Bought this little jewel from a friend. His mom bought it brand new in 1998, then gave the car to him. He drove it a few years then decided to get rid of it when it started needing repairs. Realizing that routine maintenance and some TLC would get it in good running condition, I asked how much he would take for it. I about passed out when he said $400! Sold! I put new tires, front rotors, rear trailing arm bushings and struts, changed all fluids, filters, thermostat, and spark plugs. I had to do NO mechanical work. Engine runs perfect. A/C blows cold. What a well engineered car. The interior is in great shape as far as dash, instrumentation, and seats. But the headliner is gone. All I need to do now is have it repainted and it will look as good as it runs.
my son and i purchased this car in 09. he was a junior in high school, now he is a senior at unniversity of ar, started out at 28,000 miles now has 112,000 miles. we have replaced radiator, 2 water pumps , 2 timing belts , head gasket job, thermo stat , brake pads, right front door window regulator , new, interior, new hubcaps and $200,00 econo paint.................. the honda is just like new and we sure enjoy it........................ my son charlie likes it and loves the 35 mpg .............. he stated that he would drive it another 7 years and then apply for antique plates................. one of the best vehicles ever built . sincerely, andy birmingham
This car is reliable but.... I just strongly dislike it. I run into many small repairs on this cheaply built car. I hate manual windows. Defrosters are terrible. The car shakes if you drive faster than 65 mph. I had it for 18k from 102 to 120k. Iam about to sell it. Although, I only paid $1,500 for it.
I really don't know, now that I think about it. I found a nice one-owner with 124K. After two years it has 175K and the only thing that has not been routine maintenance has been some rust thru the exhaust system. That's it. Brakes/tires, fluids, filters, and spark plugs. That's all I've had to touch. Everything works. I've owned a lot of high mileage cars b/c I prefer them for various reasons but this one acts half it's age. It also beasted thru the Appalachian mountains loaded with myself and about 250lbs of military gear, so don't underestimate the power under the hood. And I average 35 mpg.
At this point I am passing my 1998 Civic with 218k miles to my younger sibling since I bought a newer Japanese car. This car has been really good to us. We owned a '96 LX sedan, but that was totaled by a woman, so we bought a '97 LX sedan, which was also totaled by a woman some years later. That brings us to our current Civic, a '98 DX, I've put about 80k on it. All are 5-speeds and I can tell you that all three have basically driven identically.
If you're looking for a really cheap car that gets decent mileage, you can get one of these for next to nothing and you probably won't regret it at all. It's a great car, and very reliable (assuming you avoid the auto tranny...it's a Honda).
This thing, in its prime, regularly cranked out 40 MPG around town, on the highway...wherever. Now the engine is a little worn out, but I still rarely see a single tank below 35 MPG. These cars are a lot of fun to drive around town. The acceleration is decent if you really rev it up, although still pitiful under normal circumstances. The clutch is extremely light and barely takes any effort to push in and operate compared to every other car I've ever driven. Transmission is buttery-smooth even at 218k.
The HVAC controls are great. You can run the defrost with recirc on and A/C off, unlike every other car ever made.
Drives great in the snow, too. You really have great control.
This car would not be my first choice for a long road trip at any reasonable speed. At 75 MPH, the engine is screaming along at 3500+ RPM. The noise can be annoying at times (granted I've been in noisier cars that were 7 years newer). It also isn't very stable in windy conditions and gets knocked around like the lightweight car it is.