We take good care of our car. We put low miles on it every year. At 65,000 miles the transmission should not fail. To make it worse, Honda has no interest in making it right. Be very cautious when buying this car. There may not be many complaints about the '03 transmission now, but they're about to come of age. Do a search for '01 transmission problems and start saving for the impending rainy day. Don't say you weren't warned.
My Civic Si looked new when I bought it 2.5 years ago with 55K (totally stock). It's now at 90K, and it's been really great. The handling is a dream, it's comfortable as can be up front, and I get 30MPG+ even while having some fun on the mountain roads I drive daily. Its quick enough to be fun, though there are *now* a lot of faster cars for everyday use. I had to replace an O2 sensor and a door lock actuator (both of which are relatively easy to do yourself, luckily, and thus done for < $300 total). The backseat is a bit tight, but much better than what many similar cars have. The biggest shortcoming of this car is the lack of a 6th gear. 5th at 75mph=3700rpm.
bought my EX automatic new in '03 and have 125k miles after 10 yrs. after having a few american cars that were unreliable money pits, this car has been spectacular for me. wish i would've bought a honda sooner than i did.
over 10 yrs, i've spent about $1k in non-maintenance repairs- mostly emissions/exhaust related, most of which has been at the 10 yr mark. i did need to replace the alternator after about 9 yrs.
i average 30 MPG combined (about 65% city) but i have a very heavy foot.
value- i feel that i've more than got my money's worth from this car!! it's been virtually worry-free.
a little more HP would've been nice (the new civics have 140 HP vs the 128 HP this one has) but i'm willing to sacrifice to get better MPG.
the factory stereo SUCKED, so i got an aftermarket stereo and speakers right away.
the seats could be more comfortable.
there could be more/better placed cup holders.
the auto trans hasn't always the smoothest/most consistent when shifting gears, which seems to be a potential issue with this model. i did start using lucas trans fix, which seems to have helped.
This car looks great inside and out especially the lighted dash. It is very reliable and gets good gas mileage. My first tanks of gas have given me 36,32,29,35 and 36 mpg with the last two being mostly highway during the summer. The most important thing about this car is the peace of mind it gives me knowing Hondaís reputation for quality. But, this car is not fun to drive or comfortable (although Iím 6'2" and fit fine) and is definitely underpowered. The car is also really loud. I still recommend this car though.
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