1984: The Year Honda Blew Us And The Automotive World Away With Four Different Civics

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer
1984 the year honda blew us and the automotive world away with four different civics

1984 was a milestone year in the car world for new cars: the new W124 Mercedes 300E; the Jeep Cherokee; The Dodge Caravan/Plymouth Voyager mini vans. But perhaps the biggest shocker was Honda’s new Civic family: four distinctly different Civics, each with its own unique body and character: The conservative four-door sedan, the popular hatchback, the remarkably roomy tall-boy wagon, and the iconic two-seater CR-X. It was a bold and expensive gamble to make the Civic the number one compact in the land, and it paid off handsomely. With a Civic for each purpose and personality, Honda dominated the niche, and set the Civic (and Honda) firmly on a path of growth and domination that shocked Toyota, crippled Nissan, and utterly blew the domestics into the weeds. Was it Honda’s peak year ever, and have they been coasting since?

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  • Forty2 Forty2 on Jan 18, 2010

    My 1985 Civic S hatch was a terrible car. If California had had a lemon law back then, I would have invoked it. 1985 was the year for the carbureted engine and Honda couldn't make the car run reliably despite many, many trips to the repair bays of several local dealers. It took much noise about a lawsuit and replacement of the entire fuel delivery system from the tank forward to fix the car, which I sold not long after. That was my last Honda. The '87 Jetta that replaced it was, believe it or not, a much more reliable car.

    • JMII JMII on Jan 18, 2010

      WOW my Florida based '85 Civic S 1500 Hatchback was the BEST car I've owned to date! 160K of trouble free miles during which I abused the thing to death using it as a delivery vehicle for a printing company and then as rolling rock concert by installing a massive audio system. I gave some info on it in the original post with the spray paint can CR-X. If I remember correctly the S hatchback came in three two-tone colors: red, dark grey and white, all with a light grey bottom & black interior. The only difference between the '84 and (I believe) the '86 version was the headlights were changed to a more aerodynamic design before the complete redesign of the entire line up. The DX model had only a single side mirror and folding seats while the S and Si had the split folding rear seats. The step up to the "racy" Si got you fuel injection, while the S had 1500 CCs (like a motorcycle), the bottom line DX was 1200 CCs. All of this based on my memory so I could be wrong. I was in high school at the time and LOVED those little Civics. My younger brother had a blue DX and I had the red S, later on my brother got a '89 CR-X Si in red and I switched up to a yellow '89 Prelude Si. My wife would join the Honda party later with a '94 Civic EX. So to me '84 - '94 was the time period when Civics were at their prime.

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Jan 18, 2010

    When my parents were first car-shopping, the vehicle they wanted was a Civic Wagovan or a Tercel Wagon. What they could afford, after my (GM employed) grandfather's badgering and the use of his GM employee discount, was a Chevrolet Citation. For six weeks, at which point it actually dropped most of it's mechanicals and all it's life's blood through the floor. My parents eventually ended up buying a Corolla a few years later because although Honda's products were pretty good, it's dealer body during this period ranged from "arrogant" to "corrupt".

  • What an period of time! I remember the little CRX and what a car. You could rev this mighty machine to 8000 and at this piont the car would virtually take off!

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Jan 18, 2010

    What's up with first picture of the four? It looks like someone made a pewter Christmas Tree ornament of a CR-X and superimposed it over a photo of a house. I thought a monocrhome treatment ended with the tires and the windows.