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.
I've had this 98 hx all over a year now & it has been an awesome car..And of course I've did a lot of up grade( it's a Honda).. but it's all ways up for a road trip, I purchased the car with 125,xxx I'm @154,xxx and I've decided to rebuild the bottom end with high compression pistons to go with my comp-cam.. my house should end up @170-180hp by the end;which is the same hp as a Acura Integra Ls motor( which is a dohc) pretty good for a sohc...
Bought my car at 90k miles, sold at 115k after owning a couple years. Never had a problem with it, sold it for $200 more than I bought it for. Took it down the Alaska-Canadian Highway, no problem (though it is very small and the seats are not the most comfortable in the world). Calculated out 47mpg on some of these road trip stretches. I had the manual, and really liked the fine, smooth way it shifted. It was a very fun, responsive, maneuverable little car. I don't have kids, so the coupe was perfect for me and my dog. I'm also in the shorter/smaller/younger range, so getting in and out was no problem. That said, my husband with his back/hip problems disliked riding in it, and my 50 yo father climbed in and out of it once and said that was it for him, no more, my car was going to give him a hernia. To be fair, if you park it at a curb, you'll actually be climbing UP out of it. Also, it should be noted that it's not the best/steadiest on snow and ice (probably because of its short/narrow wheel base and light weight), though I drove it two winters in AK and never wound up in a snow bank. If you want to zip from place to place and do so reliably and efficiently, I highly recommend this car. Watch who you're buying it from, though. Mine was all OEM, and I know most of them out there have been modified (unless that's what you're into).