While the 2022 Civic definitely looks enticing, some might argue the Honda compact car is missing something. Although it was never really in the cards, the new Civic doesn’t have all-wheel drive. And to be fair, considering how good the FWD Type R is, AWD isn’t strictly necessary. However, for those who want it, know that once upon a time, there was an AWD Civic. And this week, there’s one for sale on Bring a Trailer: a 1991 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon.
Yes, there was an AWD Honda Civic: the 1987-1991 Civic 4WD Wagon
For the sake of clarity, the ‘4WD’ in ‘Honda Civic 4WD’ doesn’t actually mean four-wheel drive. Honda called its AWD system ‘RealTime4WD,’ usually shortened to ‘RT4WD.’ And on the third-gen Civic, it debuted on the 1984 wagon model, which was called ‘Wagovan’ in the US and ‘Shuttle’ elsewhere, TTAC explains. But because Honda later dropped ‘Wagovan’ for ‘Wagon,’ we’ll just stick to ‘Civic 4WD Wagon’ for brevity.
Initially, the AWD system in the Honda Civic 4WD was a part-time push-button design. But in 1987, at the end of the third-gen model’s run, it became a full-time system with a viscous-coupling center differential, TFLCar reports. Crossovers use this same kind of setup today, but back in the late ‘80s, this was supercar stuff, Road & Track reports. As in, Nissan Skyline GT-R and Porsche 959 stuff.
Speaking of the Porsche 959, the fourth-gen Honda Civic 4WD Wagon has something else in common besides AWD. Although a four-speed automatic transmission was available, Honda also offered the wagon with a six-speed manual. And just like on the 959, below 1st gear is an ultra-low gear designed for low-grip scenarios, Honda-Tech reports.
Besides AWD, the Honda Civic 4WD Wagon also rides slightly higher and has reinforced suspension and beefier bumpers with splash guards, TFLCar and DriveTribe report. And the wagon design makes for a spacious cabin with excellent visibility, R&T reports. Plus, the rear seats can move and fold down.
The fourth-gen Honda Civic 4WD Wagon/Wagovan isn’t quick by modern standards. But it does have the same 108-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine as the contemporary CRX Si. That’s plenty for a car that weighs less than 2500 pounds, TFLCar reports.
The 1991 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon on Bring a Trailer
As it’s an early-90s car, the 1991 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon currently listed on Bring a Trailer isn’t exactly luxurious. For example, it still has hand-crank windows. But this wagon does come with a rear window wiper, a factory stereo with cassette and CD players and rear-mounted speakers, and mudflaps. Plus, it rides on Ksport adjustable coil-overs.
For its age, this 1991 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon is in excellent condition. The only real flaw is a somewhat cracked front valence undertray. But it only has 151,000 miles on the clock and a clean Carfax report.
Also, the seller notes in the Bring a Trailer listing comments that they changed the oil and oil filter and replaced the front brake pads and rotors. The seller also flushed the brake fluid and replaced one of the Ksport shocks which was leaking slightly. And, if the winning bidder wants, the seller can replace the water pump and timing belt. Also, the seller appears to be associated with RealTime Collection Hall, which races modern Hondas and Acuras and maintains vintage ones.
It’s a simple, classic US-market AWD wagon bargain
As of this writing, this 1991 Civic 4WD Wagon is listed on Bring a Trailer for $8300 with three days left in the auction. For an old Civic, that might seem a bit high. However, considering this car’s condition and rarity, that’s a decent price. Plus, the RealTime Collection Hall connection means this Wagon is well-maintained.
US-market Civic 4WD Wagons are fairly rare and don’t appear on online auctions very often. This is the first time one is listed on Bring a Trailer. So, if you’ve been looking for an AWD Civic, this could be your chance. And if you want to maximize the AWD capabilities, there are model-specific lift kits available for it, Motor1 reports.
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