It was introduced in July 1972 as a two-door coupe, followed by a three-door hatchback that September. With the transverse engine mounting of its 1169 cc engine and front-wheel drive like the British Mini, the car provided good interior space despite overall small dimensions. Early models of the Civic were typically outfitted with 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, and 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 well-known for performance and sportiness, especially the Civic Type-R and Civic Si.
The Civic has been rebadged for international markets with such models as the Honda Ballade and Honda Domani/Acura EL. The Civic platform also served as the basis for the CR-X sport compact, the CR-X del Sol targa convertible, and the CR-V compact SUV.
As of 2008, the Civic has been the top-selling car in Canada for eleven straight 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.
 First generation (1973–1979)
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, demand for fuel efficient vehicles was high. The Civic's build quality matched its fuel economy, allowing it to succeed in the market..
 Second generation (1980-1983)
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.automatic.
 Third generation (1984–1987)
The third generation was released in 1984. The separate five-door hatchback and wagon models were merged into a four-door "shuttle wagon." 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 hatchaback and the CRX Si variant with a 91 horsepower (68 kW) fuel injected SOHC 12-valve engine. A 4WD model was introduced for the first time in 1984, and later upgraded in 1987.
 Fourth generation (1988–1991) - EC/ED/EE/EF
For 1988 the Civic was redesigned again, with increased dimensions and a lower hood line. A wide range of models and trim levels were offered for various markets around the world. All US models featured fuel injection, but carburated models were still available elsewhere. The fourth generation saw the introduction of a fully independent rear suspension across the entire model range.
 Fifth generation (1992–1995) - EG,EH, EJ1/EJ2
Introduced in 1992 the redesigned Civic featured the usual 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 old HF model was brought back and renamed VX which 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 VTEC-E and the Japanese Si featured a DOHC non-VTEC valve train D16A9. 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 range of models encapsulated by the SiR nameplate grew to include the hatchback, sedan and CR-X Del Sol, all of which used a slightly evolved form of the Honda's 1.6 liter B16A DOHC VTEC engine, now yielding 160 horsepower (120 kW).
 Sixth generation (1996–2000) - EK9,EK4,EJ8,EK,EJ6,EJ9,EM1 (Si),
The sixth generation featured updated styling although less radical than previous redesigns. Suspension and engine options were similar to the previous generation but several new variants were introduced, including two distinct wagon models: the "Orthia" based on the standard Civic which was sold in the Japanese market and the Domani based wagon which was offered in the European market. It also saw the introduction of the Acura 1.6EL, an upscale version of the Civic introduced in the Canadian market. None of these models were offered in the US. Building on the success of the Japanese market-only Civic SiRII a Type-R model was offered for the first time, available in Asia and Europe only. The Honda Civic Type R featured major reductions in weight as well as improved engine output and a number of other changes and additions designed to improve performance. The North American market saw the introduction of an upgraded Civic Si (SiR in Canada) with a more powerful Dual Overhead Cam 1.6L VTEC engine. In 1998, in the United States, Honda introduced 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).....HONDA UK saw the launch of MA MB MC 5 Door Civic / Civic Aerodeck.These featured improved handling with dual wishbone suspension at the front and independent rear suspension, ABS,PAS etc. These instantly became a big hit as a family car with a big boot and spacious interior and also as a motorway cruiser with ultra strong B18C4 engine on its flagship model MB6 and MC2.
 Seventh generation (2001–2005) - EM2, ES1, EP3, EU1
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.
In North America, coupe and sedan body styles were available, except for the Si (SiR in Canada) which was offered only as a three-door hatchback. The rest of the world received three and five-door hatchbacks. The Type-R was redesigned as well this time using a more powerful i-VTEC motor and using the three-door hatchback body style. This generation saw Honda introduce their first Civic Hybrid, powered by a 1.5 liter engine.
 Eighth generation (2006-2011) - FN2, FD2,FA1,FG1, FG2, FA5
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.
In Europe this Civic has a 3 or 5 door hatch featuring a 1.4 VTEC, 1.8 VTEC (5.5–9 km/lite in city, 11.2–13.7 km/lite on highway), or 2.0l (Type-R) engines (5.5–8.1 km/lite in city, 8–10 km/lite on highway), as well as a powerful and economical 2.2 N22A CTDI diesel (140BHP) which does 0–60 km/h in 8.6 seconds and fuel economy is 8.3 MPG 10–12 km/lite in city and 11–14 km/lite on the highway. There is also a saloon version for the Hybrid, which has a 1.4 IMA engine giving 61MPG with 0–60 in 12.41 seconds. The Hybrid is the only Civic in the UK that is a saloon.
 2009 Facelift
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 rims, with many more spokes than the original five-spoke rims, and a bar of chrome trim above the license plate area. 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. 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.
 9th Generation Civic
Honda is actively working on their 9th generation Honda Civic. Honda Civics of the past were always the leaders in being lightweight, compact size, and were inexpensive. This made them ideal for those who wanted to modify the car for performance. As the Honda Civics have been getting more and more advanced, so has their size, technology and weight.
Since the Honda Civic was getting heavier, and more expensive, Honda released the Fit to take its place as the lightweight inexpensive sibling. However, Honda has decided that in order to continue their dominance, they would need to revamp the Honda Civic, and the Honda Product Chief, Tsuneo Tanai ordered a complete revamp of the Honda Civic. Tanai ordered his engineers and designers to redesign the 9th gen Civic to be smaller, cheaper, lighter and more fuel efficient.
Anticipated availability of the 2012 Honda Civic is early summer 2011.
 International marketing and platform derivatives
While the Civic is sold in largely the same form worldwide, differences in the name of the models exist between markets. In Japan, the hatchback Civic is just called "Civic" while the sedan model was called the (Japanese: Civic Ferio) during the fifth to seventh generations. The sixth-generation sedan was also sold as the Integra SJ. In Europe and the United States, "Civic" generically refers to any model, though in Europe the coupe is branded the "Civic Coupe". A four-door station wagon model called the Civic Shuttle (also Civic Pro in Japan) was available from 1984 until 1991 (this brand name would later be revived for the mid-1990s Honda Shuttle people carrier, known in some markets as the Honda Stream). In South Africa, the sedan (the only model sold there until the 1996 launch of the sixth generation sedan and hatch) was known as the Ballade.
Also, at various times, the Civic or Civic-derived models have been sold by marques other than Honda — for example, Rover sold the 200, 400 and 45, each of which were Civic-based at some point (first 200s were the second generation Ballade; from 1990 the 200 and 400 were based on the Concerto; the 400 was the 1995 Domani), as was their predecessor, the Triumph Acclaim, based on the first Honda Ballade. The Honda Domani, an upscale model based on the Civic, was sold as the Isuzu Gemini in Japan (1992–2000), and confusingly the 5-door Domani was sold as the Honda Civic (along with the "real" hatchback and sedan Civics) in Europe from 1995 to 2000. In Thailand, the sixth generation Civic was available as the four-door Isuzu Vertex. The sixth-generation station wagon was sold as the Honda Orthia, with the Partner as the downmarket commercial variant. The seventh generation minivan model is called the Honda Stream. In Canada, the sixth and seventh generation Civics were mildly redesigned to create the Acura EL until the advent of the eight generation Civic, which was used to create the Acura CSX, which was designed in Canada. Honda Japan adopted the CSX styling for the Civic in its home country.
The three-door hatchback body style has been somewhat unpopular in the United States, but has achieved wide acceptance in Canada, as well as popularity in Japan and European markets, helping cement Honda's reputation as a maker of sporty compact models. Starting in 2002, the Civic three-door hatchback has been built exclusively at Honda's manufacturing plant in Swindon, England - previously the five-door "Civic"/Domani and the Civic Aerodeck (based on the Japanese Orthia) were built in this plant for sale in Europe along with the Japanese Civics. Accordingly, all instances of the current model (left or right hand drive, anywhere in the world) are British-made cars designed with Japanese engineering, except for the US-built two-door coupe and the sedan version built in Brazil for the Latin American market.
In North America, the Civic hatchback was dropped for 2006. The 2006 model year standard Civics for North America are manufactured in Alliston, Ontario, Canada (sedans, coupes and Si Coupes) and East Liberty, Ohio (sedans), while the Hybrid version is manufactured in Japan.
In Asia, the oldest Honda assembly/manufacturing facility is near Lahore, Pakistan and the Civic has been produced in large numbers since 1994. The 2006 Civic was launched in the local market with a firm view of exporting this model to other countries by 2007. In India, the Civic sedan was launched in July 2006 for the first time.
In Brazil, although being considered for local manufacturing since the early 1980s (it was illegal to import cars in Brazil from 1973 until 1990), the Civic wasn't available until 1992, via official importing. In 1997, production of the sixth generation Civic sedan started in the Sumaré (a city near Campinas, in the state of São Paulo) factory. The only differences between the Japanese model and the Brazilian model were a slightly higher ground clearance, due to the country's road conditions and adaptations to make the engine suitable to Brazilian commercial gasoline, which contains about 25% ethanol (E25). The seventh generation production started in 2001, displacing the Chevrolet Vectra from the top sales record for the mid-size sedan segment, however it lost that position to the Toyota Corolla the following year. In 2006, the eighth generation was released and regained the sales leadership. Identical to the North American version, it lacks options such a moonroof, and standard security equipment like VSA and side and curtain airbags were removed due to lack of car safety laws in the Mercosur. Furthermore, the Brazilian subsidiary began producing flex-fuel versions for the Civic and the Fit models, capable of running on any blend of gasoline (E20 to E25 blend in Brazil) and ethanol up to E100.