Honda Civic Hatchback (95 - 02) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

Bought mine 2nd hand 6 months ago with only 2000KM on the clock, For a small car its great, and it does all the things I wanted it to, I enjoy driving it as long as I don't have to go on longer trips, as the seats do tend to give you a sore bum and lower back, but I have the lower back problem in most cars, so it is not the Civic, the sore bum is a first though:) also like others have mentioned there are some small faults, but i have learnt to work around them. The poor view through the back window is the easiest to get over, and with the parktronics and rear view camera, I have no problems in knowing where my corners are at, it just took a few weeks to get used to. The brightness of the instrument panel at night, can easily be lowered down manually, so that they do not reflect in the front windscreen. The handling on highways at speeds over 90 Km, is the largest fault in my opinion, and it feels like the car is swaying from side to side, add a little wind and it increases drastically. But its still a enjoyable car to drive, and I'm sure ill keep it for a few years before I move on to another.

stefan boberg, sweden, April 6th 2015

i-VTEC EX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG47.1 mpg

I am impressed with this Honda, it does what is required from it which for me is a runabout with kids and occasional long distance motoring. It is economical and spacious with good standard options on the SR version. Visability rearwards takes a bit of getting used to but parking is simple with the parking camera and large mirrors. Most annoying feature is the light on the dashboard that never goes off telling you the passenger airbag is on - so what, it should go off after a short period of time, but dealer said it won't! Economy is very good considering the type of town driving it does - it's not a sports car and shouldn't be judged as such, but is comfortable and reliable and handles fine but i'm not driving it at the limit. Ride is good as it has sensible tyres that have some give in them over poor road surfaces No issues with driver comfort, I'm 6.1 and don't have an issue with headroom and panoramic roof gives a bit more height and makes cabin a bit more airy. Diesel isn't hugely intrusive but you know it's there until warmed up, wind noise is very low at speed. Rear seats are great for loads with magic seats making loading suitcases very simple. Reviews state dashboard is cluttered, but all you really need is the speedo and it's perfectly positioned just below the eyeline. And no road tax either....which is nice.

tim jolliffe, london, January 22nd 2015

i-DTEC SR 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG54 mpg

I bought a new Civic 1.6 i-DTEC SR four weeks ago, as I needed an economical, front wheel drive car for my daily commute. The Civic appeared to have the right credentials, delivering a claimed 70+ mpg. It also had an extensive list of options, with leather interior, parking sensors, parking camera , satnav and heated front seats amongst many others. Having now owned it for a month, however, I consider this to be amongst the worst purchases I have ever made. Apart from delivering less than 50mpg from the first tank of diesel (despite driving like the Pope), the ride is harsh, road noise excessive and all round visibility very poor, especially to the rear, with the positioning of the spoiler half way down the rear window. It may have all the toys you could possibly want, but you sacrifice comfort and driving pleasure to get them. I would not recommend this car to anyone who enjoys driving and will be replacing it as soon as possible.

Andy Smith, Herts, December 22nd 2014

i-VTEC SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG45 mpg

I disagree with your review what car.I have to say this is the best car I have ever owned.the ride is lovely and the seats offer good support without being to firm.The engine has plenty of poke in the upper range and is mated to a brilliant gearbox.I like the looks of the car and looks great in white.The interior is class with digital speedo and many other digital gauges.i would recommend this car to anyone who wants to be a little different and stand out from the crowd

jamie stirling, somerset, December 1st 2014

i-VTEC SE Plus-T 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG45 mpg

I have owned my type R for 3 years now, i have never owned a car so long, i usually change within a year, but although not the most expensive car i have ever owned its by far the best. In 3 years i have only done minor servicing, nothing has went wrong at all. The interior of the car is superior to any alternatives as well. Fuel economy is whatever you want, drive it hard you could be in the teens, drive it sensibly you could be "almost" 40mpg on a run, which is staggering for a car of its type. my only real drawback is the suspension is just a bit too hard, but the rest of the car makes up for that. I just cant bring myself to change the car.

lroy mcgoo, ayrshire, November 18th 2014

i-VTEC Type R GT 3dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG31 mpg

I have owned this car for 7 years and covered 87,000 miles. It has proved superbly reliable - only repair was a suspension component (Β£110) most likely due to a pothole. Servicing is pricey but always very efficiently done by the main Honda dealer. Best thing about the car is its practicality - it really holds an amazing amount of kit whether golf equipment, bicycles, garden and diy stuff - in fact, it holds more than the much bigger cars I had previously (Mondeos, Passat). Performance is fine with good overtaking pick up and sure-footed handling. Fuel consumption about 48 mpg on short trips - 55 mpg on longer ones. Suspension a bit hard and it is quite noisy at motorway speeds. Interior is as good as new with good quality leather. Only disappointment is the paintwork which seems too soft resulting in lots of chips on the bonnet. Just about to buy a new one...

Norman Dunning, Clackmannanshire, February 15th 2014

i-CTDi EX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG52 mpg

Sorry, What Car?, but I have to disagree with your review! I've had a Civic 1.8 Ti for over a year and while it's not entirely without flaws, I love it. The interior feels much better quality than a Focus or Astra and not nearly as depressingly dull as a Golf, with supportive seats and plenty of headroom (I’m 6’2”). The dashboard layout is spot on, making you feel just a little bit like you're flying a spaceship. In the back there’s decent headroom but foot space under the front seats is limited. The dual-folding seats are awesome. To drive, it’s what I'd expect from Honda, with neat cornering and a firm but not uncomfortable ride. You need to work the gears a bit to get the best from it; it'll happily cruise along at 30 in 6th but if you need to get up to 70 in a hurry then leave it in 3rd and enjoy the surge of power as it passes 3000rpm. On a country road, keep it over 2000rpm and there's plenty of power to squirt you through the corners. Don’t bother with the eco button, it just spoils the fun. The 'Ti' was good value including plenty of equipment and wheels that look suspiciously like they've been borrowed from a Type R. The Civic may have a few quirks (like the gurgling fuel tank when it's been filled up) but for me these just add a bit of character. If you want an efficient Germanic driving machine then obviously get a Golf but if you want something that will actually make you smile each time you get into it I'd highly recommend trying one of these.

Rich Wilson, January 7th 2014

i-VTEC ES 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

I drive a 2013 Civic EX 2.2 I-DTEC. The car is far better than described in the What Car review and I can’t believe it’s only got the same three star score as the the dreadful Volkswagen Jetta that I had to put up with before I had the Civic. The Civic’s 2.2 diesel engine is very quiet, smooth and powerful unlike the Volkswagen's 2.0 diesel "tractor" engine. The fuel economy is far better than expected with an average of 62mpg when driving on French motorways at 130kmh. The best fuel economy so far is just over 70mpg when driving on A roads. The car is well built and very practical and is far better quality than the Ford Focus rental car I had to put up with when I was abroad recently, which felt it was made out of recycled biscuit tins going by the noise the doors and boot made when closing them. The Civic's built-in SatNav/Radio with DAB is excellent. The reversing camera and parking sensors make parking very easy. If you want a different, well equipped, exciting and well made car that you just want to keep driving buy the Civic, if you want to follow the crowd (sheep like fashion) buy a boring Ford or VW.

Neville Watkins, Shropshire, November 5th 2013

i-DTEC EX 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG65 mpg

I own a 2006 Honda Civic 1.8 i-VTEC, I have owned this car since new and I have never had a problem with it its the best car I have, even better that my Audi TT i used to own and my BMW 3 Series that I have as a company Car at work! If your thinking of buying one of these trust me you won't regret it!!

Josh Gordon, West Midlands, October 29th 2013

i-VTEC SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG42.8 mpg

Haven't had this car for long but so far can't complain. I've read up on all it's faults but decided to go ahead and purchase it anyway. Some readers on here say the ride is too hard? I've just came from an Astra Sport Hatch which was by far more bone crunching. I've covered 700 miles this weekend and don't feel that there was any discomfort endured. MPG? during those 700 miles?, I've averaged 59.4 MPG :) not bad considering my Astra 1.4 Sport Hatch was only giving me about 38 MPG. In my opinion the car looks great and the interior is like a breath of fresh air. My only major complaint is that I've had to change the air and cabin filters as they were in a disgraceful condition, even though the franchised dealer assured me that the car had been serviced. I will be bringing this up with them. One of the best features in the cabin is the dual heating function, my Good wife loves heat, while I love a more comfortable arctic feel :) so no more battles of wit over the heater control :) The rear seats lift up and if you're into your cycling, can fit in a Road Bike if you take the front wheel off, no more roof bars. Another thing which is good about this car is when you plant the throttle "in a responsible manor of course" it does put a smile on your face once the turbo kicks in, there is some lag but hey, who buys one of these for Bugatti Veyron style performance.

Neil Turnbull, Ayrshire, October 20th 2013

i-CTDi ES 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG55.4 mpg

I've just changed to the 1.6 EX version of the Civic, its by far the best car I've had for performance and MPG, after 100 miles I was already up to 60MPG around town. The Sat Nat is fantastic and there is even a sub woofer in the boot. I drive along with my stereo on, so cant hear any engine noise and the leather interior is very comfortable. The only gripe I have is I have to share it with my wife...

Jerry L'Estrange, wiltshire, August 24th 2013

i-DTEC EX 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG60.2 mpg

This isn't a bad car at all, athough not perfrect. With just a litte more thought Honda could have had a real winner here, but it's let down by a couple of points. Good points: the 2.2 diesel engine is superb, if a tad noisy. Plent of grunt, good acceleration (if you get the revs to 2000), and effortless overtaking on the motorway even in 5th of 6th gear. It's fun and easy to drive, the handling seems OK to me. And it looks great, both outisde and in. I was going to buy a Golf but they're just boring compared to the Civic. The Civic just seems more unusual and interesting. Honda customer service - can't fault it. And the car has been super reliable as per its reputation. Bad points: the split rear screen can be a bit annoying as can the lack of a rear wiper, but.... the worst fault is the suspension, over even minor bumps and holes in the road. It's far too hard - all Honda had to do to produce a real winner is sort out the suspension.... shame

n. davy, July 1st 2013

i-CTDi ES 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

I had a 48 hour test drive of the car. The top spec EX gives you all the toys you could want and contrary to some of the reviews that I've read, I found the Infotainment centre simple to use. The car drove beautifully with a lovely smooth short change gear box and with fuel economy of over 62 mpg despite driving in the snow & ice through rush hour, the car makes perfect sense - especially as a company car. Where the car falls down a bit is that the rear view is poor (the rear parking camera is essential)and when it snowed the rear wiper on the top half of the split rear screen only clears about half the screen, thus making the rear view even worse in adverse weather conditions. The rear parking camera gets filthy in seconds as well which doesn't help when you need to rely on it for parking. The other main issue with the car is that the rear passenger area isn't great. The sloping roof is a problem for anyone over 5 10. If you have a child in a car seat, their feet will on the back of the seat in front of them unless that seat is so far forward that its not possible to get in. Limited room for a passengers feet under the seat in front. If you have a new born baby / no children at all then this car makes sense. In summary - great drive, great economy, massive boot and clever rear seats (folding 2 ways). Loads of kit on top spec EX model Downsides: costly to buy, small passenger area and roofline makes it feel claustraphobic It makes sense as a company car only

Ian Marsh, Tyne & Wear, January 23rd 2013

i-DTEC EX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG63 mpg

The more I drive this car the more I like it and I'm frankly baffled by some of What Car's star scores, especially the 1 star awarded for 'Refinement'. This is my 5th Civic so I'm obviously a fan but for my last car I did sample the much praised Golf so I could compare. Downsizing to a 1.6 diesel engine was a mistake for my previous experience, supported by current one, is that it is easier to achieve realistic economy figures with a larger, less stressed engine whilst enjoying the more relaxing drive that it provides. My Civic is comfortable, roomy and good to drive. I find the controls come readily to hand although the tapering central console means that the lower buttons are smaller than they should be. The limited rear view does not worry me for it is mitigated by the reasr view camera and familiarity. The split rear window also helps to avoid dazzle at night and the addition of the rear wiper ensures that there is a clear view at the rear albeit over a small area. There are some areas that I am not pleased with -the ride is not up to the standard of my VW although it is a vast improvement over my previous Civic, some aspects the on-board information system are not easy to access and I think that Honda should provide a DAB radio and space saver spare as standard equipment. I'm pleased with my pruchase, sweetened by a Β£1000 discount from Honda,3 years 0% finance and complimentary servicing and top px allowance on my old car.

Malcolm Boulter, Shrops.-, January 19th 2013

i-DTEC ES 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG53 mpg

I've just purchased a 2.2 i-DTEC ES to replace my previous-shape 59-plate. The most noticeable difference is the vast improvement in ride quality, although handling does suffer slightly as a result. Although on paper the new i-DTEC diesel unit is marginally quicker than the old i-CDTI, I do not find the new Civic as responsive - though this seems largely to be down to alteration of the gearbox ratios. It now cruises at motorway pace much better, with no cap on top-end power delivery whatsoever. I find the car particularly cheap to run, especially as road tax for the year is only Β£20- although there is little difference in terms of fuel economy, which is still good but no better than the previous unit at around 56mpg. The interior retains its excellent balance of quirkiness and practicality and seems better constructed with higher quality materials. I do not endure any of the interior rattles found in my previous-shape car. I also feel that there are decidedly split opinions on the rear screen view which is obstructed by the repeater brake light unit. I find this a benefit rather than a hindrance, as headlights from the rear no longer dazzle. Parking is also not an issue as, even in lower-down ES trim, a parking camera is standard. Overall a decent performer.

Jack Grove, Staffordshire, December 7th 2012

i-DTEC ES 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG57 mpg

Test drove this car as a possible future replacement for my Honda Jazz. Personally I think the car looks good, especially in red, white or silver. The diesel engine I tried was a blast to drive with plenty of immediate power, however the engine noise even on idle was terrible (like a golf ball being shaken around in a tin can). The driving position was good and there was plenty of leg and bum room in the front and back. I would have like it if the driver’s seat could have been lowered even an extra 5cm, as when I leant forward my head would touch the roof of the car and I'm only 5'8!. The boot is massive and I had plenty of room left over after putting a buggy and shopping bags in the back. A lot has been made of the spoiler bar impairing the view out of the rear window however I didn't have a problem with this at all. Overall I was impressed with the Civic however if I do get one it will definitely be the 1.8 petrol engine.

Roy Lim, August 21st 2012

i-DTEC ES 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG65 mpg

The good bits: 2.2 diesel is punchy and flexible. Driven gently gives excellent MPG. Seats generally comfy Honda dealers better than average Don't have any problems with engine noise (unlike WhatCar reviewer) Nice 6 speed gearbox Bad bits: Annoying digital speedo which also reflects in windscreen at night Poor instrument layout (why do Honda persist with this?) Can't get steering wheel high enough to clear my knees (insufficient adjustment caused by stupid instrument layout) Very poor rear visibility especially over shoulder Bar across rear screen is also a major hinderance to visibility Rear seat cushion too short for adults although legroom is good Children don't like high rear window line Cabin is dingy and dark Some aspects of trip computer over-complicated and almost impossible to understand in particular, finding the "range to empty" function took me almost 2 weeks to find and a trip to the dealer Has all the good looks of a warthog from front and rear Summary: I really wanted to like this car but Honda have just plain GOT IT WRONG The only good bits are the economical & powerful engine (real life 60mpg+) The interior of the car and the digital dash are an ergonomic disaster Thankfully our fleet manager has now allocated me a Golf instead :-)

Tony Ennis, June 15th 2012

i-DTEC EX 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG61.1 mpg

I bought the Civic as a cheap to run good MPG mile muncher and was left massively disappointed. My car had 34k on the clock when purchased off an elderly gentleman, I did 20k in 18 months, all motor way with the cruise on at 74mph generally. The clutch started to slip at 38k and by 50k had completely gone. I have had Hondas all my life and had to also replace a front suspension strut at 48k as well. My old Prelude has 140k on the clock, original clutch and suspension and costs nothing but fuel and oil. The Civic just isn't build as well. The things it did well when it wasn't slipping were cruising along the motorway at 70, seeing upto 55mpg on most runs. It was very comfy, the equipment is great, space in abundance, relatively quiet, nice grunty engine etc. Check Civinfo for information on the clutchs dying, literally hundreds of people suffer from this and if it kills the flywheel you are looking at Β£1500 from a main d(st)ealer......

David Shaw, Powus, November 30th 2011

i-CTDi ES 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I recently bought a 58 reg low miles SE civic from Stratstone Honda in Bedford - good price and very impressed with the 'Honda Approved' quality. Really enjoying the car, love the style the handling which is tight and responsive. The engine is smooth, but with a sporty note when it is worked a bit. Economy for a sporty 1800 is very good, ranging from 45 to 40 depending on how it is driven. Much more spacious than I originally thought. Picked my son and his partner up from airport - swallowed 2 large suitcases easily.

john naunton, October 15th 2011

i-Dsi S 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG42 mpg

Own this car for 2 months now and i enjoy everytime i drive, The 2.2 diesel engine is superb and awesome. Economy is brilliant average 46mpg around town and 64mpg at motorways. The ride is firm on uneven road surface that is my only gripe on my civic.

s. lee, denbigh, May 18th 2011

i-CTDi SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG55 mpg