1999 Honda Civic EX 1.6L SOHC VTEC from North America
Car had been heavily rear-ended when I bought it, and had it straightened out. Luckily, the rear left damage stopped at the wheel well, so the suspension has been perfect. Got it straightened out.
According to the service records I picked up with the car:
99k miles: replaced catalytic convertor
110k miles: replaced clutch, synchros, resurfaced flywheel.
3rd gear will grind going in 1 time out of 50. Not a big deal.
Reverse takes a few tries to properly get into. Reverse gears have never been serviced, however.
Acceptable power if you keep the rpms above 3000; fairly pathetic pedal response below that. Going from 0-10mph is painful due to lack of low end torque. It takes some skill to move forward after being completely stopped on an incline due to this. Wouldn't reccomend this car to a first time manual transmission driver, but I learned to drive stick on it, so it's possible.
Would not reccomend an automatic civic of this generation. This generation of car has very little low end torque and makes it a pain to drive in the city / stop and go. An automatic transmission just makes things worse.
In comparison, the previous 92-95 civic EX has more torque at lower rpm and is a little smoother to drive because of this. Those cars have much less emissions equipment however (obd1), whereas this car is obd2 so if you have problems with emissions or other things, it is much easier to diagnose via computer.
Downshifting into 3rd on the highway is a thrill as it is almost guaranteed to kick you into VTEC @ 60mph. Passing power in 3rd is very strong, 4th is fairly useless.
Handling around corners is fairly good for an economy car. I have Integra GSR wheels, and feel like they are the perfect upgrade over the stock 14's.
I would not say this is the most comfortable car. The seats are kind of hard and small. The dashboard layout and the rest of the interior is very good, however.
The car is more visually and ergonomically refined than my Cavalier on the inside, yet seems to be far flimsier. I did buy this car as a salvage, but it seems like even after refitting many of the plastic panels, there are plenty of mystery rattles in the car. I am hoping that some dynamat will ease this. The Cavalier had a very dumpy interior, and the dashboard cracked, but the seats were very comfortable and there were very few, very minor rattles.
The engine still runs & starts very well. I would not be suprised if I got 250k miles out of this car. I never have to worry about it breaking down. Even if it does, a used engine is $500 at most.
Very cheap to run and maintain, but rattling, halfway good seats, and very low torque makes this car kind of funky.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th February, 2008
1st Feb 2009, 19:09
Slow acceleration? Wow, I just bought myself a 99 Civic EX and it's an automatic tranny, and this car hauls ass for the amount of horse power (127hp). I can spin the tires slightly off the line and it goes. I find it hard to do the speed limit in this car because it just wants to go faster with a slight touch of the gas pedal.
I used to own a 95 Mitsubishi Galant with a 2.4 SOHC with a cold air intake, high flow exhaust and redone transmission, and this Civic is a lot quicker. The Galant came stock with 142 ponies. So really I don't see how the Civic is quicker, but it definitely is. I'm anxious to see how quick it gets after I do some modding on it.
But no offense, something must be wrong with yours cos mine hauls ass, and you having a standard, yours should be slightly quicker than the automatic. So either you're falsely knocking the Civic or something is wrong with your car. I'd have it checked.
2nd Feb 2010, 14:03
I as well own a 99 Civic EX. Had it about 3 years now. 5 speed trans does not get out of its own way, but other than that, the best car you could ever own. I love it and will drive it to the ground.
I've had very minor issues with it; blower motor went bad around 80k, sway bar links went bad around 100k. This car has yet to let me down.
To the first comment, all 5 spd trans in any Honda seem to have trouble going in reverse. Put it in 1st then reverse, it's just a Honda thing. I believe it may be to prevent you from throwing the car in reverse while moving and ending up blowing the trans, but definitely an awesome car!!!
29th Mar 2010, 22:16
Most 5 speed cars require you to shift to 1st (or another gear of your choice), and then to the reverse gear. Both my Integra, and my Chevette are like that.
30th Mar 2010, 16:12
I agree. My Hyundai does the same thing. It has difficulty going into reverse if you don't shift into first, well, first. As long as you do that, it goes into reverse with no problems.