2004 Honda Civic Review
Pros & Cons
- Fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly engines, roomy interior, reputation for durability and quality, impressive crash test scores.
- Top-of-the-line models are pricey, antilock brakes not available on DX or LX.
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Most helpful consumer reviews
EX 4dr Sedan (1.7L 4cyl 5M)
Well, it's been 5 years since I purchased this car used, with 32k on the clock. It now has 145k on it, and I'm expecting to own it another 3 years and 60k. So that right there should tell you something about it. This gen of Civic is, quite simply put, the ideal commuter and city car. The engine is reasonably smooth and peppy. Very low road noise with Goodyear Affinity Triple-treads. Steering is nicely weighted for city driving. Ride quality is sportier than it's American counterparts, and build quailty is far and above the class leader. 5 adults will fit if needed. Sunroof and power gizmos abound. Repairs are infrequent and cheap. 36 highway, 30 city. How can you go wrong?
Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 5M)
I wrote a review with the same title when I purchased the car. I'm still driving it today and have a few updates I think are worth noting. I don't expect many more people to buy this car, but hey, I might as well share what I know. The biggest mechanical issues have been that the check engine light came on around 130,000 and intermittently has gone off and on again since. There is a software fix, but it cuts your MPG from what I had heard so I've just dealt with the light since then. One of the front wheel bearings went out as well as the sway bar end links, those things are pieces of junk but cheap to replace. The AC compressor and radiator developed problems and needed to be replaced around 200,000. The IMA battery light finally came on for me but not until about 215,000 miles. The tell tale sign it's on the horizon is a constant "recalibration" the car does where the battery will "drain" all of its bars even if you aren't accelerating, and then start to charge again. You can note this process happening as well because even with the pedal to the floor, no assist will kick in. Bumblebee batteries makes some great replacements, but for me I've just dealt with the old one. I'm still using the original clutch, but the ISB in the transmission developed some noise like the other models in this year range. No oil leaks/burn to report yet. My MPG when I got the car was mid upper 40s in a rural area with no mountains. I now live in an area with mountains and I use the car to go over passes and have a mountain bike strapped to it frequently. My *worst* MPG average over a tank was about 35 in the 7+ years I've owned the car but now averages around 38-40. Overall, I think this car was pretty solid for an older hybrid. It's efficient, cheap to maintain and buy, and as long as it's standard a blast to drive. For a car that's driven across the country, through countless mountain passes with thousands of feet of gain, on forest service roads and more, I can't ask for more from the $6000 it cost me in 2010.
LX 2dr Coupe (1.7L 4cyl 4A)
This is the most reliable little car! I love my Honda Civic--granted it isn't the quietest ride and definitely has to gather itself before accelerating on the freeway on ramp, BUT I've had this car for many years and now at a little over 150K miles it still is the most reliable car I've owned! Just have to check the oil every 1500 miles and it's good to keep on going. They just don't make them like this one anymore! If you need a basic, simple car this is a great choice!
EX 4dr Sedan (1.7L 4cyl 5M)
I've owned six cars in my life: two Chryslers, one Chevrolet, two Volkswagens, and this is my second Honda Civic. My first Civic, a 1996, made me a Honda fan for life. I'm actually embarrassed for having bought into the "German engineering" hype, because neither of my VWs was that great of a car, and as for the Chev and Chryslers, well... we all make mistakes. My wife and I have two other vehicles, but because my Civic (past and present) has comfortable front seats, lots of room for the kids, tons of trunk space, a decent stereo, phenomenal fuel economy and bulletproof reliability, we always seem to take it everywhere. The 1.7L VTEC engine is a perfect blend of economy and performance.