1981 Honda Civic 1500 DX 1.5L from North America


A great little bargain!


At 7,000 miles the undercoating melted into the parking brake mechanism and locked it up. This took 10 minutes to repair.

At 60,000 miles the water pump failed. This took 15 minutes to replace.

The bucket seats wore through at 65,000 miles.

The hatchback lost its battle with rust at 72,000 miles.

General Comments:

This was the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned.

Driver comfort was cozy, but acceptable. Back seat accommodations were rather cramped.

The little engine revved eagerly and the transmission ratios were well spaced. Fifth gear was downright miserly on gas.

Oil changes were a snap with the filter mounted on the front of the engine. Tuneups were equally quick to accomplish.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st June, 2004

15th Feb 2005, 20:41

I have had the car for 6 years and have rebuilt it once. head gaskets are easy I can do them in under 4 hours.

8th Mar 2005, 08:01

I have a Brown 1981 Honda Civic, and its just the most reliable car I've ever had. Its very good on gas and I just put a new clutch into it, other than that nothing else has broke down. Engine runs fine and the car rides very smooth.

27th Oct 2005, 09:17

I bought a 1982 White Honda Civic Automatic for 150 Quid around 1992-93. This little fellow was stuck a back of a showroom forecourt. Needed some minor bodywork done and some welding that I had done by some backstreet garage that I'd used before they charged me £5.

Put thousand's miles on this thing, before I destroyed it on a slippery road. That made me sick, I got home in it, the damage it took I don’t know how, the engine give up right at my house.

I put the car in storage for 5 years hoping one day to have the cash to fix it. Sadly that day never came its final journey was on a tow truck. Of all the cars I've had since then, This Honda remains my favourite.

1981 Honda Civic DX 1.5 from North America


Everlasting, affordable, small, and just plain fun


It blew a rod (my fault, having too much fun). I drove the car two and a half miles to my dad's shop on the thrown rod and had it fixed by the end of the day!

Water pump and timing belt. Both are maintenance of any car.

Seats are wearing (at 196000 miles, what do you expect?)

Bent drive axle and busted CV joint. A result of a collision with a fence post. I drove for a few thousand miles before I had the money to fix it. The front wheel wobbled, but it still kept on going.

Other maintenance problems, but nothing major (fuel pump, fuel filter, etc...)

General Comments:

The car is so much fun. I have put it through hell and it still runs good. I beat a 5.0 Mustang in an eighth of a mile. He had me in the quarter.

It was first used as a hunting vehicle, and they abused it very badly. That car has been though it all and it still gets to where you're going.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th May, 2001

1981 Honda Civic 1.5 from North America


I should have spent the money on bus tokens


Transmission lost 3rd & 5th gear.

Carb faulty.

Power brake booster failed.

Left rear door jammed shut.

General Comments:

Let's just put it like this: This car was a nightmare.

I bought it used from the Honda dealership, no warranty because of its age. But they told me it was 1 owner, etc.

Had numerous problems with it in the 6 months I owned it.

Eventually GAVE the car to my cousin, who is a mechanic.

He eventually became so frustrated with it he abandoned the car.

Everybody loves their Hondas, I know, but I had the biggest piece of crap they built.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th March, 2001

10th Mar 2004, 03:40

I have an '81 honda civic sedan that I bought three years ago with 146,000 miles on it. it now has 210,000 miles on it and is running strong. other than regular maintenance that would be expected on a car of this age, I have had no problems. I continue to get 30+ miles to the gallon in the city. the only things I have had to work on (other than oil changes and brakes) are the timing belt and cv joints. the fact that it took 200k to wear these out is impressive in itself. when I changed the timing belt I also checked the compression on the cylinders, and they were still within the service limits. this says a lot about the quality of a honda motor. I firmly believe that this car will make it to at least 300k, and have no plans to sell it, ever. I should also say that of all the cars I have worked on (few, I admit) this has been the easiest. anytime I tell someone about the impressive mileage on my honda I often hear "200,000 miles! it's not even broken in yet". obviously I'm not the only one with an affinity for hondas.