First-generation Civic vs. Tenth-generation Civic

How does the latest Civic* compare to its oldest predecessor: the late, great 1973 Honda Civic? You’re about to find out, and the results may surprise you...

Ready, set, go!
We knew the 2017 Civic would win in a 0-62mph sprint, but not by this much: 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds – that’s over 5 seconds quicker! To be fair, the 1973 Civic was very speedy at the time, easily beating the Fiat 127 and Peugeot 104… You know what, let’s call this a tie!

The final frontier
It’s not all about power, so let’s take a look at boot space. And guess what? The 2017 Civic cinches it, packing a massive 420 litres with the rear seats up. The 1973 Civic? 160 litres – again, better than its contemporaries, but not good enough to beat the tenth-generation Civic. Round two to the new kid.

Age before beauty
We take it back, it is about power – on to top speed! The whippersnappers screams ahead at 137mph, but what’s this? The 1973 Civic hits 86mph – enough to beat its two European rivals, the Renault 5 TL and Opel Kadett 1200 S! You know what that means – it’s another tie!

Mod con – pro or con?
Bring on the battle of the bulge! The 1973 Civic is the lightest, weighing only 705kg, while the 2017 Civic comes in at 1307kg. Who’s the winner? That depends… Would you rather have a) comprehensive safety features, VTEC TURBO technology, High Power Audio and satellite navigation, or b) less weight?

More out of less
Whereas Honda engineers have squeezed a mind-boggling 182PS out of the new four-cylinder engine, its revolutionary ancestor produced 54PS out of a 1.2l four-cylinder engine. In other words, the 2017 Civic features an engine that’s half the size, but twice as powerful. Incredible. Round five to the tenth-generation Civic.

Fast and focused wins the race
Believe it or not, the tiny 1973 Civic had a whopping 38-litre fuel tank – impressive, yes, but not quite as impressive as the new Civic. Thanks to its 46-litre tank, you could set off from the Honda Civic factory in Swindon, stop for tea at the Ritz in London, call in for a creme brûlée in Paris, escape to the country in Versailles, finish with a beer in Brussels – and still have seven miles left in the tank. Magnifique, non?

Go hard or go home
This is it: the final round. The 1973 Civic was astonishingly frugal at the time – 40mpg! How was it even possible? But it’s even more astonishing today. Here’s why: the new 2017 Civic Sport does 48.7mpg, meaning that, even after 44 years, the 1973 Civic can still give the whippersnappers a run for their money. That’s it – the tenth-generation Civic wins!

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