Used 1996 Honda Civic del Sol Coupe

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1996 Honda Civic del Sol
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1996 Honda Civic del Sol

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

The del Sol is Honda's fun-in-the-sun offering, competing with the likes of the Mazda Miata and the Volkswagen Cabrio for the hearts and pocketbooks of active young Americans. Based on the previous generation Civic, this rendition of the del Sol is reaching the end of its run. That doesn't mean, however, that you should disregard this version of Honda's open-air two-seater. It still offers a great deal of fun in an attractive little package.

Honda buyers can catch rays in three different ways. The first is in the economical S model with a peppy 106-horsepower engine borrowed from the totally redesigned Honda Civic. Prices for the S model start just over $15,000. The sporty Si model has a 127-horsepower SOHC VTEC engine and a beefier suspension than the S. In addition to more horsepower, Si's have aluminum wheels, power door locks and power mirrors. The top-of-the-line del Sol VTEC offers a whopping 160-horsepower engine and antilock brakes. As with all Hondas, equipment is determined by which model you choose. For example, if you want antilock brakes, the only way to get them is to buy a VTEC. If you want power door locks and mirrors, you will have to spend the money for an Si. If you want an automatic transmission you won't be able to get the power of the VTEC. Sorry, that's just the way it is.

Since its introduction, the del Sol has been compared, often unfairly, to the segment-leading Mazda Miata. The Miata has gained undying love from the press due to its traditional styling and enthusiast-oriented rear-wheel drive. The del Sol, on the other hand, has been characterized as nothing more than a two-seater Civic with a toy-like appearance. In this battle of micro-machines, Honda defenders are quick to point to the numbers, showing the del Sol VTEC's superior acceleration and superb braking figures. Others point to the del Sol's excellent convenience features such as its hardtop capability and useable storage space. Still other's point to Honda's unsinkable reliability and high resale values. One thing is certain, in the match-up between the del Sol and the Miata there is a lot of pointing.

Edmund's staff is split on the issue. Some favor the livability and acceleration of the Honda; others wouldn't trade the Miata's classical design, capable handling and rear-wheel drive configuration for the world. We do know, however, that the purchaser of either of these cars is guaranteed a great deal of driving pleasure for years to come.

1996 Highlights

The base S model gets more power by swapping its 1.5-liter four for a 1.6-liter unit, gaining four horsepower. The front fascia is freshened and the Si gets the suspension upgrades of the VTEC.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Honda Civic del Sol.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

It won't stop runnning
Jim,07/13/2008
So, at 120K, I was worried, when will this 'dream' end. Did homework and considered a TDI VW. Hmmm, not so good. Kept it and put up with 38 - 40 mpg. THEN - - - manifold blew out. Know what, it was still covered under warranty - - extended to 12 years! Give me a break. Now, hitting 180K, the thing still continues to drive. Love to get to hear if anyone's has died yet. THEN clutch went! Oh-oh, $2.00 for hydraulic clutch fluid. Now, at 190K, it still goes. GO HONDA! To bad GM and Ford have not learned a lessen, why support cars that aren't built to last like this? GREAT CAR.
Fun and Practical
September,05/13/2002
This little car has it all. It gets around 35 miles to the gallon and looks great doing it. Handles wonderfully. Lots of room in the cabin area with a good bit of leg room.
Best vehicle I've ever had
Valerie,09/14/2009
I have been continually impressed with my gas mileage, handling and the overall reliability. I am also very happy that the value has remained virtually the same as the purchase price. Maintenance has also been at a minimal cost. Honda will always be my brand of choice after this awesome experience!
I am going to miss her...
Lucky,09/18/2002
I purchased this car used from Carmax. Low miles and in very good shape. My wife liked it at first, so I was skeptical thinking it was a "chick car". I have to tell you, the first test drive and my opinion changed quickly. This car is quick, shifts strong (even as an automatic) and handles wonderfully. I truly lost all preconceptions of it being a feminine car and I have loved driving it every since. And, it gets stares from old and young alike. Very cool. It's a great honor to have driven one, but the new baby addition to our family just doesn't fit the 2-door sport car mold anymore, so I have to say "so long, my beauty".
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Features & Specs

MPG
29 city / 35 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
106 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG
26 city / 33 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
125 hp @ 6600 rpm
MPG
23 city / 27 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
160 hp @ 7600 rpm
See all Used 1996 Honda Civic del Sol Coupe features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    0

More about the 1996 Honda Civic del Sol
Used 1996 Honda Civic del Sol Coupe Overview

The Used 1996 Honda Civic del Sol Coupe is offered in the following styles: S 2dr Coupe, Si 2dr Coupe, and VTEC 2dr Coupe.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Honda Civic del Sol Coupe?

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Which used 1996 Honda Civic del Sol Coupes are available in my area?

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Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Honda Civic del Sol Coupe.

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Can't find a used 1996 Honda Civic del Sol Civic del Sol Coupe you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Honda Civic del Sol for sale - 8 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $15,594.

Find a used Honda for sale - 11 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $24,342.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda Civic del Sol for sale - 12 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $13,813.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda for sale - 12 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $20,596.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Honda Civic del Sol?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Honda lease specials
Check out Honda Civic del Sol lease specials