1 Oct 2000
For the first time since 1979 Honda offered a Civic five-door hatchback.
Dubbed Vi, it featured a space efficient mono-box design and dash-sited gear lever, resulting in outstanding room for five passengers.
Power came courtesy of a revvy low-emission 96kW/155Nm 1.7-litre VTEC four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox.
It, along with the far more prosaic 88kW/150Nm 1.7-litre Civic GLi sedan, eschewed the model’s trademark multi-link front suspension for conventional struts – but handling, roadholding and ride properties in the Vi hatch were better than in any previous Civic.
But high prices stymied much sales growth, while the very-MPV like feel put off more traditional Civic buyers.
ABS anti-lock brakes became standard from early 2002, after an appearance in the limited edition VTi from May to July ’01.
Other specials included the body-kitted Indy hatch (October ’01) and LE sedan (October ’03).
The GLi sedan, sourced from Thailand, continued on with a minor facelift in early 2004, but the Japan-sourced Vi hatch underwent a more substantial makeover in October 2003.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
11th of May 2001
Honda 2000 Civic GLi sedan
Honda's 2000 Civic sedan was as conservative as its hatch sibling was progressive
3rd of May 2001
Civic-minded vote for ABS and alloys
Honda has introduced a value-added version of its five-door Civic hatchback
When it was new