2003 Honda Civic Si 2.0 DOHC i-VTEC from North America


A well-built low-cost pocket-rocket!


For the most part, I have not had any problems at all with this car; the few I have had are:

1) At around 5,000 miles, while washing my car, I noticed rust around the hinges on the rear hatch. I took it to the Honda dealership and was told it was from the car being shipped on a train. They told me that metal dust, or "rail dust", gets into the cracks on the car and it is the actual dust that rusts. They scheduled an appointment to get it cleaned out, and even set me up with a free rental car from Enterprise for the day. When I got my car back, I inspected the area where I found the rust and found that it was completely spotless. I have not had this problem since, so they must have been truthful with me.

2) The transmission sometimes grinds going into 2nd gear, but, since it happens maybe once a month, I haven't bothered taking it to the dealership. I have seven years (extended warranty) in case something does go wrong.

3) The trim around the power-supply (sort of an empty cigarette-lighter for those of you who do not know what I'm talking about) and the trim, under the steering wheel, on the dash started coming loose. I got both fixed promptly. I haven't had anymore problems with the power-supply trim, but the trim under the dash is still loose. I'll get it fixed when I go in for my first scheduled maintenance (not oil change... I do that myself).

3) The small trim-ring around the temperature knob is somewhat loose. It is not a problem, but I can see some light through the crack when I have my lights on, which is somewhat distracting during night driving. I might have to get that fixed, along with the trim under my steering wheel, fairly soon if it keeps bugging me.

4) I don't care much for Honda's paint. I try to stay as far back from dump trucks, and other semi-hazardous vehicles, as possible, but it does not seem to help. I already have three small chips on my hood, one on my passenger-side fender, and one on my passenger-side door. The chips on my hood are no problem since my car is getting a new carbon-fiber hood soon, but the chips on my fender and door will most-likely get some touch-up paint soon.

5) The stock Michelin tires are horrible. I have less than 8,000 miles on my car and my front tires are worn so badly they are almost bald. While I do like to accelerate quickly, I do not spin or bark my tires, I do not race, and I *never* do burnouts.

General Comments:

Other than the minor problems listed above, I absolutely love this car. I went to the dealership to buy a Civic EX coupe, but fell in love with the Si at first sight. I did not even test-drive this car; I simply told them I wanted it. The first time I drove my little Si was when I drove it home.

With 160 horsepower, and 132 pounds of torque, I must say that I am absolutely amazed by the performance of this car. The 0-60 time is 6.8 seconds, which is pretty good considering a 2002 Mustang GT has a 0-60 of 6.1 seconds. The dash-mounted shifter is great for quick shifts, and is a lot of fun. I had a 1991 Dodge Stealth R/T before this car. It had a 3-liter DOHC V-6 engine (four cams!), but it couldn't possibly keep up with a new Si. The 0-60 for that car was around 7.7 seconds.

The suspension is awesome. The Stealth had ECS (Electronically Controlled Suspension), which changed the stiffness of the struts. While the ECS did improve the handling, it also added a harshness to the ride that my passengers usually complained about. My Civic handles better and rides smoother, without any sort of electronic suspension, than my Stealth did with the ECS turned on.

This car has a ton of storage space. It has a roomy hatch, that is about the size of a standard car trunk, and folding rear seats for extra storage space.

For $19,000, the only car I can think of that is a better deal is the Dodge Neon SRT-4 (turbocharged, intercooled, 230hp, $21,000), which came out after I bought my car. ;-)

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

Review Date: 14th December, 2003

14th Dec 2003, 17:09

Actually the new Tiburon GT's will beat your Si... not that i'd buy either.

2nd Mar 2004, 20:06

I seriously doubt your Si can do 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds. I've witnessed many Si's at the local drag strip that can barely manage to break 16 seconds in the 1/4 mile.

10th Mar 2004, 14:42

I drive the canadian version is a Si-g and can vouch for the fact the Si's do not reach speeds that quick, you have to floor it and it barely lets out a fart, my lawn mower has more pick up, beautiful car, not a doubt, but I am gonna go with Volkswagen. Honda's are reliable and nice, but not worth the dollar if you want some sort of pick up.

2003 Honda Civic EX from North America


Nothing has gone wrong mechanically with the car.

General Comments:

The car has excellent steering control in sharp turns and twists.

It is beautifully designed, nothing flashy, but simple and slick.

But the ride is extremely bumpy and uncomfortable to the point of severe pain from road vibrations. The seats are designed all wrong having no support in crucial areas, like your lower back and your spine. Driver's seat shakes violently, especially when idle and makes you want to scream as you wait for the red lights. The seats feel "suspended" from nowhere absorbing all road and engine vibrations and sending directly into your spine and your neck.

I don't think Japanese engineers understand the amount of travel we do as Canadians. Japan is a very small country, right? For the amount of money this car costs, there are much better alternatives out there that will reduce the misery of back pain on a long trip (yes, it is a "civic", but it does not have to be from your house to teh grocery store and back!).

I am very disappointed and looking to get rid of the car. This car looked so beautiful in the parking lot, too bad Honda do not realize how well it fits with most people's budget. I was thinking to upgrade to an Accord, but now I am really scared!...

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

Review Date: 25th November, 2003

19th Dec 2003, 20:01

I agree, the civic is a nice car with horrible, terrible, scary suspension problems. The car is not that cheap to justify such a poor performance on the highway. I heard that Honda changed the "fish-bone" suspension to new type of struts-may be this is the cause of the "roughness" in the ride. The car has awesome maneuvering capabilities. This combined with great workmanship and a comfortable ride would have made the civic the king of the road. However, too bad the car will outlast the driver with such a rough, beating to death ride!!