I bought this car new 1/2002. It has been the best i have ever owned. Great performance even though only 115hp. Good in all weather and rarely gave me any issues. Recently traded it in at 175k miles as the A/C went and i didnt want to pay to fix it though it would have went for another 100k miles. Great MPG and reliability. Traded it in for a BMW 328i which is what i always wanted but i felt so bad trading it in.
5 speed manual
Power even though 115hp
Power everything and A/C
Room in the back seat due to flat floor.
Honda should be ashamed you have to pay for EX level to get ABS and other features.
I love this car! I never have any trouble starting it even in very cold weather, it handles great in the snow, it can be kinda noisy but I can live with that. The best part is that I get 36 mpg in the city and close to 40 on the highway! I've always loved Hondas for their durability and longevity and this car is no exception!
Gas mileage, reliability
No anti-lock brakes on my LX model, plastic wheel covers
Purchased new with 6 miles on it and drove it for 5 years (80,000) miles. Reliability and Honda service was terrible. At 35,400 miles, third gear synchro went out on manual transmission. I have been driving manuals for 25 years and I have a CDL and I never burned out a clutch or damaged a tranny. Fixed under warranty but never shifted right again (grinded and clunked when going into gear) and shifter was VERY stiff and VERY difficult to down shift. Took back 4 times and dealer said it was fine!? Called Honda Corporate and wrote letters, no help at all. All 4 struts went out at 40,000 miles too ($1300). Road noise terrible, factory tires rated worst on tirerack and hydroplaned very badly.
Gas Mileage. I averaged around 37 in mixed driving! 40.5 on highway, 35 in town. Also, the trunk is huge and with fold-down seats, you can haul almost as much as an SUV.
Replace flimsy brass synchros in manual transmission with stronger material. Redesign struts - these should not fail at 40,000. Extend Warranty to 60,000 (hey Honda, put your money where your mouth is). Most American car manufacturers are offering 60,000 and 100,000 mile warranties now.
I did only 15,000 miles on it, but I know the car since it was 1 year old. That 1.7 liter engine was almost all the time pushed to the redline. The car was tuned a little bit, but it was almost like glued to the road when cornering. 0-60 is about 8.5\9 sec. I owned a manual transmission and I had to rebuild it (with 90k miles on it) but only because of track use and power shifting ($1000). Around 90k miles I had to change all front bushings ($450) and shocks ($300) everything else works perfectly. I have experienced an accident on highway going about 60mph and I can tell you that the car is very safe. It just started to burn about a half quarter of oil for every oil change. Mobil 1 5W-20
manual tranny, really good suspension, almost like glued to the road (even before I lowered it)