A conversation I had earlier with a friend:
“A wagon? Are you really going to talk about a wagon?”
“Yes, I’m going to talk about a wagon and there’s nothing stopping me from doing so”.
“Because I like this wagon.”
And that’s why you’re reading this article.
This is one of those vehicles you’ve never heard of before (but if you have; I already like you) and it’s just stupidly cool. I mean, the 4th Generation civic was already good on it’s own, there was no need for this, but Honda did it anyway, because it’s Honda. Now before I talk about the cool stuff you can do with your 4-Wheel-Drive Honda Shuttle, let’s talk more about It’s origins.
The Shuttle was based off the 2nd generation Civic’s EF chassis .This version had two variants available to purchase; the FWD and the RT4WD. The first model featured a 1.5L SOHC D15B2 engine with a 5-speed manual gearbox (or a 4-speed AT, if you dont like driving). But this isn’t the variant we’re going to focus on, because this one is an actual boring wagon.
Now to the real deal here, the Real-Time 4WD, it featured a 1.6L SOHC D16A6 with multi-point injection, which gave the Shuttle around 110 Bhp with 136 Nm of torque while weighting a little over a tonne. It had a max speed of 180 km/h (111 mph) and a 0-100 acceleration of just 10 seconds!, of course, this looks like a pretty lame number but remember this is a wagon, not a sports car.
Suspension wise, the wagon was almost identical to the EF chassis and featured front ventilated disc brakes and -pretty standard- rear drum brakes.
The car is also pretty cheap, a clean one will cost you around $3,900 dollars and the car is also very cheap to maintain, it just sticks brilliantly to the “Polyvalency” that is so characteristic of Honda in a lots of their cars. So, why is that? Well, let me show you some of the things you can do with a 1 ton, 4WD, 1.6 D16A6 and 110 bhp fun-wagon.
1. Go autocrossing.
A perfect car for Auto-X has to be a light, powerful and good handling. The shuttle meets all of these requirements apart from weight, which can be taken care of and power-wise, well, you can always turbo!
2. Go rallying… on your own.
Sure this sounds like a joke, but the Civic Shuttle is actually rather good for off-road racing. Thanks to it’s RT4WD which delivers the most available power to the wheel with the most traction, you’ll be crowned as the new drift king in town (with a drift wagon).
3. Get some sick air in your Civic Shuttle.
If running stock suspension, you want to make sure your mouth is closed before jumping, unless you want your tongue getting chopped off.
4. Take the family to some reasonable skiing resort in a reasonable wagon.
Please do not attempt to mix activity number 2 while getting to the resort. We know some sick snowy twisties are cool, but think about your family.
I dont get why you would lower your wagon, but if you’re going to do it, be reasonable… too much stance is going to render your car useless (unless you’re using hydropneumatic suspension, then it’s fine.)
6. Make it a battle-wagon.
Now, what’s not fun about fitting your wagon with larger wheels, higher suspension, a huge roof rack, a snorkel, and feel like you’re in Mad Max? Get ready to feel like you’re going on an expedition every time you drive it, even if it’s just to the supermarket.
In my opinion, the Civic Shuttle is a fantastical-brilliant-excellently-reasonable and fun wagon, if you ever get the chance to buy one, read this article a hundred times before taking a decision, because for the money, this is a serious competitor against all other reasonable cars.