The Honda Civic is a notable car in the history of motoring as it was one of the first Japanese cars to make an impact on the US market. It was in the first in the wave of imports that over the next 40 years lead to the near collapse of the US motor industry.
The Civic's small size and efficent engine made it a novelty in a market dominated by large, big-engined family cars, but also pointed the way forward as people began to worry for the first time about both pollution and the price and availability of oil. Its CVCC engine meant that it met new emissions standards and could use unleaded fuel without the need for a catalytic converter.
As the oil reserves that power the internal combustion engines of the world's cars continue to fall, fuel efficency has become a focus of automobile design. Hybrid and electic cars appear to be the future of motoring, but the Honda Civic is interesting early example of how cars began the move from gas-guzzling engines to more frugal forms of power consumption.