For decades, the Honda Civic has been one of the best choices for buyers who want a small, practical, and highly reliable daily driver. In fact, the current Civic excels in terms of reliability ratings. However, it appears to be a bit of a different story for lightly used models. According to Consumer Reports, the to Honda Civic models received unusually low-reliability ratings.
Why has the Honda Civics reliability rating decreased?
One of the greatest strengths Consumer Reports has is that it shows reliability ratings for various years of a particular model. In this regard, the Honda Civic has enjoyed stellar reliability ratings since the model. To reach these high scores, the Civic had to excel with major components such as the engine and transmission and smaller components such as in-car electronics.
Despite this, the Honda Civics arrival saw a significant dip in the overall reliability rating. Consumer Reports noted that the main issues pertained to the climate system, suspension, brakes, paint/trim, body integrity, and in-car electronics. For the model, Consumer Reports noted significant issues with the reliability of the various engine options. From the to the model, the ratings remained relatively low despite minor improvements in various categories.
According to Consumer Reports, the model is a completely different story. This is because the Honda Civic received excellent reliability ratings across the board. These improvements brought the Civic closer to the ratings of established competitors such as the Toyota Corolla.
What happened in ?
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The fact that the reliability ratings began to tank with the Honda Civic is not a coincidence. This is because the model marked the introduction of the tenth-generation Civic. According to Automotive News, virtually every part of the tenth-gen Civic was brand-new. As a result, it appears the Honda struggled with new areas that it had previously excelled in.
In the model, the reliability issues are likely attributed to the brand-new liter turbocharged engine. So much so that CarBuzz reports that Honda had to extend the warranties of over 1 million Civic and CR-V models equipped with the turbo engine due to widespread issues. In short, Honda found that gasoline was mixing with the engine oil. As a result, CarBuzz notes that vehicles reportedly stalled largely in cold weather. However, some buyers in warmer climates also reported similar issues.
Thankfully, fewer issues reported with the base liter naturally aspirated engine likely means it is the more reliable of the two. Regardless, buying a Honda Civic could prove quite expensive.
It makes more sense to buy new
While the draw of buying a used Honda Civic to save money is certainly there, you may be better off buying a brand-new vehicle. This is because Consumer Reports found that the Civic suffers from little to no reliability issues. The only two areas where it didnt get a perfect score were the power equipment and in-car electronics categories.
While youll certainly pay more upfront for a brand-new Civic, the small sedan currently starts at $21,, making it reasonably affordable. When you consider the potential costs of maintaining an older model, youre better off buying a newer model. Regardless, it seems Honda has made major improvements to the model, and the new models are as solid as weve come to expect from the model.
Here Are The Best And Worst Honda Civic Models Ever Made
The Honda Civic is one of the greatest success stories of the automotive world. Over the years, the humble Civic has forged a reputation as an extremely reliable and economic car to run, and let's not forget that certain models offer excellent driving dynamics, easily capable of keeping up with the best hot hatchbacks out there.
Sure, the Civic's styling might not be to everyone's tastes, and with young owners fitting aftermarket body kits, huge wings, and loud exhausts on their cars, the Civic was soon perceived as a "ricer." No matter what we think of the Civic's looks though, for some reason, it tends to age much better than most of the competition.
Updated March We've updated this list with more accurate information to help you make a better and more informed choice when deciding which Honda Civic model to purchase. The Civic has gone through several generations with multiple updates, so we've included which years of certain generations are best avoided and which will provide you with years of trouble-free motoring.
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The Civic is a great option for younger drivers, both as a used car and new car option, certain generations are excellent all-around vehicles in specific configurations. However, other generations are below par in more than one respect that even Honda isn't proud of.
10 Fifth-Generation Honda Civic - (Best)
This classic Civic was available with some peppy VTEC engines, which makes it highly sought-after by enthusiasts. It's almost certain that a car this old will come with some issues, however, looking at how important this fifth generation of the Civic was for Honda, how can we not include it on the list of the best Civics?
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Less boxy design than its predecessors and more powerful than ever, this specific generation was well-known for being lightweight, agile, and affordable. The hatchback trim specifically makes a lot of sense for additional space while still being great for spirited drives. While the Honda Del Sol from this generation is a separate model, it's based on the Civic and is a two-door Targa top version that is an underrated option.
9 Early Seventh-Generation Honda Civic - (Worst)
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Honda Civic is that some years aren't just unreliable, they're a downright terrible option. This particular Honda Civic generation is a very common sight on the roads as a stereotypical barebones commuter car. However, there's an important thing every potential buyer should know about the early models; the year-model is one of the most recalled cars of all time.
One of the biggest issues with these cars is automatic transmission failure, which is ridiculously common. Stick to manual transmissions when buying a Honda Civic seems to be the lesson here. There are some other things as well, such as exhaust manifold issues and some other minor problems, but the transmission failures make the auto versions a horrendous purchase. It's not just a Civic-specific problem though, as this era of Honda vehicles had transmission issues across many of their vehicles.
8 Sixth-Generation Honda Civic - (Best)
This generation of the Civic is notorious for many reasons, the biggest one being its role in the aftermarket scene, but there's a reason behind its reputation. This model paved the way for the Civic's name as an affordable, reliable, and surprisingly fun car.
Sure, teenagers looking for a car to modify and drive recklessly on the road have given this model a reputation for being loud and comically over-the-top. But it's lightweight, very cheap to repair, and is very engaging to drive. It's definitely one of the most reliable vehicles from this era and certainly established the Civic's name, for better or worse.
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7 First-Generation Hybrid Honda Civic - (Worst)
Not everyone knows enough about cars to know why buying a hybrid as a used option is a double-edged sword. The main reason to avoid hybrids is that most electric batteries in hybrid vehicles only last about 10 years, leading to an instant and expensive repair for those who purchase it secondhand today.
A battery replacement can cost several thousand dollars, which in all likelihood is more than the value of the car by now. On top of that issue, there are also transmission troubles on cars with a CVT transmission. Overall, the first generation of the hybrid Civic is not worth the trouble.
6 Eighth-Generation Honda Civic (Best)
The eighth-generation Civic was a complete game-changer when it was first released. The car offered a good combination of safety, reliability, technology, and quality. Even today, it still looks fairly modern. This Civic is a great option on the used market for those looking for a commuter car.
There are a wide variety of trims, but the Si trim, in particular, is a phenomenal option. As always, a manual transmission is the way to go when purchasing a Civic, and the Si trim adds a limited-slip differential, a horsepower engine, and other sporty upgrades. Keep in mind that these cars are frequently beaten up by their owners, and always look the vehicle over carefully before purchasing.
5 Early Models Of The Eighth-Generation Honda Civic - (Worst)
On paper, the eighth-generation Civic is another option that seems like an obvious and solid option. The car is ubiquitous in the street, has a great reputation and a long history of reliability, overall, it's a practical package. Unfortunately, things aren't always as they seem.
Cracked engine blocks are a widespread problem, and this is catastrophic when it happens. While it doesn't necessarily occur at low mileage, it still happens and can be dangerous for the drivers, especially on the highway. It's also not something that can be easily fixed. If it's possible, avoid these specific years of the Civic.
4 Ninth-Generation Honda Civic - (Best)
There are many Civics out there, and it's difficult to tell which are good model years and which aren't the best. The ninth-generation Civic is largely overlooked, and this model certainly doesn't deserve that. The car has an excellent balance of technology, performance, and practicality. It may seem very similar to the previous generation, but most of the kinks are worked out, making it a much better option.
The Si trim specifically has some benefits, such as a more powerful engine over the predecessor, a different spoiler, and different sway bars. We've said it before and we'll say it again, the best Civic of any trim is one with a manual transmission, and the Si trim is ideal. The coupe also looks slightly more attractive than the sedan variant.
3 Second-Generation Hybrid Honda Civic - (Worst)
Hideous wheels aside, the Civic Hybrid certainly made a lot of sense when it was new. It offered phenomenal gas mileage, had a substantial redesign, the resale value was good, and there were numerous other benefits present within the second generation. This car served as a great competitor to the Prius, but without the controversial looks.
The major concern with the second-gen hybrid Civic is again battery life. In addition, this generation has electrical issues with the auto stop feature. In the following year, there were some common issues with the tires wearing out prematurely. Would we buy one? Well, the second generation is an okay vehicle if the battery has been replaced.
2 Tenth-Generation Honda Civic - (Best)
Many people believe that modern vehicles are the best option to pick as a purchase. It's tough to justify money lost to depreciation from a financial perspective, but having all the latest technology, safety features, and performance updates certainly is an appealing prospect.
The Type R trim specifically is a famous hot hatch choice. It has such aggressive, and some might even say over-the-top styling, with awe-inspiring performance. This trim was specifically designed to be an affordable, high-performing track car.
1 Early Models Of The Tenth-Generation Honda Civic - (Worst)
Regardless of the model, the general rule of every car is to avoid buying the first year of a redesign. Why is that? Most of the issues have yet to be worked out on a mass scale, and there's a risk in terms of quality and reliability for purchasing a vehicle. Unfortunately, even for the Honda Civic, this is true as well.
The model has issues with Bluetooth connectivity and other electronic issues with the display screen. There are also A/C issues commonly reported within this model year. While most of these issues have likely been addressed, there's a potential likelihood that it could happen again. While this generation of the Civic is a good car, it's something to keep in mind. If there's a choice between a and model, it's best to go with the version.
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Instead, this Civic has a cheap interior, numb handling, and a bouncy ride. Interior road noise is also pronounced. Overly light and devoid of feedback, vague steering robbed the Civic of its sporty character. The ride is unsettled, even on the highway. Honda rushed back to the drawing board, substantially improving the car for by improving the ride, handling, and interior finish. More changes came for , with a CVT automatic replacing the traditional automatic. Throughout all of the changes, a high point was the liter four-cylinder, which returned an impressive 30 mpg with the CVT and responsive acceleration. Expect 40 mpg overall from the hybrid. The sporty Civic Si has a super-slick six-speed manual and returns 29 mpg overall. Theres even a natural gas version. Rear-seat room is decent, but not everyone likes the dual-tier dashboard. Stability control finally became standard.More
The Honda Civic isnt anything new. Its been around for years now. During that time, Honda, a Japanese automaker, spent time making changes to improve upon the Civic. These changes have helped it maintain its success over the years.
However, some issues have come up here and there, which have people rethinking what theyve always known about the Civic. Is it still reliable, or did it fall from that grace theyve always had before? Consumer Reports share their input on how the Honda Civic has held up over the years.
Consumer Reports reliability rating for the Honda Civic
Consumer Reports consider the consumers input when determining their reliability score. Based on the data they collected, their overall rating for the Honda Civic is 73 out of possible points.
The notes given for the previous models begin after the year For the years to , the Civic hybrid version struggled with battery issues, which continued into the next generation. From to , the Civic not only continued to struggle with battery problems, but it also created new ones with the bodys paint and the air conditioning and heating system.
The next generation of this compact car starts in and goes to In this generation, the major issue they had was with the brake system. The to models saw improvements with the body paint, but the climate system issues didnt find relief until
A new problem arose with the in-car electronic systems that same year. Consumer Reports likes the new model so far and recommend the Honda Civic as a good candidate for compact cars.
Repair Pals reliability scores for the Honda Civic
Another site adding their input on the subject is RepairPal.com. Repair Pal rated the Honda Civic based on repair invoice information they pulled from their database to determine how reliable it was. The three main areas they looked at were the cost of repairs, how often they were done, and how severe the repair was. When it came to the cost, the Civic had an annual average cost of $ The overall average with all compact cars was $
The number of times the Civic came in for repair work turned out to be .2 times a year. This is lower than the overall average of .3 times a year for all compact cars put together. When it came to the severity of the work done on this vehicle, only 10% were major repairs. The overall average with all compact cars was 11%. Based on these figures, Repair Pal ranked the Honda Civic #3 out of the 36 compact cars they looked at in their database.
Overall thoughts on reliability
As with almost every vehicle model out there, some generations tend to bring headaches, especially when redesign years come up. New concepts can easily be implemented, but when put to use, they can sometimes fail and it comes time to go back to the drawing board to address the issue. Honda had to do that a few times over the many years that the Civic has been in production. In most of those cases, the problems were fixed and later improved upon.
As for whether or not you can consider the Civic reliable, it isnt too hard to determine. The track record with this compact vehicle has been pretty good, despite the complaints that came up with various model years.
In the end, this Honda has always been known for its durability and reliability and its not likely to change much in the future. For sure, problems will arise, but Honda has shown it will handle those issues well.
Of honda civic reliability
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