1997 Honda Civic EX coupe 1.6 D16Y8 VTEC from North America


This is an excellent car for drivers looking for just a little


Passenger window would periodically jam up in the rubber molding, and would have to be re-aligned at the dealership.

The tensioner springs in the engine head broke, causing the engine to shut off immediately in traffic.

Transmission synchronizers broke, causing it to pop out of 2nd gear into neutral.

At around 30,000 miles, the engine was replaced due to improper wear on the crankshaft bearings.

The new engine rattles alarmingly every morning on cold startup. Although it stops when proper temperature is reached.

Second and third gears constantly scrape when attempting to engage.

General Comments:

Despite my Civics' vast history of engine failures, transmission flukes, and a handful of niggles, it has been a joyful experience.

The transmission, engine (first engine fault), and power window failures where covered on it's warranty, and Leith Honda of Raleigh NC has done a splendid job on fixing the Civic.

The most powerful part on my Civic is the clutch. Everything else failed at least once.

I bought the new engine from an importer. It was 1200.00 dollars with about 25000 miles on it.

Again Leith Honda installed the engine for right around 1000.00 dollars.

Because of my aggressive driving style, most of the power-train failures where my fault.

I decided to tone down my driving habits since then, and the Civic has remained faithful.

If you are a conservative driver and normally keep up with your oil changes, you will never have any problems with the Civics' power train.

The handling on this model is mostly acceptable, as it will progressively under steer on its limit.

Transmission gearing is well chosen, as you can select second gear at the start of corner, and work the throttle through the bend.

For first-time motorists, this car is a good companion for learning how to drive sportingly.

You can definitely surprise true sports cars with the Civics' handling abilities.

However, continuous "on the limit" use will render the Civic EX susceptible to accelerated premature wear on its power train.

If you are an aggressive die-hard Honda driver, do yourself a favor and buy a stronger-engined Honda Civic Si or Acura Integra GSR.

I'm 6'03 inches tall, and interior room is a little tight for me, but mostly comfortable.

Of course, gas mileage is decent with right around 29 mpg.

My Civic is almost paid for. I will most likely keep it, and buy something else additionally.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th April, 2003

1997 Honda Civic EX-G 1.6 from North America




A/C broke down 3 times (all fixed under warranty), problem hasn't returned.

A sticky throttle cable was replaced at 45000 kms.

A faulty exhaust manifold cracked at 90000 kms.

Interior fan (heater) broke at 180000 kms.

Transmission (automatic) fell apart at 316000 kms (surprising for a Honda automatic from what I have heard)

General Comments:

This car was bought brand new. We replaced the Tercel with it because we were doing a lot of highway traveling and thought the Civic would be the better car, we were right.

A few problems under warranty were all fixed promptly (with the exception of the A/C unit). it now has over 360000kms on it and still running on original equipment. Same engine, same exhaust (not including exhaust manifold) same suspension.

It's a little underpowered, but the engine is pretty fun to wind up. The interior fit and finish is very nice quality. Exterior fit and finish were flawless till it was hit in a parking lot.

It has been a joy to own this car, I would do it all over again in a flash. For anyone that is considering a Honda, I say go for it, but you'll get addicted. When you go to a Honda dealership somewhere, despite the usual "I know you'll buy my product anyways" salespeople, you cannot dicker with the price, but you can get them to throw in some gadgets (mine got floor mats, mud flaps, nose mask).

Good Luck..

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th February, 2003