Used 1997 Honda Civic del Sol VTEC

1997 Honda Civic del Sol
List price range
1997 Honda Civic del Sol


  • Fun-in-the-sun, with the practicality of a hardtop.


  • The removable roof panel is prone to squeaking.

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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.

1997 Highlights

No changes to Honda's two-seater.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Honda Civic del Sol.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Impossible Find : 1997 Honda Del Sol VTEC
Paulo Nicolau,03/28/2015
I am extremely lucky to find a 1997 Honda Del Sol VTEC. Not only is this car impossible to find, it's even more rare to find one that is manual with very few previous owners (mine had 2) For a 17 year old car, it is very impressive and Honda has won my respect from here on. Everything about this car makes sense, and it has a lot of features for a 97. The engine is 1.6L ;I always heard people say it is a gas saver but wow!! about 500 mpg and it costs about $40 to fill a tank. The car is light,fast & lets you take control of the road.It turns heads everywhere I go, and even those with brand new cars are stunned! If you find one, get it! Best investment I ever made.
A rare Gem of a car
I loved this car so much I bought 2 of them. 1 was 170 miles from my house, the second (97 DOHC VTEC) I bough 1500 miles away sight unseen. This car has better performance than the Audi TT. If you want a fun car to sit next to your daily car, this is it. There is none like it.
Will now be a Honda owner for life
I love my little Honda. I bought it used with a ton of miles on it, and I've never had a problem with it. It is by far the most reliable and fun to drive vehicle I have ever owned. Of course it's not too practical and the front suspension could be better, but ultimately the perfect little red sports car! Also, the trunk is absolutely huge, so that helps a lot.
Awesome investment
G Cl3aN,07/26/2017
This is a 2 person ride only! Must be at least 48" to ride this baby. Not a family car. But if you want to get from A to B quick; here you go. I got lucky with my purchase. 1997 Honda Del Sol V-Tech with 97,000 miles! No engine leaks or problems. New tires with original wheels. No leaks at the targa or trunk. Still had the spare tire and jack that was never used. Leather seats that needed updating but no biggie. The kid before installed an Alpine stereo with new speakers. Except the subwoofer is gone :( But they didnt mind if I kept the Rockford Fosgate 800a2. Niiiiice! At 20 years old she just has a small dent in fender and faded paint. But that doesnt stop her from passing you up on the freeway. Love the 35 mpg. I just bought her a week ago and I cant wait to begin to restore her. But even if I didnt restore she is a good investment.
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Features & Specs

23 city / 27 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
160 hp @ 7600 rpm
See all Used 1997 Honda Civic del Sol VTEC features & specs


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

More about the 1997 Honda Civic del Sol
Used 1997 Honda Civic del Sol VTEC Overview

The Used 1997 Honda Civic del Sol VTEC is offered in the following styles: VTEC 2dr Coupe.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Honda Civic del Sol VTEC?

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Can't find a used 1997 Honda Civic del Sol Civic del Sol VTEC you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Honda Civic del Sol for sale - 12 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $8,210.

Find a used Honda for sale - 7 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $14,150.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda Civic del Sol for sale - 1 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $20,193.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda for sale - 11 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $18,928.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 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