One of the most functional and utilitarian vehicles I've ever owned
Engine was replaced at 80,000 miles and thereafter I had a persistent head-gasket problem. Replaced the gasket 6 times until I finally found out that when the head had been resurfaced at time of engine (short block) replacement, the idiots at the machine shop had planed it improperly.
The front suspension bushings are worn and probably need replacement, but since this doesn't create problems (other than a somewhat 'clunky' ride), I have not bothered with them. Shocks (MacP struts in front) have been replaced, as have conventional oleo shocks in rear.
Alternator has been replaced twice and numerous tires have been gone through.
Like several other owners of similar model & year Honda Civic station wagons, I love this rugged little beast. I would compare it with a Mexican burro--a faithful, sturdy, always capable, and sure-footed little vehicle with commodious cargo capabilities, excellent gas mileage stats, and an overall utility value that simply goes WAY off the charts. It handles in a very spirited manner with its front-wheel drive, and the two-speed manual automatic transmission seems bomb-proof (and is snappy & fun to drive, as well). It was never intended to be a Rolls Royce and I don't expect that type of creature comfort from it; however, it can't be beat as a great all around town-car (and our two Siberian Huskies love it, too!).
Its name is 'Buster the Wonder Honda' and it is, interestingly enough, a REAl 'SUV' ("Small Utility Vehicle"). To paraphrase another 1979 Honda Civic station wagon owner, "I am keeping this little guy in the motor pool until it dies a natural death from terminal metal oxydation (if that ever occurs)." I have several Porsche 914s (including a rare 1970 6-cyl) that I am quite fond of, but this little Civic is still my ultimate favorite 4-wheeled vehicle around town!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 30th September, 2005