Bought car in 4/2001 at Honda dealer w 100k warrantee for $13k. Had 36000 miles on odometer. 11 years and 190k miles later, still runs great: 30mpg, doesn't burn oil, fun to drive, no rust on body. Usual maintenance: 2 timing belts with water pump, new exhaust and muffler. Only glitch-needed new catalytic converter, 02 sensors, and new distributer in 2011. Bought cat and sensors online at Majestic Honda and saved $$$$. Just change oil often and this car will run forever.
Had no major issues. Had to replace the AC compressor at about 130K. It was a great drive. This was my first new car. I used it till someone else decided that they needed it more than I did and stole it!
Low Cost Reliability The way it drove Gas mileage - got a little above what the rating said
Bought my automatic 98 civic hatchback in '99 because they had great reviews in terms of reliability. It was fun to drive and got great mileage. Looked good and was small and nimble. I did not wash often enough, but body held up well. I drove about 13000 miles/yr. Lousy stereo. My AC compressor and transmission both died when it was 5 yrs old. The interior felt cheap, rattled, and wore out quickly. Tail lights leaked water and got inside the spare tire area. My manifold cracked after 6 years and had to be replaced. Driver side manual window crank broke after 6 years. Engine lacked power, uphills it dogged.
Small and easy to park, zipped around city streets, great mileage, consistent 27-32mpg held up in accidents. Plenty of cargo with rear seats down, stylish.
Lots of road noise, silence it! Improve the interior quality, more power with same mileage, improve stereo quality.
This was my 2nd Civic hatchback and I'm sorry they quit making them. I put 165,000 miles on the 1990 one before I sold it. The '98 car had a few design issues that made me love it a little less than the older one but has been more reliable and still gets >40 mpg on a road trip at speeds of 65-70 mph. My biggest complaints have been road noise and a little less cargo space, plus lack of an interior hatch release convenient for the driver. The biggest plus? Great gas mileage and total reliability!
It's little. I can fit in almost any parking space. Yet I can also cram a bunch of stuff in it. Trip to Costco to stock up on a month's worth of stuff? No problem. Road trip with musical instruments? No big deal!
Keep making them! Make it a 4-door and add more noise insulation, and I'd be shopping for a new one. I haven't bonded with the Fit, which seems to be the replacement.
I bought this car new in 1998 and am surprised at how well it has stood up. Things I've replaced are the timing beltx2, starter, front brake pads (rear drums are original!), water pump, muffler and fluids. Stuff I would expect to replace on a ten year old car. It is just a reliable car that is a bit underpowered but is easy on fuel. I prefer the styling of the hatch and wish the newest hatch would come to north America. The hatch fits a 36" CRT TV.
I really appreciate the clean designed interior. Padded dash and doors, simple controls, tasteful colors means this car still looks good after a decade.
Look for water in the spare tire compartment. Honda did a bad thing and designed the rear body and the rear light to sit right where the water channels off the roof. If the seal between the light and body crushes, water gets in the hatch. A bead of silicone is the fix. Wind noise at the A pillar.