When the Honda Civic began its 17-year run of being Canada’s best-selling car, it was a different time. Cassette tapes were the easiest way of listening to music, VCRs were in every home and Titanic was making cinematic history. While a lot has changed since 1997, one thing has remained constant — the Honda Civic is the best-selling car in Canada. In fact, the Civic ran away with the title in 2014, with more than 15,000 units separating it from the second place car.
Although the Honda Civic remains Canada’s top-selling car, it has undergone a number of changes since it began this incredible run. To see just how far the Civic has come and how our expectations for what make a great car have changed, we’ll compare the new Honda Civic with the 1997 Honda Civic that began this best-selling streak.
2015 Honda Civic vs. 1997 Honda Civic
The 1997 Honda Civic got its power from a 1.6 litre four-cylinder engine that kicked out 106 horsepower. While Honda continues to use a four-cylinder in the 2015 Honda Civic, it now utilizes a 1.8-litre model capable of generating 143 horsepower at a lower rpm range. A few more engine options exist for 2014, including a 2.4-litre four-cylinder on the Honda Civic Si model. Certainly, our expectations of what constitutes good power ratings has changed in 17 years.
Additionally, the 2015 Honda Civic utilizes either a CVT or of 5-speed manual transmission to send power to the front wheels while a 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic were the only options in the 1997 model. Impressively, the 1997 Honda Civic was rated for 13.1 L/100 km on the highway, which was excellent, even by today’s standards.
Of course, styling and interior features have vastly changed since 1997 as well. While air conditioning was optional, features such as front cup holders, vanity mirrors and day/night rearview mirrors represented excellent amenities. Now, the Honda Civic has exceptional standard features that include an auxiliary port, Eco Assist, and power-folding side mirrors.
It’s fun to look back at how far the Honda Civic has come since it began it’s run as Canada’s best-selling car, but it’s also great to look toward the future. Get behind the wheel of a 2015 Honda Civic at Wheaton Honda and see what Honda is doing to maintain its best-selling status.