How to Tell What Model Honda Civic I Have

How to Tell What Model Honda Civic I Have

Honda has been reeling out different models of Civics since 1972. The different generations and models vary greatly in body style and trim level. However, some are very similar so it’s hard to quickly know what model Honda Civic you have.

But don’t worry because there are some relatively simple ways of knowing what model Honda you have.

Where can you look to find out the model of Civic you have? To find out which Civic model you have, check the rear exterior of your car. At the rear of your Civic, you should have one logo for the make and another for the model. Alternatively, check your owner’s manual, vehicle registration documents, or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Finding out which Civic model you have is not as daunting task as you might think. In this article, I will simplify and explain how you can tell your Civic’s model no matter which generation and year. 

You will also learn more about the Honda Civic’s body styles, trim levels, and how to decode your Civic’s VIN. Finally, I will provide answers to some related questions.

How can you tell the Honda Civic model you have?

Every Honda Civic has a model name. You can tell which Civic model you have by checking any of the following places: 

1. The rear of your Civic

Checking the back of your car is one of the simplest ways to determine the model of Civic you own. Most car manufacturers engrave the model name on one end, and the car make logo on the other.

Typically, you should find your model badge on the right side of your trunk.

They don’t always remain there though… 

what Honda Civic do I have
This is a 2007 Honda Civic 1.8 i-VTEC SE.

2. Your owner’s manual

You may not find your Civic’s manual exciting to read, but it is stocked up with valuable information you need for your car.

The Honda Civic model’s name should be printed on the cover page of your Civic’s manual. Otherwise, you would find it within the first few pages of the manual. 

3. Your Registration documents

The title or registration document of your Civic will have the make and model displayed on it. Also, you can look up the model of your Civic on various websites using your registration number. 

4. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Using your Civic’s VIN is one of the best ways to look up information about your car, including its model and trim level. Your Civic’s VIN is a unique 17-digit code made up of letters and numbers. 

The most obvious places to find your VIN are:

  • On the driver’s side dashboard, close to the bottom of the windshield. The VIN is written on a metal plate attached to the top of the dashboard.
  • On the driver’s side door frame. Close to where it clamps to the car’s body.
  • Under the hood (here’s how to open).
  • On your vehicle’s title or registration document.

Once you’ve located your VIN, input it into any credible VIN decoder tool online to know your Civic’s model. Beyond providing information about your car’s model, your VIN can be used to trace the history of the car, track theft cases, warranty claims, insurance coverage, and so on.

There are several online options that will give full vehicle information based on your VIN. Some of the best ones include CarFaxAutoCheckCarVerticalVinDecoderz, and VehicleHistory.

How to decode your Civic’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

In 1981, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration introduced the 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to identify and track vehicles.

Since then, all auto manufacturers, including Honda, have inscribed on each vehicle it owns a unique VIN.

Each letter of the 17-digit that makes up the VIN represents vital information about your car. Every Honda VIN is categorized into three sections:

1. World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI):

The WMI consists of the first three letters of your Vehicle Identification Number. It includes details of the vehicle’s county of origin, manufacturer, and the vehicle type or manufacturing division.

2. Vehicle Description Section (VDS):

The VDS consists of the fourth to ninth digits of your VIN. They include information that describes your car—for example, the body style, model, etc.

3. Vehicle Identification Section (VIS):

The VIS section comprises the year of production, the manufacturing plant for assembly, and the production sequence numbers.

Below is a typical example of what your Civic’s VIN will look like:

honda vin number

Decoding the VIN above, here’s what each character represents.

  • 2: The Country of manufacture
  • H: The manufacturer (Honda)
  • 8: Vehicle type
  • B, G, 4, W, and 2: Car features such as model, body type, engine code, transmission, etc.
  • 7: The Security check number, also used in detecting invalid VINs
  • N: Model year
  • L: Assembly plant
  • 003562: Production or serial number.

FAQs on Honda Civic models and knowing the differences

What is the base model of the Honda Civic?

The LX trim is the base model of Civic’s lineup. This means they only come with basic features and are not as equipped as other Civics in the higher trims.

What is the difference between body styles and trim levels?

Although they are often used interchangeably, body style and trim level differ. The body style informs a vehicle’s general shape and size. Common body styles include sedan, hatchback, coupe, SUV, pickup truck, etc.

They further indicate the number of doors and mechanical configuration, such as engine specs, drivetrain, and transmission. A car’s body style is one of its most distinctive features as it significantly influences how it should be used.

A trim level describes the several versions of a car’s model with unique or special features. Higher trim levels either enhance the base model’s features or change them entirely.

Your trim level affects your vehicle’s transmission, interior features, technology, engine type, and safety options. Popular Civic trim levels include LX, EX, EX-L, Sports, Touring, etc.

Is the Honda Civic Si a body style or a trim?

Honda’s Civic Si is a sport compact trim designed with performance in mind. The Civic Si’s sporty driving experience is enhanced by its sharp handling, responsive steering, and swift six-speed manual transmission.

What is the difference between Honda Civic’s LX and EX trims?

Another way you can tell what model Honda Civic you have is to understand the visual differences.

The major difference between the Civic EX and LX trim levels is in the powertrains. The LX trim is Civic’s standard base model, and the EX is its premium model.

While the Civic LX offers a wide array of comfort, convenience, and tech features, the EX trim offers more to keep you entertained and connected.

Regarding efficiency and acceleration, the EX trim beats the LX trim. For example, the 2021 Honda Civic comes equipped with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine generating 158 horsepower, while the EX has a turbo engine with a 1.5L displacement, which generates 174 horsepower.

The EX trim also offers a better fuel efficiency, estimated at 32mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. This is against the LX’s 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. It should perform even better with ECON mode on.

Also, while both Civics are affordable, the EX trims come slightly pricey than the LX.


Knowing your Civic model is vital if you plan to resell, shop for auto insurance, track if stolen, or even purchase a similar model.

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