The Civic has always been one of the most popular nameplates in the Honda line-up. Here in the Philippines, it is arguably the sixth-generation Civic EK, which many revere to this day.
First introduced in November of 1995,this generation Civic brought with it a number of attributes that made it stand out. Its clean design was not too flashy yet still had that sophisticated vibe. Then there was the fully independent double wishbone suspension that gave it both a supple ride and more than decent handling. And yes, it was a rarity amidst the McPherson strut suspensions of its competitors.
It also boasted a spacious and decently spec’d interior that was quite comfortable for its day. But what made this car so appealing was what was under the hood.
The Civic came in two flavors. First was the 1.5 LXi with a 1.5-liter non-VTEC SOHC four cylinder that produced around 106bhp. Mated to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic, it gave more than adequate punch and fuel efficiency. It was perfect for families and those who needed a practical yet still fun to drive car.
Then there was the 1.6 VTi. As the name suggests, this came with the vaunted 1.6-liter SOHC four-pot with Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control or VTEC that essentially gave drivers a fairly economical engine at low speeds and the high-revving capabilities of a performance car at high engine speeds. Utilizing variable camshaft profiles, it produced a class-leading 127bhp and was a hit among car enthusiasts.
While VTEC came into the country in the midsize Acord earlier that year, it was the Civic VTi that pretty much made VTEC a household name. It brought variable valve timing and lift to the compact class—which was the default choice of car at the time. Available in both manual and automatic transmission, it practically changed the game.
To this day, you still see many car enthusiasts looking to a Civic EK as their very own project car. And we’re not even talking about the Civic SiR. But that’s another story for another Throwback day.
But beyond the performance side, the 1995 Civic EK still holds its value as a viable option for those folks looking for an affordable yet still fairly reliable used car A testament to just how well designed this car was. A true game changer.