Choices – (Honda JDM) Civic Holiday Special

Welcome back to Choices. An evolution of a series I wrote years ago where seemingly similar cars are pit against one another in a battle for your affection. It’s like trying to choose your favourite member of Breaker High (do you have to pick one?) Your task, if you agree to accept it, is to determine which of the four cars below belongs in each category:

  • One would be your daily driver.
  • One would become a motorsport special (and maybe enlighten us as to what motorsport).
  • One would be locked away in storage for years to come.
  • One would be tossed aside like the 2020 MLB season. 

It’s as simple as that. Have fun with the quartet below.

The Contestants

  • 1984 Honda Civic Si
  • 1990 Honda Civic SiR
  • 1992 Honda Civic SiR
  • 1998 Honda Civic Type R

Today is the Civic holiday in a few provinces and territories in Canada. So, what better way to celebrate the holiday than to have a Honda Civic themed rendition of Choices? First introduced in the 1970s, the Honda Civic has become one of the most iconic and best-known models around the world.

More than just basic family transportation, the Civic has also gained a reputation for being a budget performance car, starting in 1984 with the original Civic Si.

For this edition of Choices, we have selected four Japanese domestic market high powered Honda Civics from the 1980s and 1990s. Each car has been plucked from a specific generation starting with the aforementioned 1984 Civic Si, that received power from a 118 hp, 1.6-liter engine.

Next there is the potent 1990 Honda Civic SiR. With 158 hp on tap, the lightweight compact could surprise a lot of sports cars thanks to its nimble handling and impressive power to weight ratio. Following the same formula was the fifth-generation 1992 Honda Civic SiR – our third contestant. To round out of quartet we must include the iconic 1998 Civic Type R. This was a purpose-built hatch designed for maximum performance at all costs.

My Choices

To start, how can I not make the 1998 Civic Type R my track toy? It’s nearly there already. Just a bit more gutting of the interior, install a full cage and slap on sticky race rubber and I’ll be all set. For my daily, I am taking the 1990 Civic SiR. I like the body style of the fourth generation over the fifth generation and will put all 158 hp to use on my daily commute.

The 1984 Civic Si needs to either be in the hands of a collector or in a museum, so it is the one to be put into storage. That leaves the 1992 Civic SiR the odd car out, but don’t feel too bad, I am certain people would line up around the block to take it.

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