In 1973, the Honda Civic was 139 inches long -- smaller than the modern Mini Cooper -- and weighed about 1,500 pounds. It was powered by a tiny four-cylinder engine that developed 50 horsepower. In the way of luxuries, it offered an AM radio.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) didn’t crash-test a Civic until 1979, when it earned one star on the agency’s five-star scale.
Four decades later, the Civic has entered its ninth generation. It is 3 feet longer and twice as heavy as those first models; can be powered by gasoline, natural gas or electricity; and has airbags, stability control and antilock brakes. It is among the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Picks and a perennial best-seller in the U.S. marketplace.
The only thing the 1973 Civic and today’s model have in common is four wheels. One was a college-student special; the other is a sophisticated family car. Direct comparison is impossible.
2012 Honda Civic crash-test video
Compare insurance rates on Honda vehicles
Below we’ve gathered some comparison rates for the new Civic and its competitors, for new Civic models, and for recent model years. Even if you drive the same kind of car we used in the sample rates, you may drive more miles, have better credit, or live in a less risky area. Those factors can change rates dramatically, as can the insurance company involved.
We typically see quotes for the same driver differing by hundreds or even thousands of dollars from company to company. (See “Pocket $1,102 just by shopping around.”)
The only way to know for sure is to get a quote -- or get several at once, as you can with online quote-comparison engines. (Learn how to compare rates.)