I personally have owned about 5 cars and this is easily one of the more practical purchases I have made in car buying. I bought a 1998 Honda Civic Ex Coupe about half a year ago in 2017. When purchased it had over 250,000 miles on the odometer. I have put about 5,000 miles on the car and very few repairs. The only thing I have done outside of any expected maintenance at purchase or routine work is the starter. After reading other reviews this is about the only major mechanical issue in these cars and I attest to that. I love the ease of driving and the amazing gas mileage. When I drive it easy and don't throw my foot into it i can get upwards of 30 miles per gallon. Although I also feel the need to point out that when I do throw foot into it, the car takes it and goes. I have owned much faster cars, but this one will still do what you need it to. Just change the oil and keep going. It isn't anything fancy, but it gets the job done well. I'm glad i made this practical purchase and if able I will definitely buy another Civic in the future.
I bought my 1998 Civic brand new for $13,300 and after almost 20 years and 194,000 miles she is still chugging along. I still drive this car everyday because every time I turn the key it starts. I am scared to buy a new car because I don't want to be let down. My 98 Civic is the most reliable thing in my life. It has out lasted lawn mowers, dishwashers, refrigerators... It is not flashy, it is not fast off the line, it does not have all the electronics that are in today's cars, but it is incredibly fuel efficient, practical, and perfectly simple. I love this car.
I bought my '98 ex 5 speed manual in 2006 with 69k miles on it for $5000. When this car finally reached the end of its useful value in 2013 it had 397,000 miles on it and still started and ran no problem rain, snow, or sun. With snow tires on it I could get through anything, and I even took it in the muddy fields and off road, and drove it like a race car, engine next to redline, on pavement and dirt a few times. As long as you do regular maintenance, especially change the timing belt, spark plugs, and distributor cap; and adjust the valves when recommended this engine will outlive you. Two major problems-the door lock assembly on the driver's side broke, and there was no way to open the door, so I had to cut it open with a torch to replace it; and the ignition coil inside the distributor burned out and left me stranded once. Other than that, just routine stuff you expect with a car that old-radiator replacement, timing sprockets and oil/water pump replacements....but the alternator, a/c system, power steering, struts, 3/4 ball joints, and rear brakes were original and working properly within specification when I retired it. Overall a fantastic car that won't give up on you, and trust me, mine got driven and abused.
Bought this little jewel from a friend. His mom bought it brand new in 1998, then gave the car to him. He drove it a few years then decided to get rid of it when it started needing repairs. Realizing that routine maintenance and some TLC would get it in good running condition, I asked how much he would take for it. I about passed out when he said $400! Sold! I put new tires, front rotors, rear trailing arm bushings and struts, changed all fluids, filters, thermostat, and spark plugs. I had to do NO mechanical work. Engine runs perfect. A/C blows cold. What a well engineered car. The interior is in great shape as far as dash, instrumentation, and seats. But the headliner is gone. All I need to do now is have it repainted and it will look as good as it runs.