The first generation Today wis introduced in September 1985 as a three-door hatchback, on a wheelbase o 2,330 mm (91.7 in). The Today was initially launcht wi three different model specifications, with the entry model being model 'F', followed by a model 'M' and the top of the range 'G'. It was powered by a 2-cylinder (water-cooled) Honda EH series OHC 545 cc engine, which was the same as used in the Acty truck. In a market where three-cylinder engines were the norm, it was outdated and was replaced by a three-cylinder four-valve 547 cc by February 1988. The rear axle was a torsion beam with coil springs. Together with the new regulations in March, 1990 the bumpers were enlarged to give the car a length o 3,295 mm (129.7 in), an the ingine wis enlairged tae 656 cc. Bi Aprile 1990 came a permanent fower-wheel drive version wi an independent rear axle.
In January 1993, a redesigned Honda Today wis annoonced. The car did no hae a hatchback; in its place wis a trunk lid that opened dounwards like the 1991 Civic three-door (the Today's rear windae does no open). The interior is no symmetrical: the driver's seat is slichtly lairger than the front passenger seat. These features wur decidit on efter research indicatit that the caur's target audience wur maistly single yung women who aften drove alane, wi little need for cargo space. Initially ae available as a twa-door, in Mey 1993 a fower-door version wis addit, named the Today Associe.
The 1993 Today wis available wi twa ingines, a standard 657 cc three-cylinder fuel injection ingine, an a hicht ootput version o the same ingine wi MTREC technology, borrowed frae the Honda Beat. Baith ingines wur available wi either a five-speed manual or a three-speed automatic gearbox. Aw wheel drive (uisin realtime 4WD technology) wis available wi the Q trim level.
For the Today's early-1996 facelift, Honda eliminatit the pickup-style rear door, an replaced it wi a proper hatchback door. This necessitatit some redesign in the rear end, acause the rear window haed originally wrapt aroond tae the sides.
In licht o the Suzuki Wagon R's success, Honda an' a' devised a minivan-esque kei caur cawed the Honda Life. The first Honda Life launcht in 1997. When the kei caur regulations chynged in October 1998, necessitatin a redesign, the Life received a redesign, while the Today wis axt for guid.
The Honda Today featured frequently in Kōsuke Fujishima's anime an manga "You're Under Arrest!" as the main transport for the lead characters. The vehicle featured wis a hichtlie personalized police mini patrol caur wi nitrous oxide, turbo an various ither modifications.