It’s official. Afterwards about 30 years of connected production, the Honda Civic auto is dead.
When I advised the Subaru BRZ a few weeks back, I acclaimed that the affordable auto bazaar has dwindled appreciably during the accomplished decade. In fact, the BRZ and its automated twin, the Toyota 86, are amid the few larboard standing.
The Civic auto was additionally a affiliate of the category, but afterwards several years of crumbling sales in North America, Honda has adopted to cull the bung on its long-running two-door at the end of the 2020 archetypal year.
Based on the numbers, the accommodation makes sense. In the U.S., the two-door’s allotment has collapsed from 16 to six per cent of Civic sales back 2016 according to a address in Car & Driver, while the auto has risen to about 24 per cent during the aforementioned period. The auto performs alike worse in Canada, area it registers in low distinct digits.
So, if it’s such a apathetic agent again why does the Civic coupe’s annihilation matter? Manufacturers collectively retire abounding models anniversary year, and it feels justified here. Yes, but as is generally the case, sales abstracts are alone allotment of the story.
The auto is allotment of a nameplate that has been the bestselling car in Canada for 22 years running. Although its sales biconcave in 2019 (by 12.85 per cent) with 60,139 sold, the Civic still managed to authority on to its acme and was the fourth bestselling agent overall. And while the auto doesn’t accord abundant to that accomplishment anymore, over its lifetime it has been a big allotment of the Civic success story.
And the auto absolutely has apparent the time. It has been in connected assembly back the fifth-gen Civic began in 1991. Abounding cars don’t see a additional or third generation, abundant beneath a sixth. We Canadians can justifiably feel some buying of the auto and its enviable history, too, accustomed that Honda’s Alliston, Ont., accomplishment bulb has played a allotment in its accomplish back the beginning.
Bottom line, this car matters. Not alone for its countless of owners, but additionally for the bags of Honda associates, dealers and mechanics who accept built, awash and serviced it over the years. Its acceptation aural the Canadian car industry is adamantine to overstate.
It will consistently amount to me because my aboriginal new car was a argent 1998 Civic Si auto with a five-speed manual, and for the accomplished six years I’ve endemic a 2010 Civic Si six-speed. Coupe, of course. My ’98 was congenital in the U.S., but the 2010 was accumulated in Alliston.
I’m occasionally chided (gently) by colleagues who advance I’m a bit old for my little orange coupe, but I don’t care. I adulation active it. From the candied complete of its amateur motor, to the 8,000 r.p.m. redline of its abstract K20 iVTEC four-cylinder and its rumbly exhaust. My car may be accepting on in years, but it never fails to put a smile on my face back I get abaft the wheel.
So, here’s to the Civic coupe. An attainable access point into car ownership, a reliable circadian driver, an iconic enthusiast machine, and a accoutrement in the circadian lives of millions.