1996 Honda Civic LSi 1.5 VTEC


Nice cheap town car, with a few surprises in store..


Nothing yet, although the steering column has begun to creak recently when applying full lock rapidly.

I'm not sure if this is wear-and-tear, dust in the mechanism, or something else - it'll get picked up in the next service.

General Comments:

Absolutely brilliant little car - it goes like the proverbial clappers, and handles really well.

Living where I am (the Isle of Man) means that there's no national speed limit. I've managed to hit 130mph on a long downhill straight; the speedometer maxes out at 140, and I hadn't even hit fifth gear - scary stuff, but extremely exhilarating!

Stopping is also excellent, and it seems so be able to come to a halt in a fraction of the time that the "official" highway code states.

I have yet to invoke the ABS out of necessity, but I did play around when the roads were quiet - as expected, it stopped sharply, without locking the wheels or losing control.

The one time that I've managed to get the car to handle badly was to accelerate too quickly out of a 90-degree left handed uphill bend, with a nasty adverse camber. The front under-steered massively (which scared me!), but it pulled back into line quickly as I came off the power. Fortunately there was nothing coming the other way, and now I know that it can happen, I'm a bit more wary.

Fuel economy is pretty good, although if you drive like me (i.e. don't get out of third gear much, screaming along at about 6k rpm...!) then you'll be filling up the tank every week or so. Not cheap, but good fun!

Overall, it's a brilliant car - performs well both as a little run-about, and as a speed machine. What more could you ask for?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st October, 2002

1996 Honda Civic 1.5 VTEC-E 1.5


Very reliable and cheap to run, but not at all sexy.


No unexpected failures, actually no, a rear passenger door courtesy light switch failed.

I ran a '93 Civic Coupe before this and that was totally reliable as well.

It's even still on the original Battery at six years old.

Exhaust replaced at 5 years old for £160.

Front tyre life seems low at a likely 12,000 miles, however this is a second car that is used entirely on winding country roads.

General Comments:

Bought as a cheap to run, reliable commuter car and has not disapointed. It came from a Honda dealer in York (who I found very good) when it was 4years old and had covered 70K. It was being sold at a bargain price having sat on the forecourt for 6 months.

Using the "Econo" light system I get an average 45MPG, which is just 7p/mile for fuel.

It's also in the low (£105) VED band, and insurance costs me £260 fully comp.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd July, 2002

6th Apr 2006, 06:54

I am adding further comments as I still own the car, but there is very little to say. At 10 years old and 135,000 miles it is still on the original battery and the only component to be replaced apart from tyres/exhaust/brake-pads is the resistor pack for the heater fan (25 quid, took 20 mins)a common fault on UK built Civics. In truth I'm sick of the sight of this car, I've never owned one for as long this, but while it continues to sail through every MOT test, what's the point in selling it?

1996 Honda Civic VTi 1.6


Brilliant engine and handling, but otherwise somewhat flawed


Brake discs replaced at 60,000 miles.

Exhaust replaced at 4 years old.

Tyres last approximately 25,000 miles.

Interior beginning to rattle a bit.

Clutch in need of attention shortly (gear selection sometimes difficult).

General Comments:

Great performance (0-60 in 7 seconds according to some road-tests) though you need to use the gearbox to make it fly. Sounds superb between 5-8000rpm.

Surprising civilized around town considering the engine's state of tune. Handling/cornering excellent, although the steering is very light and lacks feel.

Luggage space limited due to intrusive rear suspension.

Rear visibility poor.

General build quality good, but the interior is starting to rattle a bit now.

Interior rather dull for a hot hatch.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th June, 2001

18th Jan 2002, 14:57

7 seconds to 60? Mine's modified to 189bhp and I can only manage it in 7.5 seconds. I agree with you on the rest of it though. Honda seem to have spent all their time and money on the engine, and ignored the interior. Mine rattles and squeeks on the inside like an old Lada now (45000 miles).

19th Apr 2007, 04:33

I have a 96 VTI and with basic modifictions, mine will do 0-60 in 7secs. Tested using a GPS speed reader and timer. Fantastic car.