The Honda Civic is both loved and hated at the same time in the car community. This was the first car that got many enthusiasts into the hobby of modifying cars, and as a result many have a soft spot in their hearts for it.
However, if you do end up running into a modified Civic on the road – which are most Civics by the way – the chances are that they will want to race you. This is why the car also gets a bad rep.
Civics are normally owned by young car enthusiasts, which explains why they want to race anything that moves. And if you do end up racing one, they can quite often even win against your much more expensive sports cars.
The feeling of owning your very first car is almost unparalleled. To an enthusiast, it is the first stepping stone into a very fulfilling hobby. This is where the EK Civics come in, particularly the EK3.
You don't really need to break the bank to own an EK3, even in Bangladesh where you end up paying more than four to eight times its original price.
These cars are only available in the pre-owned markets, and it is almost impossible to find one that is bone stock. They normally come with three different engine configurations in the Bangladeshi used car markets – D15Z4, D15B 3-Stage V-Tec and K20A i-Vtec – with horsepower ranging from 150-180 BHP. They also only come with a FWD drivetrain.
On paper an EK Civic is nothing to write home about. But where they lack in raw power, they make up for it in weight. These cars are ridiculously light! And they are incredibly easy to upgrade. So even if your car only has about 150 BHP, it will end up being a lot more zippy than you initially realise.
To an enthusiast, and a first-time owner, a car not only needs to be fun, but it also needs to serve your needs as a daily driver. It can't be too expensive, and must have a good aftermarket support which lets you experiment with various upgrades. It is very easy to recommend the Honda Civic EK3, particularly because it easily checks all of these boxes.
Having owned a Civic EK3 for the past seven years, the first thing that comes to mind is how reliable and practical the car actually is. First of all, it comes with four seats, which plenty of other JDM tuners don't. As long as you're not constantly engaging V-Tec, it also gets about 7-8 km per litre of octane in the city, and 12 km on long trips. The car also comes with all the bells and whistles you need for a daily driver such as a central locking system, air conditioning, power steering, etc. The price can range from four to eight lakhs, depending on the condition it is in.
Practicality, however, isn't everything. The Honda Civic EK3 has a very comfortable and engaging driving experience. It comes with a smooth manual transmission, with a very soft hydraulic clutch. The throttle response also demands your respect if you don't want to kill anyone who might be in front of you. The car is instantly playful, from the very first gear, and engaging the V-Tec at 4,000 RPMs just ups the ante. On a good launch, the car can reach from zero to 100 km/h in about six to seven seconds. It sits low to the ground, which gives it great stability, and is very easy to corner because of its front heavy FWD configuration. Overall, it is just a fun car to drive that gets you wherever you need to go.
Despite the compact nature of the EK Civic, the car comes with a deceptively big engine bay, which opens up the world of installing much bigger motors, faster transmissions, and even turbocharging your vehicle.
However, if you're only looking for big power, this really is not the car for you. Because of the FWD drivetrain, tuning the car for more than 200-250 BHP turns this into an absolute death trap. Torque steer is very real for all FWD cars, and unless you know exactly what you're doing, this can become very dangerous not only for you but for anyone in your vicinity.
So, if you're into cars and in the market for an affordable fun ride, for a first-time owner, there are not many vehicles out there that do it better than the EK Civic. The car is built in a way which can seduce almost anyone into the hobby and it can teach you about what it truly means to tune a ride. The Honda Civic Ek3 is a car worthy of being your trusted companion for many years, especially before you move on to RWD vehicles with bigger motors and a lot more power.