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Honda’s Film About a Family’s Old Civic Will Make You Cry

Chop some onions while you watch this touching tribute to the fourth-gen Honda DX hatchback.

There are few models that evoke the humble can-do spirit of an old Honda like the fourth-generation Civic. Those clean exterior lines, that spartan yet functional interior, and of course the buzzy inline-four with its fuel-sipping ways all combined in an economy car that seemed to transcend the very purpose for which it was designed. And just in time for all the nineties children who logged time in the backseat of one to grow up and acquire some purchasing power of their own, Honda has come out with two and a half minutes of pure nostalgia that’s sure to have you grabbing for your Game Boy. And some tissues.

It’s technically an ad for the new CR-V, but the red Civic is clearly the star of the show here. The short movie, aptly titled “You Are the One,” depicts a family living in the San Francisco area and tracks a relationship that’s familiar to a lot of us – that between a child and the first family car they come to know and love. From the earliest car seat road trips to stuffed animal parties to tagging along at the mechanic with a Band-Aid at the ready, the little girl’s bond with the car is a reflection of the lifetime of memories that can accumulate in a simple machine.

Full disclosure—I am exactly the kind of sucker this ad was designed to impact. When my wife and I got married, I convinced my father-in-law to pass along the rust-free K5 Blazer that served that role in her childhood—her name is still scrawled in gel pen on the back seat armrest—with the promise of a full restoration. None of us could bear the thought of it ending up with a stranger. So yeah, consider myself targeted here. 

But time marches on, and with a third kid on the way the family must part ways with their old Civic (enter the new CR-V). After one last wash, it’s time to say goodbye. But as the video shows, the little girl won’t give up that easily.