These Are The 10 Best Honda Civic Hatchback Models Ever Made

Honda Civic Hatchback

The Honda Civic has become a real hot hatch contender. Over the past few decades, it has made its way into the limelight. Become more powerful, more refined and much faster. It stood toe-to-toe with the competition, and didn’t flinch. The 2023 Honda Civic Type-R is a Volkswagen Golf R killer.

That is indeed a lot of praise. But Honda isn’t some newbie around. They are an old hand at making fast street cars. With the burger itself that has been serving spicy sensations for 50 years. Some of its offerings, like the 2004 Civic Si, were vastly underrated. While others, like the Type-R series, have left a lasting legacy.

An accessible, reliable hatchback, the Civic has a proud pedigree. A lineup that caters to most people’s needs while remaining affordable. Peppered between that history is a selection of special cars. Ultimate gems that take the model even further to the next level. So, in a copious back catalog of cars, these are the 10 best Honda Civic hatchback models ever made.

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10 Honda Civic 1200 RS

Launched to cater to those who wanted economy, the original CIvic was a winner. A clean-running hatchback, it excelled at city tasks. Powered by a decent selection of engines, the Civic was sipping fuel. Well equipped and fun to drive. The Civic had its stall mapped out early on.

The 1200 RS was the first hot Civic. The 1.2-liter engine pumps out 75 horsepower and 75 lb/ft of torque. The RS 1200 also came with a five-speed manual transmission. Great fun, the Civic RS 1200 had a red line at 7000 rpm. A scarce car, good examples are hard to find.

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9 1985 Civic Si

The full-fat Civic Si, which was only offered in Japan, was given a 120 hp engine. A 1.6 liter DOHC unit that liked to tour. Other markets would get a watered-down version with much less power. Relatively fast for the period, it could reach 100 mph in 8.4 seconds. Top speed is an impressive 122 mph.

Guaranteed to put a smile on the driver’s side, the Civic Si was a great hot hatch. Small, light and very powerful. It can cut through a range of angles. Huge fun on a winding road, the bike loved revving. It was a car that begged to drive fast and enjoy it to the fullest.

8 1998 Civic Type-R

The first version of the Civic Type-R raised several eyebrows. This was a small, inexpensive hatch that could hit 60mph in under 7 seconds. It would run to 60 mph in just 6.7 seconds. Mighty impressive stuff. But nothing compared to its cornering ability.

Equipped with a 1.6-liter engine, it generated 180 horsepower. A huge amount for such a small move. It came as standard with a limited-slip differential and close ratio gearbox. Inside were Recaro bucket seats, a Momo leather steering wheel and a titanium shifter.

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7 2009 Civic Mugen R

Tuning maestro Mugen took a Generation 8 Type-R and added a lot of spice. Power has been increased to 237 hp with a 2.0-litre VTEC engine. The weight has also been removed. This allows the Mugen R to reach 100 km/h in 5.8 seconds. One second faster than the standard car.

The Mugen feels just like a race car and is a growling Civic. It hunts for buds. Launches from corners. And just gobble up the asphalt. Ideally suited for fast attacks on the road, it is also a perfect track weapon. One that is not compromised by its retained usefulness.

6 2003 30th Anniversary Type-R

Making its way into the hot hatch scene, the EP3 Type-R was great. Blazing fast, blindingly capable when covering miles. Just a lot of fun to drive. The only crack in its armor was that the equipment list was quite basic compared to rivals.

The 30th Anniversary version has solved this problem. Standard equipped with tinted windows and air conditioning. In addition to the special Recaro seats and Momo steering wheel. Only 300 were made. Each retained the 197 hp engine and a 0-100 km/h time of 6.6 seconds.

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5 1992 Civic SiR-S

A true pocket rocket, the JDM Civic SiR-S was an impressive hatchback. Powered by a 1.6-liter DOHC-VTEC unit with 168 horsepower. The small Civic could reach 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds. The five-speed manual transmission proved to be very accurate. It also came fully loaded with extras.

With features such as keyless entry plus Momo gear knob and steering wheel. The SiR-S could take down much larger prey. On and off the track, the Civic SiR-S would provide thrills at high speed. Feedback was sensational. A true Honda gem, it is still a contender today.

4 1999 Civic Jordan Edition

Only 500 copies of the Jordaan were made. Each is a bright shade of Sunlight Yellow. All featured a plush leather interior and a commemorative plaque. It was only available in the UK. Despite its name, the Jordan racing team had no input into the development of the car.

Under the hood was a 1.6-liter VTi engine. Good for 157 hp, the Jordan could reach 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds. At the time, it was the fastest Civic available in the UK. Made even more attractive by the lavish specification. Highly collectible, decent examples are hard to find.

3 1994 Civic Shuttle 4WD

Long before crossovers were a thing, Honda released the Civic Shuttle. A longer, larger Civic for those with a family. Equipped with real-time 4WD, owners could also take their family off-road. Something that is made even more possible by the increased ride height.

Equipped with a 110 hp 1.6-litre engine, it was not fast. A time of 0-100 km/h of 10 seconds was sufficient. But that misses the point. This is a multi-purpose Civic. Charge it up and head out into the wilderness. A car that tolerates some user abuse. Plus, it still looks pretty cool.

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2 2021 Civic LE

The Limited Edition 2021 Civic is fast. Pretty fast. It marked 306 horsepower from a 2.0-liter turbo engine. All that power enables it to reach 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. With the throttle buried, this is a Civic Type-R that will blast to 130 mph in an impressive 19 seconds.

The Type-R LE isn’t all about straight grunts. It will also attack curvy roads. The LE always feels planted and just finds traction. Sublime handling and power make for an incredible turn. This is the most polished Civic Type-R yet. A car that exceeds its weight.

1 2008 Civic Type-R Championship

As a tribute to its racing heritage, Honda released the Championship White special edition. Thanks to a differential lock, it was half a second faster than the 0-100 km/h of the standard cars. Custom white alloy wheels, the sparkling white bodywork and smoked grips set it apart.

The equipped LSD transforms the Type-R. Control becomes more communicative. Grip levels are increased, with wheel spin damped. Corners can be attacked with much more aggression. Brakes made later. The Championship Edition feels much more alive when driven hard.