1988 Honda Civic 1.5 from North America


Reliable car if properly maintained to 200k


I bought the car from a friend at about 198,000 miles. It ran great with no problems for about 6 months then everything started falling apart, which is understandable at 200,000 miles. It wouldn't pass the state emissions test, even after a full tune up, new plugs, wires, dist. cap and rotor. Replaced the cat converter and it finally passed. Since then, the alternator went out, I replaced all four tires, new battery, radiator has a small crack and there is an oil leak. Seats are badly worn, but are hidden nicely with seat covers, some rust and the rear defrost is very slow working. Distributor just went out too.

General Comments:

Great car overall, reliable up until around 200K, then all goes!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th April, 2004

1988 Honda Civic Sereno 1.5 from Australia and New Zealand


The ideal small car


When I got the car there was just a little bit of rust that was easy to remove. For the moment there is not rust anywhere, but I'll keep my eye on it.

Driver's door handle broke, so you couldn't open the door from the outside. Very easy to find a replacement.

Hazard light switch doesn't work.

I don't think the CV joints will last forever.

General Comments:

I got this car very cheap, NZ$1500. It needed just a little rust fixed at the bottom of the c-pillars.

I am only the third owner, and the previous owners kept it regularly serviced, and I'm now reaping the benefit of this. Mechanically it is perfect, it doesn't drink any oil at all, and I change the oil every 5000km.

The paint is rather faded, but I'm a student, so that doesn't mean anything to me. And won't be the end of the world if it ever gets a little ding in the car park.

It is comfortable to drive around town or on the open road, very quiet inside and long legged on the open road thanks to the fifth gear. Don't have to change out of fifth gear unless there is quite a steep hill.

Very economical, at worst 6 liters/100km on the open road and 7 liters/100km in town. But if I drive nicely and with only me in the car, the figures are better than that.

The best car I've ever owned, very reliable, well looked after and a pleasure to drive.

Goes well up hills, 50km/hr in second gear up a steep hill is still quiet and smooth.

Easy to accidentally spin the front tyres in the wet when starting facing up hill, but when you're aware of it it's not a problem.

Lots of leg room in the front, and a lot of space in the boot. Not a lot of leg room in the back, though.

This is all I want in a small car - reliable, economical yet performs well on the open road and up hills.

I think I'll stay with Japanese cars from now on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th September, 2003

1988 Honda Civic DX B16A DOHC VTEC from North America


Light, quick, autocrossing fun..


3rd-4th gear synchro rings are gone due to full-throttle power shifting (in a race.. :p)

Overpaid! $8800 with 50 000 kms on new engine; 160 000 kms on body.

- Don't BUY BODYKITS... I bought one and decided to convert the car to a race-only vehicle... ugh, paint is expensive.

General Comments:

This car rocks; 146 front wheel HP @7500 rpm, 117lbs torque @ 4000rpm. Naturally Aspirated L4, 0-60 in 6.8, 1/4 mile in 14.78. and still 28mpg in town.

1st gear is good to 80kms (limiter is 9500 rpm).

2nd gear to 110.

3rd to 140.

4th to 180.

5th to 200+ (speedo stops @ 200kms).

1991 Civic SiR engine, and no "luxury" features.

Pull 0.96Gs on 200m skidpad, with Koni/Progressgroup custom suspension, and custom strut supports.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th August, 2003

1988 Honda Civic DX 1.5 from North America




The entire exhaust needed to be repaired. The brakes needed pedals and a master cylinder. The seats are terribly shot.

General Comments:

Because I am a delivery driver, I do a lot of wear and tear on my car. The Honda Civic DX is suprisingly durable. Even though I only had this car since November 2002, she runs just as good as my mother's 2003 Dodge Neon SXT.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th March, 2003