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The Honda Civic is a line of compact cars developed and manufactured by Honda. In North America, the Civic is the second-longest continuously-running nameplate from a Japanese manufacturer; only the Toyota Corolla, introduced in 1968, has been in production longer. The Civic, along with the Accord and Prelude, comprised Honda's vehicles sold in North America until the 1990s, when the model lineup was expanded. Having gone through several generational changes, the Civic has become larger and more upmarket, and it currently slots between the Fit and Accord.
It was introduced in July 1972 as a two-door coupe, followed by a three-door hatchback that September. With the transverse engine mounting of its 1169 cc engine and front-wheel drive like the British Mini, the car provided good interior space despite overall small dimensions. Early models of the Civic were typically outfitted with a basic AM radio, heater, foam-cushioned plastic trim, two-speed wipers and painted steel rims with a chromed wheel nut cap. As the years went by, it has become much more upscale with options such as air conditioning, power locks, and power windows, leather upholstery, satellite-linked navigation, and a six-speed manual transmission. Initially gaining a reputation for being fuel-efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly, later iterations have become well-known for performance and sportiness, especially the Civic Type-R and Civic Si.
The Civic has been rebadged for international markets with such models as the Honda Ballade and Honda Domani/Acura EL. The Civic platform also served as the basis for the CR-X sport compact, the CR-X del Sol targa convertible, and the CR-V compact SUV.
As of 2008, the Civic has been the top-selling car in Canada for eleven straight years. With high gas prices and a weak economy in June 2008, the Civic supplanted the Ford F-Series to become the top-selling vehicle in the United States for that month.[
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