Used 1998 Honda Civic

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1998 Honda Civic
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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

More than two decades ago, Honda introduced the Civic. It was a small, anonymous, unassuming car, competing in a market saturated by mammoth sedans sporting ornate chrome, garish styling treatments, and acres of sheetmetal. The producers of these defunct dinosaurs didn't bat an eye at Honda's fuel sipping entry, despite the fuel crisis of 1973. Big mistake.

Since then, Americans have seen four generations of the Civic come and go, each much improved over the previous model, and each becoming immensely popular with consumers. 1996 brought us a new generation; certainly improved but not so much so that we'd consider it revolutionary. The 1998 Civic isn't much smaller than an Accord. Available in hatchback, sedan and coupe body styles, Honda has heeded customers who claimed the 1992-1995 Civic was too sporty looking. A grille was tacked on up front, sheetmetal contours provide a squarish profile, and larger rear taillamps give the Civic a more conservative look. Sedans, coupes, and hatchbacks have been given more individualistic styling themes, with the hatchback retaining honors as most odd among the trio.

Dual airbags are part of the package, with antilock brakes standard on EX sedan and optional on EX coupe models. HX coupes carry through with an available continuously-variable transmission, making it the most exciting Civic offered.

The Civic has few shortcomings, aside from its anonymous personality. Hondas tend to be on the expensive end of the scale when new, but over time, they are a far better value than most of their contemporaries. The Civic is no exception to the rule. It is a car for people who don't enjoy repair garage waiting rooms. It is a car that holds its resale value better than most of the cars it competes with. It is a car that easily endears itself to its owner.

We think the Civic is a solid buy. For those who like a bit of spice in their commute, try the EX version of the coupe. Want a fuel miser? The HX coupe is your car. Strict budgets demand a look at the CX, while sedans are aimed more at the creature comfort side of the scale. Style-conscious buyers will go for the svelte coupe, or the suave EX sedan. Whatever your needs, Honda offers a Civic that will meet them.

1998 Highlights

Select 1998 Honda Civic models get new wheel covers, a rear hatch handle and map lights.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Honda Civic.

Built to last
frank0001, 9/3/2012
Bought car in 4/2001 at Honda dealer w 100k warrantee for $13k. Had 36000 miles on odometer. 11 years and 190k miles later, still runs great: 30mpg, doesn't burn oil, fun to drive, no rust on body. Usual maintenance: 2 timing belts with water pump, new exhaust and muffler. Only glitch-needed new catalytic converter, 02 sensors, and new distributer in 2011. Bought cat and sensors online at Majestic Honda and saved $$$$. Just change oil often and this car will run forever.
Ten years and still good
steevo, 8/5/2008
I bought this car new in 1998 and am surprised at how well it has stood up. Things I've replaced are the timing beltx2, starter, front brake pads (rear drums are original!), water pump, muffler and fluids. Stuff I would expect to replace on a ten year old car. It is just a reliable car that is a bit underpowered but is easy on fuel. I prefer the styling of the hatch and wish the newest hatch would come to north America. The hatch fits a 36" CRT TV.
Exhaust Manifold Problems
BigBri, 4/23/2002
'96 and '97 Civics had an issue with their exhaust manifolds cracking. The EPA forced Honda to extend their warranty. I had the exact same problem with my '98 Civic, but Honda did not assume any liability. I was unimpressed by their corporate customer service. The car is great, but that exhaust manifold was a pain!
Still Running Great
justmartha, 6/6/2009
This was my 2nd Civic hatchback and I'm sorry they quit making them. I put 165,000 miles on the 1990 one before I sold it. The '98 car had a few design issues that made me love it a little less than the older one but has been more reliable and still gets >40 mpg on a road trip at speeds of 65-70 mph. My biggest complaints have been road noise and a little less cargo space, plus lack of an interior hatch release convenient for the driver. The biggest plus? Great gas mileage and total reliability!
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Features & Specs

MPG
27 city / 34 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
106 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG
27 city / 34 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
106 hp @ 6200 rpm
See all Used 1998 Honda Civic features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver2 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
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
    Acceptable

More about the 1998 Honda Civic
Used 1998 Honda Civic Overview

The Used 1998 Honda Civic is offered in the following submodels: , , . Available styles include CX 2dr Hatchback, HX 2dr Coupe, EX 2dr Coupe, EX 4dr Sedan, DX 2dr Hatchback, DX 2dr Coupe, LX 4dr Sedan, and DX 4dr Sedan.

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