Are Honda Civics Front Wheel Drive: (Reviews and Answered)

Are Honda Civics Front Wheel Drive – Honda is a well-known automotive brand worldwide, and their cars are popular among drivers for their durability, reliability, and performance.

The Honda Civic is one of the company’s most successful models, having been in production since 1972. As with any popular vehicle, many questions arise about its specifications and features.

One such question is, “Are Honda Civics front-wheel drive?” In this article, we will delve into this topic and explore the history, design, and performance of the Honda Civic’s drivetrain.

What is Front-Wheel Drive?

are honda civics front wheel drive

Before we dive into the specifics of the Honda Civic’s drivetrain, let’s first understand what front-wheel drive means.

In simple terms, front-wheel drive (FWD) is a drivetrain configuration where the engine’s power is sent to the front wheels of the car.

This is in contrast to rear-wheel drive (RWD), where the engine’s power is sent to the rear wheels of the vehicle.

The vast majority of cars on the road today use either FWD or RWD, with FWD being the more popular choice for passenger vehicles due to its more economical and practical design.

The History of Honda Civics

are honda civics front wheel drive

The Honda Civic was first introduced in 1972 as a subcompact car designed to compete with other small cars like the Volkswagen Beetle and the Toyota Corolla.

It was initially available as a two-door or four-door sedan, with a hatchback option introduced in 1973.

Over the years, the Honda Civic evolved and grew in size and popularity, becoming a mid-size car by the mid-1990s.

Throughout its history, the Honda Civic has been praised for its reliability, fuel efficiency, and affordability.

It has also been a popular choice for tuners and car enthusiasts, with many modifications and aftermarket parts available to improve its performance and aesthetics.

The Honda Civic’s Drivetrain

Now, let’s get to the question at hand. Are Honda Civics front-wheel drives? The answer is yes, the vast majority of Honda Civics are front-wheel drive. In fact, all Civics produced after 1983 have been exclusively front-wheel drive.

Honda introduced the first generation of the Civic in 1972, and it was initially available with both FWD and RWD configurations.

However, the second generation of the Civic, which was introduced in 1980, was only available with FWD.

This marked a significant shift in the design and engineering of the Honda Civic, as FWD became the standard drivetrain configuration for the model.

Since 1983, every generation of the Honda Civic has been front-wheel drive. The current 11th generation of the Civic, which was introduced in 2021, is also exclusively FWD.

While there have been a few special editions of the Civic that have been produced with all-wheel drive (AWD), such as the Civic Type R, these are rare and not available as standard options for the model.

Related: Honda Civic Years to Avoid [Detailed List]

Why Front-Wheel Drive?

are honda civics front wheel drive

Now that we know that Honda Civics are front-wheel drives, let’s explore why Honda chose this drivetrain configuration for the model.

There are several reasons why FWD is a popular choice for passenger vehicles and Honda Civics in particular.

Firstly, FWD is more economical than RWD. Because the engine’s power is sent directly to the front wheels, there is less energy lost in transmission and friction, resulting in better fuel efficiency.

FWD also allows for a lighter and more compact drivetrain system, which can reduce the overall weight of the car and improve handling and acceleration.

Secondly, FWD is more practical for everyday driving. Because the weight of the engine is over the front wheels, FWD cars have better traction and stability in slippery or wet conditions.

This makes FWD cars more predictable and easier to control, especially for inexperienced drivers.

FWD cars also tend to have better interior space utilization, as the drivetrain system takes up less room under the hood compared to RWD vehicles.

Thirdly, FWD is generally less expensive to manufacture than RWD. The simpler design of the FWD system means fewer parts are required, resulting in lower production costs.

These cost savings can be passed on to consumers, making FWD cars more affordable and accessible.

Finally, FWD is also more environmentally friendly than RWD. Because FWD cars are generally lighter and more fuel-efficient, they produce fewer emissions and consume less fuel.

As concerns about climate change and environmental sustainability continue to grow, FWD drivetrains are becoming more popular among automakers and consumers alike.

Performance of Front-Wheel Drive Honda Civics

are honda civics front wheel drive

While FWD has many advantages, it is often criticized for its lack of performance compared to RWD. RWD cars are typically better suited for high-performance driving due to their better weight distribution and handling characteristics.

However, Honda has managed to overcome some of these challenges with their FWD Civic models, making them popular among car enthusiasts and amateur racers.

One of the ways Honda has improved the performance of their FWD Civics is through the use of independent rear suspension (IRS).

Most FWD cars use a less advanced torsion beam rear suspension, which can limit their handling and performance.

Honda’s use of IRS in their Civics allows for better weight distribution and handling, making them more agile and responsive on the road.

Another key factor in the performance of FWD Civics is the engine configuration. Honda is known for their high-revving, naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines, which produce impressive power and torque for their size.

In addition, Honda has also produced several turbocharged engines for their Civic models, such as the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine found in the current Civic Si and Type R models.

These engines provide even more power and performance, making them a popular choice among car enthusiasts.


In conclusion, Honda Civics are front-wheel drive and have been since 1983. While FWD has its advantages and disadvantages compared to RWD, Honda has managed to overcome many of the challenges associated with FWD drivetrains, making their Civics popular among drivers and car enthusiasts alike.

Honda’s use of independent rear suspension and high-performance engines has helped to improve the handling and performance of their FWD Civics, making them a popular choice for those looking for a practical yet sporty car.

Additionally, the more economical and practical design of FWD drivetrains makes them an attractive choice for everyday driving, making Honda Civics a popular choice among consumers.

So, if you’re considering purchasing a Honda Civic and were wondering if they are front-wheel drive, the answer is yes.

But, as we’ve explored in this article, FWD isn’t necessarily a bad thing and can offer many benefits, especially when it comes to practicality and affordability.

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