The 5 Best And 5 Worst Honda Civic Models Over The Years

The Honda Civic line is known for reliability, and, though a few years fell short of the mark, most of these cars were well worth the investment.

When you think about Honda Civic, the one word that comes to mind is reliability. Over the years, the car has offered unmatched fuel economy, class-competitive safety, and good performance. In addition to offering all this, the Civic is also considered affordable which is a big plus point.

Here’s a list of our favorite Honda models through the years. As much as we love the Civic, we have also picked some models that we don’t like as much as the others. While they’re still reliable and deliver good performance, these models have scored less due to factors like technical issues and styling.

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10 Worst: Honda Civic 2015

The 2015 Honda Civic is a functional car that is comfortable and reliable. It features a standard interior, Continuously variable automatic transmissions (CVT), and a 140 hp engine. It also features a variety of safety features and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen. The fuel consumption is good too.

So, why is it on the worst list? Well, simply because this model does not really offer anything over and above what earlier models provided. So if you’re looking to buy a previous generation Civic, the 2015 model wouldn’t be the best choice.

9 Best: Honda Civic 2000 Si

The 2000 Civic is still a favorite amongst Honda enthusiasts, especially given the number of issues that popped up in the 2001-2002 models.

The 2000 Si offered a great driving experience thanks to the 1.6 liters B16A2 engine which generated 8000 rpm. In addition to this, it featured some exciting new additions including the double overhead cameras.

The Civic also featured Honda’s VTEC variable valve timing and lift system and as the model did not weigh a lot it could go up to an impressive 60mph within seven seconds.

8 Worst: Honda Civic 2006

2006 was a big year for Honda. After rather boring and underwhelming updates, Honda introduced the eighth-generation Civic providing the long-overdue redesign. Car enthusiasts welcomed styling and upgrades. The natural-gas GX also returned for 2006.

While there were negligible things like pronounced road-noise, there wasn’t anything major up until sometime later when people started reporting cracked engine blocks. To fix this issue, on average around $2,800 repairs were needed. This was followed by official recalls by the NHTSA for issues such as incorrectly installed airbag inflators. 

7 Best: Honda Civic 1986 Si

This was the year when Honda raised the bar in the hatchback category. The all-new 1986 model features a 12-valve, 1.5-liter engine which utilized Honda’s racing-style fuel-injection system, delivered 91 horsepower and 93 pound-feet of torque, and incorporated a removable moonroof in the design. 

The 1986 Civic was way ahead of its time. Not only did it deliver brilliant performance, but Honda also managed to maintain an impressive fuel economy on this model. Unlike the previous models of the Civic Si which were known more for their performance than speed, the 1986 Honda Civic Si got appreciated by everyone because it managed to offer a great blend of power and economy. 

6 Worst: Honda Civic 2012

Civic has had a history of being better than other similar vehicles in the market. This is why, despite being reliable and delivering good performance, the 2012 model received a lukewarm response. Its design and engineering features were okay but were no longer the best available in the market, at that price point.

For instance, where other manufacturers were adopting 6-speed automatic gearboxes, Honda has continued with a 5-speed unit. Also, the old 140hp engine had received no upgrade and the ride was rather unsettled and bumpy. All the criticism received sent Honda engineers back to the drawing board and thankfully significant improvements were made to handling and styling in the 2013 model.

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5 Best: Honda Civic 2016

2016 Honda Civic brought back the past glory which Honda had lost with the lackluster 2011-2015 generation. With its bold looks, turbocharged power, and modern styling, and comfortable interior, Honda Civic regained its world-class status with the launch of this generation of Civic.

The 2016 model features a turbocharged 1.5 liters four-cylinder engine that produces a solid 170 horsepower and yet remains impressively fuel-efficient. In addition to the impressive power, the spacious interior makes it a perfect choice for a number of different people including young professionals, small families, and couples.

4 Worst: Honda Civic Si 2002

Civic Si does have some good features including a decent 160 horsepower, but it fails to leave a mark because, even in 2002, other competitor offerings like the Dodge SRT outperformed Si in handling, technology, design, and overall engineering. It’s roomy, fuel-efficient, and reliable but sadly, it’s not really extraordinary.

Limited interior styling options and pronounced road noise are other pain points. Also, Si owners have reported some common issues with this vehicle which include engine block cracks, cracked exhaust manifold and transmission failure due to design flaws.

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3 BEST: Honda Civic 1973

The first Honda Civic has to be part of any top Honda civics list because it set into motion the trajectory of Honda's success. It can be said that it arrived at a very convenient time when the world economy was reeling from its first oil crisis and the automotive industry really needed a car that would be practical, enjoyable and most importantly, reliable.

Honda delivered on all counts by making a car that was compact, economical and more fuel-efficient than a lot of its competitors. Needless to say, a lot of hearts were won.

2 Worst: Honda Civic 2001

This is a fuel-efficient compact car that offers a spacious interior, good design, and decent performance. The 2001 Honda Civic was launched both as a four-door sedan or two-door coupe.

Despite scoring high in multiple areas, the car is listed as one of the worst Honda Civic models because of its transmission issues, sagging headliners, and a dangerous defect with the front airbag.

A design flaw led to transmission failure in numerous 2001 models and triggered a flurry of complaints. This issue cost owners around $2,250 in repairs.

1 BEST: Honda Civic 2019

Despite minor hiccups along the way, Honda has always been able to bounce back and this is exactly what it did with its 10th generation Civic. The 2019 edition of Civic is refined, practical and great to drive.

The versatile, compact car offers multiple options to choose from including a two-door coupe, the classic four-door sedan, and a hatchback. So, you can pick the one that fits your requirements. Additionally, with the 2019 Civic, Honda again showcases that power and fuel efficiency are not always mutually exclusive.

The 2019 model also gets brownie points for the scoring well on crash-tests and featuring a host of safety features. If you’re looking to bring home a new Civic, you should definitely consider this one.

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