1981 Honda Civic Standard, 5-speed 1.3 from Malaysia




Usual wear and tear items. Nothing extraordinary. Interior trim and exterior parts showing their age.

General Comments:

Nippy, economical and reliable 5-door hatchback.

Engine is unburstable! Good low-end torque, but runs out of steam at high rpms.

Slick-shifting 5 speed manual gearbox.

Unassisted rack and pinion steering a bit heavy at parking speeds.

Decent ride and handling.

Generally good build quality.

Small boot.

Headlights are barely bright enough.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th June, 2006

1981 Honda Civic 1500 1.5 Liter I-4 from North America


How the heck does it still run?


Well, nothing when I had it.

I sold it to my good friend (nice guy, but dumb). He tried to change the coolant and broke the drain plug. He thought it didn't need coolant to run, so he drove it to work and blew the head gasket. It still runs and drives fine, it just leaves a huge plume of white smoke everytime you drive it.

So, nothing broke because it wasn't supposed to.

General Comments:

This car is very peppy for how powerful the engine is not. Dynoed around 57 hp.

I loved this car until I sold it. Biggest mistake I've ever made.

It only got 22 mpg, but I think that was because it was running super rich.

It handled very well despite the 12 inch tires. Maybe 13, I never checked.

It was a super car for the money and was a lot more than I could have wanted for $500.

Even after 25 years, it passed emissions with no problem. I didn't even have the cat on it. (It rusted and fell off somewhere on the road)

I loved this car and I just wonder how in the world it was still running so well despite all of the age, rust and dings on it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd December, 2005

23rd Dec 2005, 22:59

Don't worry the car will run for a wee bit longer than throw a rod or something. Its in it's death throes...

1981 Honda Civic 1500 Wagon 1.5 CVCC from North America


Still going strong after almost 24 years


Front seats need to be re-conditioned.

Original muffler and B-pipe need to be replaced.

I've had no problems with the car in the 200 miles I've driven it.

General Comments:

After almost 24 years, this car is still going strong. All major components are factory original and are in excellent working condition. Even the radio is the original Sanyo dial-tune model with a working cassette player!

The Air conditioner still blows ice cold air.

There is virtually no rust anywhere on the vehicle. It has obviously been very well preserved inside a garage.

The original paint finish still retains most of its factory shine, and the chrome trim still shines and sparkles like new.

Aside from the two front seats being worn, the interior is nearly flawless.

Overall, this car is in museum condition and has very low mileage (59,400) I bought it from a local dealership who claims they took it in as a trade. Original asking price was $2,000, but I paid $1800 total (including tax, title, tag, dealer fee, etc.) This car has a fair market value of nearly $3,000! Although I don't plan on ever selling this car.

It is VERY fun to drive! I can see it will be very difficult trying to keep the mileage low, because I am constantly tempted to get in it and drive somewhere! It turns many heads out on the road, which is also nice.

The car does not have power steering, so turning the wheel at a standstill requires two hands and a little effort. Once the car is moving, steering is pleasantly tight. The car is relatively nimble, though the 13-inch tires render most of it's handling capabilities. The previous owner (s) were generous enough to equip the car with four brand new Michelin MX4 all season tires, so the car cruises smoothly and quietly along.

Braking power is weak, even after a new brake job... but this is a 24 year old economy wagon. It stops, and that's all it was required to do!

The seats are surprisingly comfortable, though the driver's seat is pretty badly worn and has lost most of its ability to support. Because the car is so small and thin, everything is within easy reach and well positioned. Even the passenger side window crank handle is easy to reach and operate! There is no arm rest inside the car, but I find that my hand rests nicely on the gearshift lever. Besides, it takes two hands to steer! The back seat room is cramped, but the seats appear to have never been sat in. The rear bench style seating folds down to increase cargo room in the back... which is a generous size. This car can fit a lot of stuff in a very small space! So far I've hauled a bunk bed, kitchen table and four chairs home from the store in it. Not only did everything fit, but I also managed to get 5 people inside!

The 1.5 liter CVCC engine isn't very powerful (rated at 67 hp when new) but it sure purrs like a kitten! It amazes me how well this car runs after 24 years of age. I've only put roughly 200 miles on her, but I'd trust this car to go just about anywhere. There a few maintenance items that I'd like to get taken care of (such as the timing belt, which is likely an original piece) but after that, this thing should be good to go. It'll be going to a few car shows later this summer.

What else can I say, It's a great car even after all these years. I'm also the proud owner of a 96 Accord, which started my love for Hondas. The Accord has never failed to amaze me with its unsurpassed dependability, and has far exceeded my every expectation. Now I've got two utterly amazing cars!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th December, 2004

28th Oct 2008, 14:54

"I've had no problems with the car in the 200 miles I've driven it."