Used 1996 Honda Civic del Sol VTEC
Edmunds' Expert Review
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.
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Used 1996 Honda Civic del Sol VTEC Overview
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Find a used Honda Civic del Sol for sale - 8 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $17,222.
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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.