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2006 Honda Civic Si Page 1

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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.

 

The basics

 

2000 Mercedes E55

2000 Mercedes E55

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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.

 

This time, there are four distinct models in the lineup. That’s to capture the ever-fracturing and shrinking small-car market, which Honda predicts will downsize by another 11 percent in the next five years. Diversity means a broader appeal — whether it’s to the younger crowd leaning to the sporting Si, the work and commuter crowd wanting the coupe and sedan, or the green-and-proud Hybrid drivers.

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