2001 Honda Civic Review


Pros & Cons

  • Fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly engines, reputation for durability, neato CVT transmission, likely to retain a healthy chunk of original value, impressive crash-test scores.
  • Si goes bye-bye, gotta get the EX or GX for ABS, vanilla-flavored sedan styling.
List Price Estimate
$897 - $2,075

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Edmunds' Expert Review

If you're shopping for a small car and you skip the redesigned 2001 Honda Civic, you're doing yourself a tremendous disservice.

Vehicle overview

Who's your daddy? That should be the 2001 Civic's advertising tagline. Just when the old model began to get a little moldy around the edges in comparison to the Ford Focus, Mazda Protege and Nissan Sentra, Honda drives an all-new Civic off the drawing board and into showrooms, making the job of choosing a competent compact that much more difficult.

Engineers wanted to make the Civic more fun to drive while simultaneously increasing fuel economy with more-efficient engines. Improved crashworthiness, a larger cabin and a bigger trunk were also design goals. Added refinement and standard equipment would increase value in the eyes of the consumer, Honda thought. Finally, the company wanted to improve quality 10 times over the old Civic, which sounds damn near impossible to us. Last year's car was already known to be one of the most reliable and tightly assembled vehicles on the planet.

Unfortunately, the hatchback model got the axe and the zippy Si Coupe disappeared in the process, leaving two- and four-door models available in a wide variety of trim levels. Like last year, base models are known as DX, and include a tilt steering wheel and an AM/FM four-speaker stereo, among other items. Mid-level LX comes with air conditioning (includes a micron air filter), power windows and locks, cruise control and a cassette deck. Top-of-the-line EX receives antilock brakes, a moonroof, 15-inch wheels, a CD player and a more powerful VTEC engine. If fuel economy is a priority, get the HX Coupe, available with an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) and lightweight alloy wheels. Got an Ed Begley Jr. complex? Try the CVT-equipped GX Sedan, which runs on natural gas and meets super ultra low emission vehicle (SULEV) standards. GX can be equipped with lightweight alloy wheels and ABS.

DX and LX are powered by a 115-horsepower 1.7-liter four-cylinder engine with more torque than last year's 1.6-liter motor. EX continues with a 127-horse VTEC, sized 1.7 liters this year and boasting added twisting force for 2001. Either engine can be mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission except in the GX, which comes with a standard CVT. HX gets a VTEC-E Lean Burn 1.7-liter motor good for 117 horsepower. A five-speed manual is standard on the HX, with the aforementioned CVT tranny available optionally. All gasoline motors meet ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV) standards nationwide, while the CNG-fueled GX manages a SULEV rating and a 200-mile range. Oil changes occur every 10,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. Expect a gasoline/electric hybrid Civic to debut for 2002, showcasing technology developed for the Honda Insight.

Coupes and sedans get unique sheetmetal and styling for 2001 to help differentiate between the sporty Civic and the sensible Civic. Engineers targeted a five-star NHTSA crash-test score when designing the Civic's new structure, all while providing more room and greater comfort in a package equivalent in size to the 2000 model. They succeeded -- both the coupe and sedan receive the government's highest score in frontal crash tests.

Dual seatbelt pre-tensioners, dual-stage airbag inflators, three-point seatbelts for all five occupants and optional side airbags with a cutoff system that can detect a child or occupant out of position will help the Civic provide the anticipated level of passenger protection. Yet, despite this dedication to making Civic safe, ABS is still available only on the most expensive model, the EX, or the GX natural gas model. A real head-scratcher, that.

Rounding out the highlights of the redesign, Civic has a larger cabin and trunk, due in part to a shorter nose made possible by the adoption of a relatively mundane MacPherson strut front suspension arrangement. Sophisticated double-wishbone underpinnings continue to support the rear of the car, but last year's trailing arms are gone to make room for a flat rear floor. Spring rates have been reduced all around to produce a softer, more comfortable ride. Finally, noise, vibration and harshness have been quelled in an effort to bring unparalleled refinement to the economy car class.

If you're shopping for a small car and you skip the redesigned 2001 Honda Civic, you're doing yourself a tremendous disservice.

2001 Highlights

Honda redesigns its cars and trucks every four to five years, whether they need it or not. For 2001, it's the Honda Civic's turn. Larger inside and out, with more powerful engines but a less sophisticated suspension, coupes and sedans return in familiar DX, LX and EX trims, while HX models come with two doors only. The GX Sedan is powered by natural gas. Unfortunately, the hatchback dies just when Americans are once again figuring out how useful they can be, and the sporty Si goes on hiatus for a year or two.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2001 Honda Civic.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

LX 2dr Coupe (1.7L 4cyl 5M)
Bought this car in 2014, with 127k miles, i am a pizza delivery driver and it now has 171k miles. I've read a lot of other reviews and i can agree that when putting the car in gear from park to drive, or reverse to drive, it can slip if you step on the gas. My advice to you is: to make your tranny last, go easy on the accelerator right when you get into gear, giving your car this little time cushion will be alot safer on the transmission. you should be able feel the car drop in gear after going into drive. Other than preventative maintenance like the timing belt, water pump, oil changes, new tranny fluid, the best thing you can do is to take care of your car! do the oil changes every 5,000 miles. i started using fully synthetic oil in my car, but its up to you. I'm happy with my honda! <3
Honda civic 4 door 2001 AMAZING CAR!!
DX 2dr Coupe (1.7L 4cyl 5M)
I don't know what these other people are talking about this is an amazing RELIABLE vehicle mine has 200000 miles and still running great!!!!!!! Such low maintenance only the struts needed repairing after 4 years!! That's it! Looove my Honda
The unkillable honda
EX 2dr Coupe (1.7L 4cyl 4A)
I bought this car just to get me through college thinking I would get something better once I got a decent job. I have said decent job but the car is hard to give up. I have been in 2 accidents with it both I was fine after and the car was running. Its never had any major repairs aside from a radiator after one accident. Fun to drive easy to upgrade. Compared to the 2002 corolla and 2006 acura RL I drove before the Civic by far was the best vehicle
2001 Honda Civic
EX 2dr Coupe (1.7L 4cyl 4A)
My Civic has about 85K miles on it. Its been great until this morning when I found out it needed a new transmission. Checking on this, I found out that this is not uncommon for the 01 model: many folks have run into the same problem. Also found out, Honda had a program offering assistance with repairs that ran for 7 years or 100,000 miles. I was never informed about this and now am facing a big bill. I contacted Honda and they wished me well but said they could no longer offer any monetary assistance. I believe they should offer something because I was never notified. They usually have a great product but I think I'll look elsewhere in the future.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 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

More about the 2001 Honda Civic
More About This Model

My vacuum cleaner and I have a great relationship. It sucks up dirt and dog hair; I feed it vacuum bags. It's happy and I'm happy. There are no emotional strings attached. When Hoover comes out with a redesign of my U5288900 upright, I'll buy another one, carefree, just like any self-respecting materialistic American should do.

I think Americans have this approach to just about every consumer product except one—cars. We get stupendously finicky when an updated automobile arrives on the scene. In order for it to be successful, a redesigned car needs to strike a perfect balance between newness and tradition. If the car is too radical, the core audience who liked it before won't buy it. If the car isn't "new" enough, automotive journalists bitch and whine about how it's not any different from the old car. If I were a product planner for a car company, I know I wouldn't get it right. The car wouldn't sell, billions of dollars would be lost, I'd get fired, my hair would fall out, my dog would leave me and my house would burn down. And then my vacuum would break. Trust me, I've seen it happen.

I'm just glad to be one of the whiny journalists. Less stress this way. Here at Edmunds.com, all I have to do is make people listen to my ego-inflated opinions about the latest vehicle redesigns. And for this particular article, I get to say whether the 2001 Honda Civic is the reincarnation of Elvis (the skinny Elvis, not the fat one) or an absolute piece of garbage.

Have you been waiting for this car? Plenty of people have. This is, after all, the best-selling economy car in America and Honda's second-most popular car behind the Accord. Its first full sales year was back in 1974, back when gas prices and pollution regs were rising and domestic manufacturers were rather clueless about how to build a decent car. The Civic became the preeminent economy car, and no other vehicle has better represented Honda's corporate philosophy than the Civic.

The previous-generation Civic was available from 1996 to 2000. One of the best economy cars on the market, it was marked by dependability, quality, reliability and efficiency. For many years, the Civic has had a small but loyal following of enthusiasts. These car enthusiasts appreciate the sporty nature of the car. Sure, it wasn't a BMW 328i, but the Civic did have a peppy engine, quick handling and good looks. For young car enthusiasts today, the Civic is by far the most popular car to modify for performance.

But back to reality. We were surprised when the Civic finished eighth out of nine spots in our most recent Economy Sedan Comparison Test. Clearly, other manufacturers had drawn a bead on the Civic and had been able to craft newer, better cars. The 2000 Civic needed an infusion of Red Bull and Gatorade. Quickly.

For the seventh generation of the Civic, Honda says it looked to build on the strengths and customer expectations of previous Civics. But it also wanted to elevate the new car even further in terms of safety, comfort, quality and fuel economy. Of course, this is the exact same hype every automaker trots out when a new vehicle debuts, so the key question here is whether Honda actually pulled it off. And did they? Well, yes. Mostly.

For 2001, there will be only two models available in America: the four-door sedan and the two-door coupe. The sedan comes in three trim levels (DX, LX and EX) and the coupe in four (DX, HX, LX and EX). The 160-horsepower Civic Si is no longer available (no word yet on a return), and the hatchback will be sold only in Europe.

No redesigned car is worth its weight in McDonald's Happy Meal toys these days without being able to claim a stiffer body structure. The Civic obliges, with torsional rigidity up 53 percent and bending rigidity up 19 percent. The benefit should be improved crash-test scores (Honda expects five-star NCAP frontal impact ratings), reduced NVH and a more stable ride. Despite the stiffer body structure, curb weight has increased only 50-70 pounds, depending on the model.

As the ancient Chinese proverb goes, a new body needs new clothes when the grasshopper opens his eyes but cannot see the blade of grass on the mountain (Yes, I just made this up.). You can look at the spiffy photos on the right and decide for yourself whether or not you like the '01 Civic's styling. The body panel gaps are much tighter than before, especially for the front and rear bumpers. This pays dividends in making the Civic look cleaner and more aerodynamic. Honda says it has also designed the front and rear bumpers to be less expensive to fix when damage occurs in low-speed (under 5 mph) collisions.

Styling differentiation between the sedan and coupe was a big priority for 2001. In terms of sheetmetal, the two cars share only 22 percent common parts. The Civic Coupe looks sportier, and its roofline is 1.6 inches lower than the sedan's. Both cars are taller than the previous sedan and coupe. The 2001 sedan has grown 2 inches and the coupe about an inch. The wheelbase is nearly the same, while vehicle width has increased slightly and length has decreased slightly.

This decrease in length has not come at the expense of interior room. Interior volume is slightly more than last year's model, actually. Given a quick glance, the interior doesn't look that different. The dash layout is similar, with a small center pod containing the audio head unit and the three knobs for the climate control. But there are many detail improvements.

A more compact rear suspension design allows for a larger trunk and a relocated exhaust system. Consequently, the typical exhaust tunnel or hump that runs the length of the interior has been eliminated. This is most noticeable in the backseat area, as is a substantial increase in rear passenger legroom and foot room. Shoulder room and hip room for all passengers have also been expanded.

The quality of materials should be better ("should" because Honda only had pre-production cars to drive at the press event, and material selection wasn't finalized), and coupe models get different fabric inserts, special metallic-looking trim surfaces and silver-faced gauges. All models get larger diameter gauges, additional illuminated switches and a bigger driver's footrest. Major feature changes include a seat-mounted armrest for EX models, expanded audio systems, improved anti-theft measures, a quieter climate fan, dual seatbelt pretensioners for both front seats, dual-stage front airbags and optional side airbags.

You might be asking yourself how Honda managed to make the Civic shorter in length but still larger on the inside. You might also be asking yourself when this story will end so that you can get back to searching for Web sites about monkeys. The answer to the first question lies in new front suspension. All '01 Civics have a MacPherson strut design rather than the previous double-wishbone. Honda engineers were able to further shorten the Civic's front end by relocating the steering box higher up in the engine bay and fitting 43-percent longer tie rods.

While the previous Civic's steering was precise, it often felt like it hadn't had its morning coffee yet. This has been addressed with the new model, as the steering ratio is quicker. It's variable-effort now, too, for easier parking and better feel while driving.

More improvements find their way into the powertrain. For 2001, the Civic's engine has minor mechanical changes and a slight bump in displacement. Now measuring 1.7 liters (from a previous 1.6), the engine's torque has been increased 6 to 13 percent at 4,000 rpm, depending on the model.

DX and LX models benefit most. They now produce 115 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 110 foot-pounds of torque. EX Coupe and Sedan engines are equipped with Honda's variable-valve-timing system called VTEC. For 2001, the VTEC system on EX models has been retuned for improved fuel efficiency. Horsepower is the same as last year at 127 at 6,300 rpm, but torque rises to 114 foot-pounds at 4,800 rpm. While no EPA mileage figures are available yet, all Civics should gain 2-4 mpg over last year's models, with the high-mileage Civic HX Coupe still topping the list. In addition, all Civics will be certified as ultra-low-emission Vehicles, and Honda says the Civic engine will be the first ULEV engine to be distributed in all 50 states.

Updates are also applied to the transmissions. The five-speed manual has an even better shifter feel thanks to improved first- and second-gear synchros and a new, flexible flywheel that minimizes engine vibration. The four-speed automatic is electronically controlled and features an active lock-up control for better fuel economy. The continuously variable transmission will still be an option on HX Coupes.

Lucky journalists like me were able to mingle with a variety of new Civics at Honda's San Diego press launch. After a day of driving LX and EX Coupes and Sedans, it would seem that Honda's improvements worked as advertised. The increase in torque was hard to detect, but the improved shifting action of both transmissions was noticeable. The new suspension designs and reduced spring and bushing rates have also made the ride smoother and softer than before. Interior NVH seems to have been reduced, as well.

If there is anywhere that Honda seemed to have missed a bit, it's the interior. It looks better, yes, but it still can't match the Volkswagen Jetta in terms of materials or the Ford Focus in terms of layout and design. Honda also snoozed on adding more feature content, as the steering wheel doesn't telescope and there is still only one accessory power point. Honda says it increased the size of the cupholders, but they can't expand or hold a 1-liter water bottle.

Not being able to carry 1-liter bottles probably won't matter much to the legions of young car enthusiasts, but many of them will be disappointed in the '01 Civic. Just when Honda started building momentum with the high-performance Si, it has once again pulled it off the shelf. Combine that with the disappearance of the budget hatchback, the changes in suspension components and tuning, and the smallish horsepower boost, and teens will be tempted to keep their older Civics or cruise over to the local Ford dealership to look at a new Focus ZX3.

For the more mainstream buyer, however, the 2001 Civic can only be viewed as a success. Today's consumers are looking for economy sedans that don't seem like economy sedans. Nissan pulled this off with its 2000 Sentra, which is a big reason why it won the aforementioned comparison test. The Civic's interior room, comfort, and safety have all been improved. It also has cleaner emissions, better fuel economy and an affordable price. It has become even more mainstream, if that is possible. Is the new Civic Elvis reincarnated? No, but will you accept Ed Sullivan?

Used 2001 Honda Civic Overview

The Used 2001 Honda Civic is offered in the following submodels: Civic Sedan, Civic Coupe. Available styles include LX 4dr Sedan (1.7L 4cyl 4A), EX 4dr Sedan (1.7L 4cyl 4A), EX 2dr Coupe (1.7L 4cyl 4A), EX 2dr Coupe (1.7L 4cyl 5M), LX 2dr Coupe (1.7L 4cyl 4A), LX 4dr Sedan (1.7L 4cyl 5M), LX 4dr Sedan w/Side Airbags (1.7L 4cyl 4A), EX 4dr Sedan w/Side Airbags (1.7L 4cyl 4A), LX 2dr Coupe (1.7L 4cyl 5M), EX 4dr Sedan (1.7L 4cyl 5M), EX 2dr Coupe w/Side Airbags (1.7L 4cyl 4A), DX 2dr Coupe (1.7L 4cyl 5M), EX 2dr Coupe w/Side Airbags (1.7L 4cyl 5M), DX 4dr Sedan (1.7L 4cyl 4A), EX 4dr Sedan w/Side Airbags (1.7L 4cyl 5M), DX 4dr Sedan (1.7L 4cyl 5M), LX 2dr Coupe w/Side Airbags (1.7L 4cyl 4A), HX 2dr Coupe (1.7L 4cyl 5M), DX 2dr Coupe (1.7L 4cyl 4A), LX 4dr Sedan w/Side Airbags (1.7L 4cyl 5M), LX 2dr Coupe w/Side Airbags (1.7L 4cyl 5M), HX 2dr Coupe w/Side Airbags (1.7L 4cyl 5M), HX 2dr Coupe w/Side Airbags (1.7L 4cyl CVT), DX 4dr Sedan w/Side Airbags (1.7L 4cyl 4A), DX 4dr Sedan w/Side Airbags (1.7L 4cyl 5M), HX 2dr Coupe (1.7L 4cyl CVT), DX 2dr Coupe w/Side Airbags (1.7L 4cyl 5M), and DX 2dr Coupe w/Side Airbags (1.7L 4cyl 4A). Pre-owned Honda Civic models are available with a 1.7 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 127 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2001 Honda Civic comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 2001 Honda Civic?

Price comparisons for Used 2001 Honda Civic trim styles:

  • The Used 2001 Honda Civic LX is priced between $3,300 and$5,995 with odometer readings between 47359 and193284 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2001 Honda Civics are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2001 Honda Civic for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2001 Civics listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $3,300 and mileage as low as 47359 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2001 Honda Civic.

Can't find a used 2001 Honda Civics you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Honda Civic for sale - 12 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $16,462.

Find a used Honda for sale - 10 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $15,693.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda Civic for sale - 5 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $14,632.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda for sale - 6 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $14,396.

Should I lease or buy a 2001 Honda Civic?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Honda lease specials
Check out Honda Civic lease specials