Honda Civic badge red
  • Civic Family Tree
  • With the reveal of the latest sedan, the Honda Civic is now entering an almost unfathomable tenth generation. And along the way it has bred numerous variants, with two, three, four, or five doors, and more powertrain options than we could shake a VTEC camshaft at. But the Civic has also spun off a number of other variants with different bodystyles altogether, beyond the coupes, sedans, hatchbacks, and wagons we'd usually associate with Honda's most successful model line. Some have worn the Civic name, while others have not, but they've all gone to show just how far the Civic's proliferate underpinnings have taken it over the years. Join us for a brief pictorial history of some of the Civic's less common derivatives.

  • Image Credit: Honda
1989 Honda CR-X
  • Honda CR-X
  • Of all the model variants that the Honda Civic has spun off over the years, few ever managed to captivate the attention of enthusiasts quite like the CR-X. Built from the mid-1980s through the early 90s, the CR-X was a chopped-down little Civic, with a slanted hatchback and a stubby little wheelbase. It was offered with four-cylinder engines ranging in displacement from 1.3 liters up to 1.5, with output extending from a paltry 58 horsepower all the way up to 150. Honda has made a number of performance Civics over the years since, wearing badges like Si, Type R, and Mugen, but few will ever garner the kind of cult following that the nimble little CR-X did in its day.
  • Image Credit: Honda
Honda Civic del Sol red ocean
  • Honda Civic del Sol
  • After the demise of the CR-X in the early 1990s, Honda rolled out the del Sol. In place of the slanted hatch back, Honda gave the del Sol a conventional trunk into which you could slot the removable roof panel and a retractable rear window. Billed as the CR-X del Sol in some markets and the Civic del Sol in others (like ours), the little convertible was an entirely different beast (if you could call it that) from the sport hatch that preceded it – even if it did ultimately offer a more powerful engine. It went head-to-head with the first-generation Mazda MX-5, but with front-wheel drive and a more cutesy demeanor, it was never embraced by enthusiasts in the same way that the Miata has been. It does, however, remain one of the few convertibles Honda has made over the years, and was even offered in Japan and Europe with an automatic TransTop mechanism that raised the trunk lid at the touch of a button and slid the roof panel underneath it.
  • Image Credit: Honda
Honda Prelude first generation black
  • Honda Prelude
  • The Prelude gained a cult following over the course of nearly a quarter century of production. While subsequent generations were built on their own underpinnings, the first Prelude was based largely on the Civic of its time. Built from 1978 through 1982, the original SN-generation Honda Prelude hit the scene after Toyota had paved the way with the Celica. The first Prelude matched up against the second-generation Toyota in the growing market for compact Japanese sports coupes. Like the versions that would follow (and so many other Hondas), the original Prelude was offered exclusively with four-cylinder engines. Years later the third-gen Prelude would introduce four-wheel steering to the industry, and by the fifth generation was producing nearly 200 horsepower – almost triple the 72 offered by the original. Sadly, that would be the last Prelude as the model line was discontinued in 2001.
  • Image Credit: Honda
Honda Civic Wagovan
  • Honda Civic Wagovan
  • Arguably the oddest of all the Civic variants we've seen over the years was the Wagovan. Alternatively known as the Civic Wagon or as the Shuttle, this derivative didn't just have a longer roof – it had a taller one. That gave this version of the Civic a more versatile form that may not have been the prettiest design Honda ever put into production, but was not without its utility. It was even offered with all-wheel drive: first with a push-button system and then with an automatic “real-time” system that engaged when front-wheel traction wasn't enough. The Wagovan was based on the third-generation Civic that was also offered as a four-door sedan, a three-door hatchback, and the slant-backed CR-X that kicked off this slideshow.
  • Image Credit: Honda
Honda Jade white city street
  • Honda Jade
  • The Wagovan wasn't to be the last long-roofed Civic that Honda would offer in markets around the world. In fact it still does, with models like the Jade. Filling a space somewhere in between that of a compact minivan and a lower-slung wagon, the Jade was introduced in China before being brought back home to be offered in the Japanese Domestic Market. Substantially sleeker than the boxy (and much larger) Odyssey we get here in America, the Jade offers seating for as many as six passengers and powertrain options including a 1.9-liter i-VTEC inline-four or a hybrid.
  • Image Credit: Honda
Honda Civic Tourer BTCC
  • Honda Civic Tourer
  • While the Jade fills the niche in the Far East, over in Europe, Honda has offered the Civic in a long-roofed Tourer bodystyle as well. Based on the outgoing ninth-generation Civic and built in the UK, the Tourer wagon claims class-leading interior space. This, despite styling that makes it look sportier than most wagons, an impression backed up by the active damper suspension. In fact the Civic Tourer so looked the part that Honda opted to use it as the basis for its British Touring Car Championship entry in 2014, pictured here. Then again, maybe that wasn't the hottest idea, since the Civic Tourer BTCC saw the end of a four-year winning streak in one of the world's most competitive tin-top racing series.
  • Image Credit: Honda
Honda CR-V white rock wall
  • Honda CR-V
  • Of all the derivatives that the Honda Civic has bred over the years, surely the CR-V was the greatest departure. But then it didn't share very much with the Civic on which it was ostensibly based. One of the pioneers of the car-based compact crossover (or so-called “cute ute”) segment, the first-generation CR-V had different dimensions to the contemporary Civic – and not just in height, either: the wheelbase may have been almost identical, but the CR-V was substantially longer and wider (not to mention taller) than even the Civic sedan. Subsequent generations would grow even larger, however, leaving room for Honda to slot the smaller, Fit-based HR-V (known in its home market as the Vezel) in below it. In the years since the original CR-V arrived on the scene, Honda has expanded its crossover range significantly to also include the Pilot as well as segment-busting oddities like the Element, Crosstour, and Ridgeline.
  • Image Credit: Honda
Acura Integra
  • Acura Integra
  • When Honda launched its upscale brand Acura in the United States back in 1986, it arrived with a two-model lineup consisting of the Legend and the Integra. The Legend was a larger sedan that would lead to the RL and RLX, but the Integra was a much smaller model initially based on – you guessed it – the Honda Civic. Acura's debut entry-level model was available as a four-door sedan in some markets, but only as a liftback (with either three doors or five) in US. Two more generations would follow before the Integra was phased out, to be followed by the RSX sport coupe and by the present-day ILX that is based, once again, on the Civic.
  • Image Credit: Acura
Acura CSX
  • Acura CSX
  • Just a few years ago Acura rolled out the ILX based on the ninth-generation Civic. Long before the ILX came around, Acura was selling its own version of the Civic in one market: Canada. That's where Acura offered what was initially known as the EL and then as the CSX. The 1.6EL arrived in dealerships in the True North Strong And Free in 1997 based on the sixth-generation Civic, was replaced by the 1.7EL (based on the seventh-gen Civic) in 2001, and then by the CSX (based on the eighth-gen Civic) in 2005. They were ultimately succeeded by the aforementioned ILX not only in Canada but around the world, but the EL and CSX were far more obvious in their humbler beginnings than the newer sedan. These were little more than badge-engineered Civics with Acura emblems on the nose and some higher-level equipment, and you could tell that much just by looking at 'em. But Canadian Acura dealers sold them by the boatload, making the EL and CSX far and away their top seller.
  • Image Credit: Acura
Rover 400
  • Rover 400
  • Honda and Acura aren't the only brands that got versions of the Civic over the years. The quintessential budget automobiles have been rebadged and sold as Isuzus, Triumphs, and Rovers. The latter British marque sold versions dubbed the 200, 400, and 45, each based on successive versions of the Honda Civic. Though dressed up somewhat to look like little Jaguars, the Rovers were more obviously Civic-based than the X-Type was on the Ford Mondeo. Rover would continue building the 45 until 2005 when the brand effectively shut down. And that was long after Triumph and Isuzu stopped selling their own versions of the ubiquitous Honda Civic.
  • Image Credit: Rover


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