Honda began selling the 1169 cc (70 in³) transversely mounted inline four-cylinder Civic for about US$2,200. The car produced roughly 50 hp (37 kW) and included power front disc brakes, vinyl seating, reclining bucket seats, and a woodgrain-accented dashboard. The hatchback version added a fold-down rear seat, an AM radio, and cloth upholstery. The car had front and rear independent suspension.
A four-speed manual transmission was standard. Options for the Civic were kept to a minimum, consisting of air conditioning, an automatic transmission called the Hondamatic, radial tires, and a rear wiper for the hatchback. The car could achieve 40 mpg-US (5.9 L/100 km; 48 mpg-imp) on the highway, and with a small 86.6 inch (220 cm) wheelbase and 139.8 inch (355 cm) overall length, the vehicle weighed 1,500 pounds (680 kg).
The four-door sedan version of this bodystyle was not available in the USA, and the sedan was not a hatchback until 1978, just before the introduction of the second generation. In the USA, the advertising campaign used to introduce the Civic was, "Honda, we make it simple."
Source: Wikipedia, 2011