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 leased this car in 1998 and bought it out in 2002. I have never had it in the shop for a major repair. I have been able to do all routine work myself and I've found it to be an easy vehicle to work on. I have 243000 miles (391071 kms) and it's still going strong. My goal is 310,000 miles (500,000) kms.
I had this car since it was brand new. I drove it myself for +6 years and I had ZERO problems with it, in it's 10th year it ran better then most cars that are less than 5 years old. The one negative - people kept trying to break into it (I never kept anything in my car) and finally, dec 08' someone successfully stole it and was written off. This problem is typical of older Hondas. This car was great but it's a hot car for theft (and is apparently really easy to steal) and this is what makes me hesitant to return to a Honda since dealing with getting windows fixed etc. from thieves turns into a big pain. :(
Reliability, handling (great in snow too), gas mileage
In the last winter I had it, the car seemed to have trouble keeping the interior warm when it was -40 C. Definitely buy a club and alarm if you get this car.
I got this car when it had 125K miles and i have had for 3 yrs. Now it has 195,000 and still going strong. The only major breakdown i had was with the clutch but other than that it's a good car. I intend to drive it until it has 400K