2021 Type R. Powered by 306 hp turbocharged engine, this was easily the most powerful Civic to ever leave the factory. To match the incredible power produced by the engine, the suspension, tires, and brakes were all upgraded to make this Civic equally as quick in the corners as it was in a straight line. 

As a last hurrah, a special yellow Limited Edition was released in 2021 to commemorate the end of the Type R’s run. But fear not. An all-new Civic just debut and a new Type R is on the way. 

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Recent Updates

December 2, 2021 – Added bonus 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition. Updated formatting of titles and images. Fixed links. Replaced main image. Reworked the introduction for accuracy. Improved the title and text of 1992 Honda Civic SiR-II for accuracy. Updated wording in 2007 Honda Civic Type R text.