Beginning in 1997, Honda produced the first iteration of Civic to receive the “Type-R” appellation (applied first to the Integra Type-R), with the EK9 chassis Civic Type-R. The Civic Type-R had a maximum output in the range of 189 PS JIS (185 hp/132 kW), increased over the more common 160 PS (158 hp/118 kW) B16A engine in the SiR/VTi models, and included various alterations to the chassis to improve handling and reduce weight (such as better welding of the frame, and removal of the radio and noise-suppressing materials).
1.) Coupe – Trims available in the coupe body style were the DX, EX, HX and Si (only 1999 and 2000) (designated as the EJ6/8/7 and EM1, respectively).
2.) Hatchback – Trims available in the hatchback body style were the CX and the DX (EK4).
3.) Sedan – Trims available in the sedan body style were the DX, LX (EJ6) and EX (EJ8).
In 1999 the Civic sedan had some updates for both the interior and exterior. The car received a face lift which moved the grill forward. The rear tail lights were flipped upside-down so to speak. On the 1996 to 1998 sedans and coupes, the stop lights were on top of the reverse and turn lights, in 1999-2000 the reverse and turn lights were on top of the stop lights. Inside the center console had a makeover. The sliding air system controls were replaced by rotary ones, which created free space.
The CX was the lightest and did not have features such as a sunroof, which made it even lighter. In Canada, the EX was called the Si and the Si was called the SiR.
The CX hatchback and all DX models with a manual transmission did not have power steering. DX models with automatic transmission did have power steering standard. DX models also did not come with options such as power locks and windows, cruise control, and sunroof. LX trim (sedan only) added the power windows and locks and cruise control. EX trim added the sunroof. HX trim levels were similar to LX sedans but without cruise control.
Special Edition (SE) models were available in various North American markets. 1996 coupes could be had in a rosewood color in limited production. This color was a common color outside North America, but was fairly rare to see in US models.
Most models had a standard AM/FM radio in the center dashboard with a backlit LCD display (except CX had no radio) but a slave cassette player or CD player was available through dealer-installed options and was installed in the forward portion of the console and was hidden from view when the cupholder was open. EX models had the slave cassette player standard. Dealers also offered AM/FM cassette and AM/FM CD decks to replace the stock radio. All vehicles were equipped with four speakers, radio wiring (prep), and an antenna regardless of whether or not they had a radio.
All CX, DX, Value Package, and LX models used the D16Y7. The HX had the D16Y5 and the EX had the D16Y8. The Si used the B16A2.
Most models (DX, LX, EX, Si) were available with a standard 5-speed manual transmission with a hydraulic clutch, or an optional 4-speed automatic transmission with floor shifter and shift interlock which prohibited the transmission from shifting out of “Park” unless the brake was applied. The HX model was offered with the 5-speed manual or a CVT Continuously Variable Transmission which offered three driving ranges, D (for normal driving), S (for spirited driving with higher engine speeds), and L (to keep the engine running as high a speed as possible). The conventional 4-speed automatic was not available on the HX model.