ANY teenager growing up in the 80s and 90s needed a number of key components to be seen as cool.
An ability to smoke like a Spaniard, a haircut that involved short back and sides, an unquenching appetite for cider and a Honda Civic.
It helped that you had a car of any kind, but in those days the Civic was more than just a statement for any teenage boy who wanted to be cool.
I was neither a cool kid, nor did I have a Honda Civic.
I was, however, very fussy about whom I travelled with and what sort of car I travelled in so I did the next best thing: I had a friend who was both cool and had a Honda Civic.
The friend was called Pecker – yes, I know, a crude handle – and his Honda Civic was a Japanese import which was an utter magnet for all the really cool kids and the hot girls.
Me and Pecker and another couple of reprobates drove up and down the country in this dream machine believing that we were just about on the cusp of teenage greatness.
The Civic was white, and it wasn't ruined by crude spoilers, nor bumper stickers which questioned the sexual preferences of anyone who happened to be travelling behind us.
We would crack up whenever we went over a certain speed and the car would start beeping like a microwave, a Japanese device to keep the Ito and his mates in line, back in the land of the Rising Sun.
This particular Civic spent most of its weekends in nightclub carparks around Kildare and Dublin with me usually standing outside it, waiting patiently for Pecker to hammer home his unique personality on whichever lucky girl happened across his horizon.
When it wasn't used as a chariot to take girls to discos, it was parked up at football matches and was used as a changing room and pub transport after the game.
Yes, the Honda Civic and me went way back, but as sad as it may seem, this car, which I didn't actually own, was my favourite first auto – and it was cool.
This was during the last big recession, and before the Celtic Tiger cubs got all togged out in their MPV and Mummy's Mercs, but the point is that Civics have always been cool.
And when I picked up the latest model for my week of reminiscing on past glories, I couldn't help but hark how utterly fabulous the car has evolved.
And it may now look completely different from the first and second generation models, but it still carries that air of sleek sportiness, albeit with a bit more sophistication thrown in.
The great thing about driving any Honda nowadays is that feeling of quality once you are sitting behind the wheel.
The dash dazzles with blue illuminated features, the shape and style of the dashboard carries the sleekness of the affair inside the car.
There are plenty of good looking features, from the trims to the seats to the steeringwheel, which just set the heart aflutter in teenage crush mode.
My one was the 1.6 i-DTEC ES and contains more bells and whistles than an Ibiza rave.
Everything from the rain-sensing wipers, to dusk-sensing headlights, to so-called Magic Seats, thrills your senses – you are driving a highly sophisticated piece of engineering.
Most importantly was the performance, though, and this was a deceptive little mover, with a raw and aggressive take-off that belied the mid-sized engine on board.
This is a Honda and it is a quality car, but the surprising thing for me is that you can get one for just over 20 grand.
It goes right up to just over €30k and that is for a 2.2 litre version.
So if the nice people from Honda are reading this, 'please, can I have a go in that one too?'
The Honda Civic will cost you from €21,895.