I bought my Civic LX with 30,000 miles back in early 1998 while I was still in college. I sold it in December 2007 with 157,000 miles; the engine was as strong and dependable as when I bought it.
Major maintenance costs were as follows:
80,000 mi: slave clutch cylinder died ($120) 100,000 mi: replaced timing belt ($400) 130,000 mi: master clutch cylinder died ($200) 130,000 mi: radiator cracked on plastic head ($350) 130,000 mi: replaced both front axles due to cracked boots ($400) 150,000 mi: replaced steering cracking rack boot ($300) 155,000 mi: ignition switch started to go bad
While I went through about 3 pairs of front brake pads, the rear brake shoes were still the originals. Brake pads cost me as little as $9, and with a single bolt holding each front caliper in place, they were a snap (30 minutes) to replace.
At around 100,000, the car just wouldn't start up one day; I replaced the spark plugs (~$15), and it started right back up.
At 155,000, the car just shut off on the road on the way to work, and all the instrumentation shut off. It started up again, but did the same to me a couple of additional times throughout the week. I traced the issue to a bad ignition switch, common in high-mileage Hondas. Cost is about $200.
While this car is extremely dependable, it's most certainly not a luxury car (even with the "LX" moniker). Road noise is quite noticeable, and the rear plastic bumper panel keeps trying to pry loose from its attach point on the quarter panel. The engine vibrates going through 4000 rpm while accelerating, and the whole vehicle shutters in response. The original sound system leaves much to be desired, and the paper speakers will most certainly die well before the car.
Despite its shortcomings, I most heartily recommend this car. Its 30-40 mpg gas mileage, its extreme reliability, and its inexpensive maintenance make up for its shortcomings in spades.
I bought my younger brothers 94 Honda Civic Lx after he could no longer afford it and I my 2003 Ford Expedition XLT, the MPG was killing me I was spending about $100 a week just on gas and I was only able to use it for work. The Civic was a blessing the car even though it's underpowered gets amazing MPG plus filling up with only $40 a every 1 1/2 for me makes it worth every penny, the car has cosmetic issues the paint was all burned and the paint scratched but she runs like if she was new and with 138K on her already I expect another 200K easy. I would sell my Civic for anything.
MPG, tire prices, power everything and very little maintenance.
This has been a great car for over 11 years. Car makers of the world should take lessons from Honda. I'd have kept it indefinitely except for wanting the more advanced safety features available in new cars. I held out for as long as I could!
Great gas mileage! Great reliability!
Eleven years late, of course, but Honda could have sprung for a "lights on" chime and a "low fuel" warning light. Those were the only two features I wished this car'd had. Maybe the new Civics have them.
The most annoying part of this little 4 door sedan is the automatic transmission.Though it has been trouble-free, it is underpowered from ramp speed up to highway speed. It will cruise nicely at 120 kilometres an hour just over 70 miles per hour. I bought the car used privately with 110,000 kilometres (65,000 miles). I have had few problems with it and it now has nearly 300,000 kilometres or 180,000 miles. I plan on keeping it another 2 years and with the Krown rustproofing the car has seen since it was 4 years old annually, it still looks great! The car has had an axle and upper ball joint replacement on one side front- end. The remainder has been normal maintenence!Great car!
Reliability and dependability. It is a fun car to drive still.Looks great with some help from annual Krown Rust- checks application after year 4 of age has kept the car looking good!
Poor headlight illumination. i upgraded the headlights to Sylvania NightHawks' bulbs which improved night visibility by about 50 per cent. More horsepower needed for automatic tranny.Fine for 5 speed though. Tachometer as standard equipment just as they offered in the older generation Civics.