1999 Honda Civic EX 1.6 VTEC from North America


Good commuter car without any frills


The Good:

Good MPG, VTEC, smooth manual shifter, shifts are effortless, but getting into reverse takes some skill and time. Cheap parts and very simple car to work on.


Rattles, good amount of wind noise, interior can use a touch up.

The following are for my car, not in general:

The CEL (check engine light) came ON after 2 weeks of ownership, granted I bought the car used and should have done a more detailed check. Haven't figured out the problem, but it seems I am going to need a tune with new distributor cap, wires and plugs. Relatively cheap fix, but still money and time need to be spent. The car is leaking transmission oil, not a lot, but a cause for concern.

General Comments:

I like the car and would keep for a while as my primary work-home commuting car. I expect it to last a few year, and still have very good resale value.

Overall I am happy with my Civic and would definitely buy another.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th September, 2009

1999 Honda Civic EX 2 Door Coupe from North America


This is a reliable and economical car


Within the first 2-3 months of buying the car, the check engine light went on.

The dealership said it was a sensor issue.

#-4 months later I heard a rattling noise in the roof, but the service dept fixed the problem.

10 years later and it run like a charm. I have no worries. Trading because I need 4 door car that is larger to haul the kids around.

General Comments:

The car handles quite well.

Its braking is superior.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2009

1999 Honda Civic EX 1.6 from North America


Pretty average


Idle air control valve was fouled, which required taking apart the throttle body and cleaning that too. Annoying, and from what I read, common. Design flaw.

Transmission shifts harshly. Again, common, there's a TSB on this requiring the replacement of a 200 dollar Honda-only part (linear shift solenoid). Design flaw.

Window keeps coming off the track. Honda's TSB is inadequate as it happens frequently. I will have to replace the window regulator. Design flaw.

Exhaust is not in great shape. Muffler will need to be replaced as well as the catalytic converter due to rust. This may be par for the course, but its somewhat annoying because I've driven American cars in the past which have lifetime stainless exhausts on them.

There is a cold running noise coming from the engine. Again, common, but not well documented as to the cause. Just annoying.

Minor oil consumption. All Civics I've owned save one have had this problem.

General Comments:

I give this car a decent mark for gas mileage. It honestly does quite well and I'm not terribly mindful my driving.

I've owned several Civics: a 1996, 1998, 2003 and this one. They've all had problems. Some I've owned since new and some used. What I mean by problems: things that aren't supposed to go wrong with a car. Brakes, belts, alignments don't count.

I've had two out of four Civics with poorly functioning transmissions.

The '96 had an input shaft bearing go bad, which is a common problem, as well as a failing speedometer which is also documented.

This one has a bad shift solenoid.

The 2003 would have the steering lock up when it was cold (almost ran into a tree because the wheel wouldn't turn).

The 98 had a cracked exhaust manifold.

I don't have anything against the Civic. Any car you buy will have a problem or two. But I've had about as many problems with some of the American cars I've owned. My Jeep Cherokee, for example, probably had fewer problems than any of the Civics I owned.

I think Civics do have their share of problems, and these are often overlooked due to somewhat of a cult following. I think some of the designs are not great (having to remove a motor mount to change the compressor belt?!) and I've been under the hoods of plenty of cars to make the comparison.

You'll notice that I'm still driving Honda. I like the mileage and I've gotten to know the car so I can work on it pretty easily. It's probably about as good as most of the other cars I could be driving. My point is that it's not greatly better than the alternatives. Would I buy another one? Not sure. I liked my Nissan and my Jeep better, to be honest.

My advice is if you have your heart set on a Honda (for whatever reason) buy one and drive it. Have practical expectations about the car, though.

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

Review Date: 21st January, 2009

2nd Apr 2011, 07:26

Thank you.

A very objective review.

I find your even keeled review, pointing out the good and not so good, most helpful.