2000 Honda Civic Review
Pros & Cons
- Roomier than many cars in this class, agreeable levels of comfort in any trim level, powerful Si engine.
- Antilock brakes should be available on more than one trim level, styling won't set you apart from the crowd.
Edmunds' Expert Review
Though a redesigned Civic comes out next year, excellent value has made the 2000 Honda Civic one of the most popular economy cars in America.
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 sheet metal. 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 six 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. Available in hatchback, sedan and coupe body styles, Honda heeded customers who claimed the 1992-1995 Civic was too sporty-looking. A grille was tacked on up front, sheet metal contours provide a squarish profile, and larger rear taillamps give the Civic a more conservative look.
Dual airbags are part of the package, with antilock brakes standard on EX Sedan and Coupe models equipped with an automatic transmission. HX Coupes remain the only model to have available the continuously variable transmission, making it the most technologically interesting Civic offered.
Three different versions of a 1.6-liter, SOHC four-cylinder aluminum engine are available on the Civic. The most common variety has an output of 106 horsepower at 6,200 rpm. EX models get 127 VTEC-inspired horsepower at 6,600 rpm, and the HX Coupe uses an economical VTEC-E engine with 115 horsepower at 6,300 rpm. The Si Coupe sports a DOHC four-cylinder that makes 160 horsepower at 7,000 rpm.
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-shop 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.
The Civic is a solid buy. For those who like a bit of fun in their commute, try the Si version of the coupe. Want a fuel miser? The HX Coupe is your car, getting up to 44 mpg. 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 -- unless your needs include towing trailers or carrying a family of five.