This was a nicely-equipped car for the day and the price, with double-wishbone suspension, a three-speed automatic transmission and Honda's famous high-revving in-line four cylinder engine. The car was eager, roomy (I'm 6' 3") and very light on its feet. I didn't check-off a lot of option boxes; the car had air conditioning, an AM/FM radio, tilt wheel, power steering and brakes and not much else. But the car did exactly what the brochure said it would do, which was to provide reliable, durable and low-cost transportation. The sophisticated engineering was one hell of a bonus. The Japanese are fond of saying age reveals essence, and that holds true for my Civic. Twenty years later, the drive train has functioned perfectly and the car remains as reliable as sunrise. But the paint oxidized way too soon, and curious problems with the signal and wiper stalks and crank window assembly were minor but expensive fixes. But in the end, there's no doubt I'd buy it again.
This is the best car I've ever owned and first Honda! Bought it on a whim in 1996 and still own it today. The only mechanical work I've had done is general maintenance. The radiator and transmission both lasted over 200K miles. wow! I have about 240K miles on it now and expect to drive it another 240K at least. Just keep up with regular maintenance and it will pay you back many times over. Great fuel efficiency too. Gets 35 mpg in town and has gotten well over 40 mpg highway. I've driven this car in high elevations, coastal areas, snow, rain, you name it. It's always held its own with traction. Never gotten stuck. Great little car. If I could say one thing that I don't like about this car is that the front seats are very uncomfortable on road trips.
Ok so i was here looking at reviews to purchase my 1996 honda civic and was amazed by all the good reviews. Anyways i bought my honda and turns out to be a total nightmare. First problem door locks broke then the driver door lock broke not opening from the inside or outside. Second i started having inflated water hoses. I changed the radiator and the hoses and the thermostat and water pump. I still continue with pressure in the hoses i have combustion gas going into my coolant system. I took to a mechanic turns out that apparently the timing belt broke and since these cars have an interference engine it caused the piston to bent the exhaust valves. Dont buy a car with interference engine buy with none interference engine this repair cost more then $1000.00 dollars beware there is no oil mixing with coolant nor engine noise or any white smoke and it runs like has no problems when u go buy this car take a combustion tester because i bought this car with bent valves and it seemed perfect also young kids burn out these cars beware. Test hoses for pressure and make sure they are not inflated also open radiator coolant for combustion gas make sure to do this with engine COLD. Check for bubbles in water or if u see weird glitter on radiator Stay away thats a Stop leak head cover or blue could be bluedevil STAY AWAY.
I'd looked for a reliable gas sipper to give my Tacoma a rest and found a retired nurse selling her car. So, for $1,600 I had my civic with only 89,8XX miles! Yes, I know. So with some small parts from the junkyard, brakes, new tires, a little body work, paint job, and new timing belt/water pump I have my jewel. If I didn't have a car in the garage, I'd keep this one in it and only take it out in good weather, lol.
So, great car for running around the DC area. If you can find one in good shape go for it!
I bought my 1996 civic 3 years ago. I've put the work into it that it needed replacing cv axles, ball joints, control arms etc... I attribute these things to previous owner errors. This has been the best car! It's small but not cramped. I have 3 kids and we all fit. Mine is a 5 speed standard transmission and I routinely get 37-39 combined MPG! I HAVE ~240,000 miles on this car with the original transmission, clutch and engine. She's still running strong and is well worth every penny I have into her. If taken care of properly, this car will go forever! Buying seals from auto parts stores will not fix any leakage problem; buy direct from dealer.