Nearly a half-century after it made its debut in the U.S., the Honda Civic is the second-most popular passenger car in the country.
But despite its success over the decades – more than 12 million have sold – the stalwart compact sedan is immersed in a crisis: Americans are losing interest in passenger cars.
Honda is hoping to reverse the tide by introducing a wholly redesigned Civic in six years, marking the 11th generation of a vehicle known for its reliability and family appeal. The car is slightly larger than its predecessor but has better fuel economy.
Trailing only the Toyota Camry for the title of a best-selling passenger car in the U.S. in 2020, the Civic remains a centerpiece of Honda’s American lineup despite the decline in passenger cars’ sales recent years as Americans flock to SUVs and pickups.
Despite the downward trend, the Civic was the eighth-best-selling vehicle in the U.S. last year, according to Cox Automotive, which owns Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader. It trailed, in order, the Ford F-series, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram pickup, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Toyota Camry, and Chevrolet Equinox.
With fuel efficiency gains and a simplified interior, Honda aims to regenerate interest in a nameplate debuted to Americans in 1973. The new Civic goes on sale this summer.