I've owned my civic for about 3 years now, and so far its been very reliable. Only problems have been the exhuast tends to rust easily especially after salty winters. Though even with upgraded engine components still feels like it lacks power. But absolutely no major issues for 3 years of driving it everyday. Definitely recommend the manual transmission as it is peppy, but car is still very slow. Looks good but dents very easily. Easy to find spare parts for this car also.
Lightweight nimble car, good gas mileage, good looks, reliable.
Bad cup holder placement, dim guages, easily dented body, extremely weak engine, I recommend they have a rear sway bar standard on these cars because there is lots of body roll on turns, or just add one like i did for a few hundred dollars.
Overall, I am quite pleased with the auto. The exhaust manifold was replaced at 57,500 miles. Currently, at about 72,000 miles, I am experiencing a slip on the automatic transmission. I have developed a knee problem, and it has become very difficult for me to exit the vehicle. I imagine that would be the case with many seniors and those with arthritic conditions.
Though the 1.6 litre engine is not as good as the newer 35 m.p.g. civics it still delivers a good 25-30 m.p.g. While maintaning enough power to deliver high altitude performance at even 15000 feet above sea level. That said however stay away from cheaper low grade corn based alchohol fuels they can cut fuel efficiency by one-third so you refuel more often and you will spend more hard earned $ in the long run.
The handling as well as the power response is excellent and for long drives of two hours plus I find the seat comfort superior. No back aches even for 8 hour drives.
The improvements are minor like higher grade metals for the body.paint longevity also but these have all been improved in the newer higher quality 2006 models with much better interior sealing all air leaks from window and door seals but alas that is also reflected in the 30 percent cost increase.
I bought this car for the reliability and I have not been disappointed. I go for my oil changes and everything runs smoothly. It is a peppy car for a 4 cyl and is comfortable, though I am short. The gas mileage is incredible, I can get over 30 MPG when I am driving mainly on the highway though generally now it is about 28 with mainly city driving. That is often with the sunroof open. I am considering a new car and may get another Civic but will definitely get a Honda based on my experience with this car.
Gas mileage. Reliability (I have not had one problem). Comfortable and peppy for an economical car.
Did not come with a CD or cassette player. Not a lot of room for passengers.
I bought my Civic in 1997. It was an absolute joy to own. I always said that I would buy it all over again. Within the last week I sold it to my daughter per her request and purchased a 2005 Honda CRV. I never had any problems with the Civic - loved every minute of it - would still own it if my daughter didn't need it. And, so far, I have nothing bad to say about the CRV either.