Is The Honda Civic Front Wheel Drive? The Ultimate Answer

Is the Honda Civic front wheel drive? You should clarify this matter before buying. Or if you’ve already had one, understanding your car’s drivetrain is also important.

We all know there are differences between FWD (front-wheel drive) and RWD (rear-wheel drive). Both types have their own pros and cons, affecting your driving experience.

This article will discuss if your 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2012 Honda Civic front wheel drive or not and how to convert between the two drivetrains. Let’s scroll down for more!

How Many Types Of Honda Civics Are There? 

honda civic front wheel drive
Types Of Honda Civics

There are five types of Honda Civics: Civic Sedan, Civic Coupe, Civic Hatchback, Civic Si Sedan, and Civic Type R. The last two are the most high-performance.

All come with good engine power, a cool exterior style, excellent interior with standard features and assistance features, and various choices of colors.

For example, my Sedan model is designed with modern Civic alloy wheels and black wheel lug nuts. Civic Type R,  meanwhile, is formed based on the hatchback version.

These five-seat cars meet the needs of a wide spectrum of drivers.

The first make of the series came into the market in 1972. It’s built to compete with other subcompact cars such as Toyota Corolla or Volkswagen Beetle.

Initially, in 1973, the brand introduced it with two-door and four-door compact sedans and a hatchback option.

Over the years, Honda made changes to the models, making them become popular mid-size cars by the mid-1990s.

In the past years, Civics were available in compressed natural gas and hybrid powertrains. But now, they only come with a gas engine option.

Civics are fuel-efficient, reliable, and affordable, making them stand out and become one of the most popular choices among car shoppers.

Is Honda Civic Front Wheel Drive?

The Honda Civic Si is front-wheel-drive, and so are other members of the Civic family.

Though the series is agile and high-performance, the manufacturer still hasn’t made it rear-wheel-drive. All-wheel-drive systems are available in other models of the brand.

What Is Front Wheel Drive?

The front wheel drive Honda Civic means that the drive wheels of the model are in the front.

The engine only sends power to the car’s front wheels; then, these wheels will be in charge of pulling the whole vehicle, as the rear wheels don’t receive any power on their own.

FWD is popular since it obtains high performance and simplicity. This type of system is usually built in small compact cars such as Honda Civic and other family cars.

Sometimes, I can see it in some sports cars as well.

How Is Front Wheel Drive Different From Rear Wheel Drive?

What Is Rear Wheel Drive?

Contrary to FWD, RWD indicates that the engine only sends the power to the rear wheels in this drivetrain to push the vehicle forward.

The front ones are free to maneuver as they receive no power.

In general, the technical system of RWD is more complicated. You can see RWD available in muscle cars such as SUVs or trucks or sports cars such as Camaro or Corvette.

What Are The Differences?

The main difference between FWD and RWD is with the former drivetrain, the front wheels move the car, while with the latter, the rear tires do the job.

FWD cars are usually lighter and can come with more cabs. Meanwhile, the RWD system is more balanced, has better handling, and can levitate. Plus, I find it easier to tow a rear-wheel drive car.

Depending on the purpose of use, you can choose the one that fits you. FWD is an ideal choice for city streets.

But I usually travel on different terrains, so RWD vehicles are more suitable for me for their maneuverability.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Front Wheel Drive?


Many drivers prefer the Honda Civic front wheel drive since it offers various benefits.

The first and main one is fuel economy. The front wheels receive power from the engine to pull the car, allowing the vehicle easier to move forward more than the RWD system.

Plus, the FWD system is lightweight. As a result, I could have better gas mileage and less carbon dioxide emission.

The next great thing about the 2005 Honda Civic front wheel drive is it can maintain better traction than the RWD.

I have experienced and concluded that Honda Civics are good in the snow and rain.

It’s because the engine’s weight is located over the front axle, providing stable controllability. With the FWD system, I didn’t feel so challenged while driving the car.

In addition, compared to the other drivetrain, FWD is less complicated, requires a more simple making process and low maintenance.

Its location in the front of the vehicle also allows more space for interior passengers and cargo.

In terms of towing, people prefer tow vehicles to be FWD because of the weight distribution.

The weight is balanced over the front driving wheels, making it ideal for towing, especially when climbing steep inclines.

Compared to all-wheel-drive vehicles, the FWD ones have better towing capacity.


Honda Civics are front wheel drive, giving their drivers many advantages. However, they still have some drawbacks that you should pay attention to.

The first drawback is I feel hard to control when I speed up strongly.

It means the front wheels receive unequal power distribution under heavy acceleration, leading the vehicle to lean on one side. It’s called torque steer.

Next, in FWD vehicles, the front wheels usually have smaller turning spaces than the RWD. It’s because the drivetrain equipment is designed in the bonnet, reducing the turning radius.

One more disadvantage is the front wheels tend to be worn faster than the rear ones due to the drivetrain system and the engine’s extra weight placed on them.

How To Convert To Rear Wheel Drive?

2005 honda civic front wheel drive
Way To Change To Rear Wheel Drive

Is It Possible? 


A 2005 Honda Civic is front wheel drive, yet it’s possible to convert it to a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. The entire drivetrain system will be changed from FWD to RWD during this process.

The purpose of converting is to boost your engine’s power, yet it requires excellent mechanics, professional skills, a lot of time, and of course, a costly fee of around $25,000.

Remember that undesirable results can happen, such as wheel spinning, if the drive shaft is not fabricated correctly.

Converting Guideline

Honda Civic is front wheel drive.

Before conducting the conversion, keep in mind that once you make any change against the intended direction that the manufacturer wants to guide you, it will take a lot of time and work and require you to come across many obstacles.

You may need to adjust the transmission, suspension, and frame and even relocate the engine to the back during the shifting from FWD to RWD.

It’s highly recommended to leave the job for the professionals. But if you want to get an outline picture of what happens in the procedure, scroll down to the section below!

What To Prepare?

  • Transmission
  • Engine
  • Differential
  • Suspension system
  • Exhaust system
  • Subframe 

How To Convert?

Step 1. Build up a thorough plan

The converting job is not simple, and you have to build a plan to tackle the project carefully.

You must figure out where to conduct the plan, and outline what necessary tools and materials you need, such as which suspension and transmission to install, what kind of rear axle to use, etc.

Step 2. Strip down the entire interior of the car

First, remove the hardware, seats, carpeting, etc., to strip down your car to the bare body. Approach the transmission tub, disconnect, and release it from the frame.

At this stage, everything should be removed to install the new transmission except for the dashboard.

Step 3. Proceed with customization of the frame

Since your Honda Civic is front wheel drive, meaning it’s not designed for rear-wheel-drive configuration, thus, you should customize the frame.

The frame has a lot of areas requiring weld or cutting to fit the upgraded parts and configurations you want.

Besides, your chassis must also be cut to fit the new drivetrain and other components.

Your new engine configuration will decide whether you need to rework the shock towers and suspension geometry.

Step 4. Install new components and mount the new engine

After preparing your vehicle for a few days or weeks, you can start installing the RWD-configuration-fit engine.

Once you place the engine and transmission, weld, bolt in, and connect other components. Replace the fluid and hook up the electrical systems.

Step 5. Make sure all details are properly placed and secured

Double-checking the build, including major components such as the transmission, engine, and suspension, and small details like bolts, hose, and nuts, is compulsory.

Ensure they’re all assembled and installed correctly, as the wrong fluid level or one loose hose clamp can ruin all the procedures and lead to costly damage to expensive components.


is a 2005 honda civic front wheel drive
Question of Honda Civic

Can You Drift In A FWD?

Yes, it’s technically possible to drift a FWD car due to speed, timing, and technique. Still, having more power to get to a higher speed is better.

And always remember to run it with caution for your safety.

Has The Honda Civic Always Been Front-wheel Drive?

No. Most Honda Civics are known as front-wheel-drive vehicles, except for the first generation in 1972, which is available in both FWD and RWD.

Since the second generation was produced in 1983, the brand only goes for FWD as the standard drive configuration for the model.

Yet, a few special editions come in all-wheel-drive, such as the Civic Type R, but they are not the standard option.

How To Know If Your Car Is Front Wheel Drive?

There are ways to know if your Honda Civic is front or rear-wheel drive. The easiest one is to look for the information in your owner manual under the section Specification.

Another method is to search on the Internet. Visit Honda’s official page, and input your model and manufacturing year; it will display data about your drivetrain.

I also look at the engine’s position to tell if my 2006 and 2012 Honda Civic are front or rear-wheel drive.

If your car is a transverse design, in which the engine’s drive belts face the side of the automobile, it means only the front wheels receive power; thus, it’s FWD and vice versa.

The last option I used is to crawl under your car and inspect the axial shaft of your vehicle. In FWD, it will be between the front wheels.

The Bottom Lines

Is the Honda Civic front wheel drive? The question should not bother you anymore after this article.

The popular FWD Civics have always been an ideal choice thanks to their fuel efficiency, reliability, and affordability.

It’s also preferable for car enthusiasts who love tuning, as the aftermarket parts are available.

If you want to convert to RWD, let the professional mechanics do it as it’s not a job that an amateur can do.

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