1995 Honda Civic EX 1.6 liter from North America

Summary:

You can't kill it and it won't die. Runs forever

Faults:

So, I have had this car 20 years now. 195k miles. In 20 years, these are all the items I have had to fix that are not standard maintenance items like tires and brakes and so on.

Several CV joints up front. One every few years for a while there, but the roads in Chicago are HORRIBLE and full of massive pot holes. Strangely enough, once I moved out of Chicago and ride on better roads, no CV joints have needed my attention.

Steering rack. This failed at about 180k. Was $600 to fix. But hey... 18 years on one steering rack is not too bad. It was leaking power steering fluid. It worked fine, but was leaving fluid on my garage floor.

ECM - $400. Just failed at 190k. For the first time in 19 years, my Honda Civic did not start. It has NEVER EVER NOT started in 19 years.

And that's it! Really a reliable car. I have done the usual tires and brakes when needed. I did a major service at 140k miles and had the timing belt done, along with all new belts, plugs, hoses, radiator flush and transmission fluid flush, and water pump. Was only $850 for everything at a local guy who specializes in Hondas and Toyotas.

It's 20 years old this month, has almost 195,000 miles and still gets 32 MPG city and 39 highway. It's not even rusting too bad either.

General Comments:

You can't kill these Hondas. Here in Chicago it's -20 in the winter and this thing starts right up. 99 in the summer and no problem. For a small car it can carry an amazing amount of stuff, especially with the back seats down.

Performance is okay. It's nothing to write home about, but enough to get around town and good enough on the expressway.

I paid $18,000 for this loaded EX back in OCT of 1994. It is now OCT 2014. I have had others come up and offer to buy the car. Usually younger guys who I figure want to fix it up and race it. One guy at a parking garage offered me $3000, and the guy at the Honda place the last time I got the oil changed offered me $2500.

So, if I paid $18000 for it and sell it for $2000, I spent $16,000 for 20 years of a good car. That's $66 per month not counting gas or repairs.

Would and have bought another Honda. Bought an Element. 92k on my Element and going strong.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th October, 2014

1995 Honda Civic Ferio Vi 1.5 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Affordable, economical runabout

Faults:

Engine failed at 135000 km. Due to poor maintenance by previous owner, the bolt securing the main pulley to the crankshaft came loose. This created vibration that caused a stress fracture in the crankshaft. It was cheaper to replace the engine with a second hand model than to fix the crankshaft.

Transmission failed at 136000 km. Previous owners used the wrong oil in the CVT, and it failed as a result.

General Comments:

Apart from the two (major) problems mentioned above, it has been a brilliant little car. Both the engine and transmission were replaced with second hand parts, and roughly 30 000 km later I haven't had any other problems. Based on my initial experience, I would give this car a 3 out of 10 for reliability. Based on my experience since then, I would happily give it a 9. Overall, I rate it a 6.

It's extremely cheap to run. I do 99% of my driving around town and average between 13 and 14 km per litre. Adding in some highway driving easily pushes it out to 17 km per litre. (this model has the D15B, three stage VTEC, with lean-burn mode). The great thing about this car is that it has heaps of power for a 1.5 litre (once you get above 4500 RPM).

I consider maintenance costs part of the running costs, and the cost of the above-mentioned repairs have pushed them up. Without those costs, I would rate it a 10. Considering them, I rate it a 6.

It handles well, and isn't bad around corners - considering that it isn't meant to be a performance sedan. It doesn't feel heavy, and its brakes work well. For its class (affordable Japanese runabout sedans), I think it performs very well and I personally prefer it to the other, similar cars I looked at before buying it. It may not feel as solid as a Corolla or Pulsar, but it inspires more confidence in the corners.

Comfort levels are good overall. Road noise can be high at speed, but that may be a consequence of the tires I have fitted (they were fitted new when I bought the car, and I haven't needed to replace them since).

Overall, I'm very happy with this car and (given a better service history than mine had) wouldn't hesitate to buy another.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th July, 2013