2002 Honda Civic EX 1.7 VTEC from North America


A poor man's sports car


I hear a strange gurgling sound which I'm guessing is the clutch, when the engine is revved in neutral or when starting in first gear.

Paint is chipping a lit to easily off of the front end.

General Comments:

Overall, this is a fun, sporty car that handles exceptionally well. The VTEC only adds 12 horsepower to the EX model, but it feels like a lot more when you let the engine hit 5-6 rpm.

My car is a red EX coupe. I love the styling in and out. The only thing I would like to see in the future would be a leather option and and the DOHC VTEC available in the coupe body instead of the current Si hatchback.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th October, 2002

19th Apr 2003, 08:44

The problem probably is not the clutch. I experienced the sound that you describe when I picked up a new civic (5 speed). My dealer started three new civics at random. Two were automatics. All had the sound to some degree. The mechanic said that it is caused by the heating coil. Revving the engine increases the noise because it circulates the liquid in the coil. I was told that the bubbles causing the sound would be purged by the system. If not, the mechanic will "bleed' them out. We'll see.

11th Mar 2010, 13:02

Often a gurgling or a sloshing sound when starting the car is due to a low coolant level. Adding coolant fixed this problem for my 2002 Civic. Check your fluid levels at every fill up. Keep them topped off. Easy to do and will save you $$$ as your car ages.

2002 Honda Civic Vision 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland


Oops! Should have bought a Focus!


Lots of things. But the main one is that the steering assistance varies unpredictably: sometimes the steering is very light; sometimes it's really heavy. This problem has not been solved.

General Comments:

There is excellent room for passengers, although the boot is a bit on the small side. The seats are also very comfortable.

The performance is surprisingly good for a 1.4 engine.

Very "boxy" sound from interior audio system.

But the main thing is that steering is terrible: not only is there no feedback, but worse: sometimes it's really light; sometimes it's really stiff. Quite dangerous until you get used to it, because you never know whether you're going to have to give the wheel a good tug or not.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd September, 2002

18th Dec 2010, 07:59

My dad has a 2002 Civic, and I too have experienced the power steering occasionally failing when parking. The steering has almost no feedback from the road; in fact it feels like steering from a computer games console.

The steering ratio is far too low, so you find yourself turning the wheel 1/4 to 1/2 a turn to negotiate a slight bend, whereas the Focus is much quicker. The steering lock is a joke too, oil tankers can out manoeuvre it.

Mechanically it is very well built and reliable, but it's an awful drivers car.

18th Dec 2010, 18:17

I borrowed my friend's 04 Civic recently, and found the same issue with the steering. It's not enjoyable or relaxing to drive this car, as the steering requires constant driver attention and readjusting of direction. Not a nice car for the driver, and I would not buy one.

20th Dec 2010, 12:41

Having had experience with both a Civic and a Focus, there is just no way I would ever buy ANY Japanese car again. The Focus was flawless. The Civic was constantly self-destructing. We now drive only Ford or GM vehicles. No problems with any of them.

2002 Honda Civic EX from North America


Won't buy another Honda again


Since buying the car in May (now September) it's been serviced over 10 times. It took 4 attempts to fix the rattle in the front left of the car. Finally they replaced my struts, springs, and did spot welds. That fixed it. Now, EVERY time I use the ac, my vents inside the car pour (literally) water. It drips into my CD player and all over the dash board down to the cup holders. Like I said, been serviced many times, yet Honda states that this is typical and customary in their 2002's. I'm fighting for the lemon law, where I think I'll have a good chance at getting some help. It took an attorney to get me some help there.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd September, 2002