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Honda Civic PDF Print E-mail
The new Honda Civic has been named Motor Trend Car of the Year 2006. The authoritative U.S. magazine selects its top car based on value, standing in its class and what it calls ?significant developments?. The editor of Motor Trend, Angus Mackenzie commented: ?Honda deserves a standing ovation for not playing it safe again.?

According to a senior executive of Honda America, John Mendel, the Civic underwent ?the most radical transformation in its 33-year history?.

Honda Civic
Honda Civic
The award extends to the entire Civic range, including the sedan, coup? and hybrid, as well as the sports version, the Civic Si. ?It is the cornerstone of the Honda line-up, and we are delighted that Motor Trend has recognised the new levels of styling, performance, technology, safety and value that characterize the new Civic,? added Mr Mendel.

The Civic first appeared in 1972 as a two-door compact. Remaining unchanged for seven years, a five-door wagon was launched in 1979 along with a second-generation sedan which was awarded the title ?US Import Car of the Year? by Motor Trend. Two years later a four-door sedan was added to the range and by 1982 ? 10 years after its debut ? cumulative production had reached three million.

Into the Nineties and the fifth generation ? much the same as previous editions ? saw the light of day, only with aerodynamic refinements and a softer style. It also heralded the introduction of the highly acclaimed VTEC engine, producing excellent mid-range torque and improved fuel efficiency. By 1995 10 million Civics had been produced worldwide.

Five years ago a complete departure from earlier body styles saw the Civic become the ?benchmark for compacts? ? at least, according to Honda.

Along the way Honda introduced a hybrid gasoline-electric Civic, the only practical alternative to Toyota?s dominant Prius. Forget the Honda Insight hybrid ? available in the US and parts of Europe; this was merely an engineering exercise and offered no real usable space or performance.

The latest Civic is also available in some markets as a hybrid, but for Thailand an economical gasoline engine is the likely choice although there is a possibility of a 1.7 liter diesel at a later date. Whereas the gas and diesel versions are available in either 3- or 5-door body styles, the hybrid, which is produced solely in Japan for world markets, is a 4-door. Apart from the hybrid, the Civic is currently produced in 11 countries for around 160 markets.

The 2006 Civic features greatly improved interior space over the outgoing model, while the latest styling is almost futuristic, with a deep front airdam incorporated into the nose and sleek hindquarters topped by a small spoiler.

The entry-level model offers a 1.4 liter gasoline engine, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Power is 88 bhp (65 kW) with peak torque of 130 Nm. Top speed is a modest 177 km/h, while the 0-100 km/h sprint is covered in a leisurely 11.6 seconds. Further up the scale a 1.6 liter VTEC motor is offered with the choice of manual or auto ?boxes, and a power output of 108 bhp and torque of 150 Nm. Clearly the VTEC Civic is the one to have.

Honda Civic
Honda Civic
All models have power steering and central locking as standard equipment, while options include electronic stability control and leather upholstery. All models feature front airbags, while except the 1.4 Civic, side airbags are also standard.

The Civic may have been around for more than 30 years but the 2006 model maintains its market leader status and is expected to dominate the small sedan class for a number of years to come. The Civic currently accounts for roughly a third of all Honda?s auto sales worldwide.

-JH

 
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© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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