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The Civic is Honda’s signature car.
It’s the car that catapulted the company to fame in the
U.S.during the fuel shocks of the early 1970s. And maybe it’s
purely coincidence that one of the best Civics ever is appearing just as gas
prices are soaring even higher, thanks to Hurricane Katrina and big global
appetites for oil.
But the Civic is more than
just the attention-grabbing Hybrid and the rorty, engaging Si coupe. It’s also
the heart of the brand that, along with the Accord sedan, accounts for a
majority of Hondas sold each year in the
U.S. That means
each Civic model has to be good — and this eighth-generation lineup has to be
better than the one before, just to recapture audiences captivated by Scion, the
Mazda3, and the Koreans.
In a world where economy cars
can mean anything from a hand-me-down F-150 to a $28,000 MINI Cooper
Convertible, the Civic has to be nearly all things to all people. Good thing it
succeeds on most counts, particularly in its most exotic forms.
Think about it: this eighth-generation Civic is to the 1973
model what you are to your Civil War ancestors. It’s fitting that there’s
everything civil about the new car, so vastly different from its forbears and
still attuned to the basics of great efficiency and value.