1997 Honda Civic LS 1.5 Vtec 3dr from UK and Ireland


Speedy bargain machine


Nothing so far. Only had it a few weeks.

General Comments:

The best feature of this car is the engine. It is very economical, but get it above 4000 rpm and it just rockets.

The interior is a let down (slide controls for ventilation, but it looks good from the outside (fat, low profile tyres).

Feels solid and composed around town and on twisty B-roads.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th December, 2000

2nd Feb 2001, 09:35

I have had the car for 3 months now, and I like it more and more. Keep it below 3000 rpm and it works in ecomomy mode (green light comes on). The fuel economy is exceptional.

Pick the revs up (4000-6000) then the Vtec-2 (stage 2) come to life. This is the only flaw in its performance, but I am thinking of getting it Super Chipped and fitting a K&N air filter, to sort this torque flat spot out.

At 6000-7200 rpm the Vtec-3 (stage 3) kicks in and it flys (went past my brother in laws RS 2000, Escort GTi).

And then slow down and you're in ecomomy mode again doing 250 miles on £15 of petrol (unimaginable with British fuel prices being so high).

A very underestimated car, and very reliable.

1997 Honda Civic 5 door 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Too many design flaws to recommend


Headlights steam up and need replacing. This has been done EIGHT times in three years.

Doors knock on bumps.

Wiper motor packed up and was replaced.

Doors bulge when windows are wound up.

Windows rattle if not fully up.

Huge dashboard reflection in windscreen.

General Comments:

Throttle pedal has too much throw and so much of the performance cannot be achieved without having the seat uncomfortably forward.

Great suspension though.

Dealers are a pain and incompetent.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th November, 2000

1997 Honda Civic HX small from North America


Cool economy car with get-up-and-go


Battery died after I left the radio on for too long.

Hood rattled for a while, but the dealer adjusted a damper for free out of warranty and the problem is gone.

General Comments:

Great little car. It's supposed to be an economical car, but when you drop that 5-speed down into third and stomp the gas, the VTEC engine will get up and scream. I've had it up to 110 mph and it felt just fine. I even auto-crossed at a local SCCA race. I lost, but had fun.

It gets 42 mpg even with the A/C on, looks good, cranks every time, has great re-sale value (unless they find out about the race) and should stay this way for years to come.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th August, 2000

10th Jan 2005, 16:30

How is it that you got your '97 HX up to 110 MPH? I also have a '97 HX and she tops out at 95 MPH, Unless I get a small hill, is that the same for you? I know that you'll only get it 100 MPH if you hit a small downhill. Unless you know another trick?

1997 Honda Civic VTi 1.6 DOHC VTEC petrol from UK and Ireland


Jeckyll and Hyde motor that loves being wound up high


Had a Honda CAT1 alarm fitted by the Honda dealer who sold me the car. Unfortunately they wired it to the +12V that is cut whenever the key is turned to the start position. Lasted 2 weeks and then blew the alarm. New alarm fitted properly and everything OK now.

General Comments:

Performance not as good as previous VTi (1992 K-REG) and they seem to have changed the gear ratios. 4000RPM @ 70MPH vs 3500RPM @ 70MPH in my old car. Air conditioning does not seem as powerful either. Made in Japan unlike the 5 door junk Rover version. Nice car to drive and quite economical, ~30MPG with AC on and fast driving.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th July, 2000

1997 Honda Civic EX 1.6 (?) Gas from North America


Front headlight leaked (water), changed under warranty; crack in plastic at base of antenna mounting (present when bought).

General Comments:

Good car, suspension too soft making handling less enjoyable. Not that fuel-efficient, my Camry gets better mileage; cheap plastic interior, cheap radio; poor handling in winter due to low ground clearance, this depite Michelin Alpin tires. I prefer German cars, even though noted to be not as reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 26th January, 2000