Used 2003 Honda Civic Consumer Reviews
I bought the car new in 2003 and it's been great. I see many complaints about gas mileage, but mine averages 49 MPG with snow tires on. This has been the most trouble free and economical car I've ever owned, and it's fun to drive.
Total 2003 HCH Cost- HW Items purchased from 79k to 200k miles as follows: 2 sets of tires 1 speed sensor (drove thru deep puddle) 1 set of spark plugs 1 set of ft brake pads 1 fuel filter Fluid change maintenance from 79K to 200k miles as follows: * Several 0-20W/0-30W oil/filter changes (8k mile intervals) * Two CVT fluid changes noting I assumed to change oil every 100K miles until I noticed the transmission was slipping and read my OEM operators manual stating to change trans. oil every 30K. After changing the oil the first time THE TRANSMISSION QUIT SLIPPING and I make sure to change this fluid at recommended intervals. * One Antifreeze change Car runs good(mildly abused)
My Civic Si looked new when I bought it 2.5 years ago with 55K (totally stock). It's now at 90K, and it's been really great. The handling is a dream, it's comfortable as can be up front, and I get 30MPG+ even while having some fun on the mountain roads I drive daily. Its quick enough to be fun, though there are *now* a lot of faster cars for everyday use. I had to replace an O2 sensor and a door lock actuator (both of which are relatively easy to do yourself, luckily, and thus done for < $300 total). The backseat is a bit tight, but much better than what many similar cars have. The biggest shortcoming of this car is the lack of a 6th gear. 5th at 75mph=3700rpm.
This vehicle has been a pretty good day to day driver but the attention to detail is been lacking. Fuel economy is great and 7 years later feels tight and drives like new - but it is not without its issues. After two weeks of ownership, the interior fabric fell off the doors and need to be reglued. Stabilizer links failed at 80,000 km. Air conditioner failed at 90,000 km (55,000 miles). Exhaust manifold was cracked at 100,000 km (63,000 miles).
I struggled with constant repairs on domestic cars for years before purchasing this car. WHAT A DIFFERENCE. Bought at 47K miles in 2007 and now have 120K. In that time only ONE thing has ever gone wrong and that was a sensor that only cost $150. It just blows my mind how reliable this thing is. This car is such a smart choice and can be found for under $5K atm. Will be one of the best vehicle investments you ever make.
I bought my 2003 Honda Hybrid new. All told I think it was $35k. Paying a premium on the car because it was a hybrid, the tax deduction and the gas savings would make up for the extra cost; right? Well, for the past year it has been sitting in our driveway with a busted transmission. $4500 to replace it. This is the latest in a long string of recalls/replacements on this car. Luckily, our other fixes have been covered by Honda; but this fix is not. We look at the blue book value of this car, and seriously question if it is worth fixing especially when we read other reviews of cars that have gone through multiple transmissions and other fixes. For the price, I expected better.
Just a warning to those looking at this car. I bought in 2002 (2003 model) and have been the only owner for just over 8 years. Five months past the warranty, the battery failed and now I have to pay $3000 to have it replaced. The car has less that 80,000 miles, but because I've owned it over eight years, the warranty has expired. This is simply too much of an expense to be reasonable or fair. It certainly doesn't justify the gas savings. I am very disappointed in Honda and will not buy another one, because of this experience.
The IMA Battery on the 2003 Civic Hybrid is/was a flawed product. My first battery failed at 42,000 miles ( at 7 years) and was replaced under warranty. The second battery has failed with less than 27,000 miles ( at 11 years) and the dealer says it will cost me $3,684 to replace it with a rebuilt battery with a 3 year, 36K warranty. So far, Honda and I have spent more on batteries than I have on fuel for this car. With a 3 year warranty on a $3,684 battery, I'm planning on $1,000 per year battery cost going forward.
Unfortunately, this car's motor went out despite my meticulous maintenance of the car. Also, it burned a significant amount of oil. It might have been lack of care from the previous owner. The car was great while it ran. This was my 4th Civic (2 of which including this one had motor issues), all of my Civic's owned burned oil. I thought it was normal for older cars to burn oil but my 2005 Ford Focus and 1999 Ford Escorts do not burn oil at all. Plus they run great aside from electrical issues in the Ford Focus. Despite all it's praise and glory, I don't think I'll ever own a Honda again.
I bought my civic used in 2005 with 37K miles and now have 158K. I have been a stickler with scheduled maintenance and have averaged between 33 and 38 mpg. I go on long drives once a month and it does well, but the seats are uncomfortable and you feel every pebble and crack and on the road. I replaced the ignition coils at 120K, the clutch at 153K and the head gasket replaced at 155K, which was hard to diagnose as the symptoms lead you to think the issue is elsewhere (overheating and heater malfunctioning), and the dealership was clueless. Otherwise it has been good to me. I would recommend buying this car, but if the miles are high look for one with new head gasket!