I dove into the Japanese auto market in 1974. I was always a Honda motorcycle fan, so I figured they couldn’t go wrong with a car. The Honda Civic arrived in the U.S. in 1973, but I waited until 1974 to purchase a Civic. It was powered by a 1200 cc four cylinder with a manual transmission. I commuted in this car for six years averaging 30 plus miles per gallon.
Today the Civic has seven models to choose from including a hatchback or car with a trunk. The Honda Civic is a driver’s car, basic to get owners from point A to point B with little effort or expense, but very comfortable. Honda states it averages 39 MPG. The best I have achieved – with cruise control on and running 65 miles per hour – is 37.4.
This is really not a problem as anything over 30 miles per gallon is okay in my book, especially when a Civic’s base price starts at less than $16,000 dollars. My test vehicle was the EX model with tons of base features including A/C, four wheel disc brakes, Mc Pherson struts up front and rear multilink in the rear. With four doors there’s plenty of room for rear passengers, and the back seat will flip 60/40 and fold for added storage in the trunk and back seat.
Other standard features are tire pressure monitoring, 160 watt sound system with AM/ FM/CD/MP3 and six speakers that are well positioned around the car. The steering wheels has cruise control, audio and phone controls to help keep the drivers eyes on the road. To check the fuel economy merely push the Eco button and watch the savings add up. Driving up hill? Then turn off the Eco button for this part of the trip to utilize the needed power.
The EX has Bluetooth, USB connectivity, a center console, power windows with auto up/ down power for the driver window, tilt and telescope steering wheel, 12-volt outlets, and an exterior temp gauge. Also included in the base price is a one touch tilt/electric sunroof, auto off headlights, variable wipers, remote keyless entry, and heated rear window defroster.
Safety is abundant with dual front airbags, driver and passenger side airbags, side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, side impact beams in the doors, and front and rear crumple zones all designed to keep everyone in the vehicle safe.
I enjoyed this Honda Civic; it has come a long way in carrying families and college students since 1974. I would put this in my garage if I was looking for basic transportation with a little luxury all rolled into a car that cost less than $22,000 plus tax license.