1990 Honda Civic DX 1.5L from North America


465,000 km on virtually all original parts says it all


At roughly 384,000km one of the engine seals gave and the vehicle developped a small oil leak. It required a pint of oil every two gas-ups (roughly 1200km-1400km).

At 410,000km the radiator needed to be replaced.

The engine finally lost partial use of one piston at 464,000km. The car is still drivable.

The only other work done on this vehicle was routine maintenance.

General Comments:

This vehicle went through the entire family starting with my in-laws, then their son and finally their daughter.

The vehicle is by far the most reliable vehicle we have ever owned collectively. The engine finally blew after close to half a million kilometers. But for the fact that my wife has allowed the oil to run dry on three different occasions (for god knows how long) I am sure the engine would still be working well today.

Save for the radiator, all of the parts on this engine were still original. I am of the opinion that it is virtually impossible to destroy the engine or the transmission on this vehicle if you keep them well lubricated and drive in a reasonable matter.

In terms of handling, this little god send would whiz in and out of traffic and accelerate on demand with no problems. It turned on a dime, and due to its short turning radius and small size could be parked between two sardine cans if needed. On the highway it had adequate power and was still a reasonably comfortable drive up to 120km/h up until 464,000km.

As for gas mileage, even with the high kilometers, I could go more than 700 km on a tank of gas (43L) on the highway and about 625-650km in town. That translates to roughly 38 miles/gallon on the highway and 35 in town.

Up until this past week at 464,000 km it would have still passed the emissions test without problems. In fact it passed one at 455,000 km with flying colors. The vehicle was still in certifiable condition before the engine problem and this with only basic routine maintenance.

It is a roomy vehicle and well thought out. In fact when traveling, I could haul more stuff int this little car due to it's generous width then I could with a 4 door Suzuki Sidekick Sport.

The only drawback I could point out is that the hatchback is a little noisy on the highway. It was slightly noisy at first but with increasing mileage, it became a bit of an issue. Mind you, the car was not equipped with A/C and the windows were pretty much always open...

I loved this car and would by another Honda in a heartbeat.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2004

1990 Honda Civic GL 1.5 SOHC Dual Carb (D15B4) from Australia and New Zealand


A very fast, agile hatch that appears to follow a different set of physical laws to the rest of us


Head gasket blew twice. Appears to have been a poor repair from before I had the car.

Power steering rack is leaking, which has caused further problems by oil leaking into the distributor.

Problem with the rotor arm left me stranded once.

Burning oil and blowing smoke above 5000rpm. Probably needs new rings.

General Comments:

The civic is a very well balanced front wheel drive with plenty of power. It's the most agile car of it's size that I've ever driven.

The engine doesn't produce much torque below 3000rpm, but it gets up to speed very quickly and goes like a rocket at 4500rpm. It doesn't go very well with a heavy load.

The interior is very well designed. The bucket seats are very comfortable. Not as deep as the Honda Prelude's and, in my opinion, just right. The rear seats are easy to get into for a 2 door, and quite comfortable. With the back seats folded down flat, it can carry a very large load.

The suspension is just right, and keeps your passengers happy without sacrificing any handling, but the back end gets a bit light at high speed.

The power steering is very nice in the city, but much too soft on the highway.

It might just be because of the age of the car, but it's not an easy car to drive. The clutch and accelerator are very temperamental. If you lift off the accelerator while the engine's loaded the car will hop. Once you get the hang of it it's a lot of fun and lets you squeeze the most power out of it.

Being a Honda, it's expensive to service and stupidly expensive to do any panel work.

I've been very demanding on my car, and despite the various mechanical problems, it just keeps going.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th April, 2004

18th Aug 2009, 06:14

I have a 1992 Civic with the d15b4 (twin carb) engine. It's just hit the 245,000km's mark and still goes hard. I take it racing quite frequently, give it a very hard time and it just keeps going and going. Blows a bit of smoke these days as it's getting a bit old, but it still performs very, very well.

I agree with pretty much everything that has been said about the car in this review. It's an extremely comfortable car to drive and pulls like a train after 4500rpm. Love the car.