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Honda Civic 2005 and earlier



  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    I was citing NHTSA tests, hence the use of the word "highest." IIHS only measures frontal impact, along with costs to repair.

    The Elantra does not match the Civic and Jetta in NHTSA tests with regards to frontal impact. Civic (with and without side airbags) and Jetta (with side airbags) receive 5-stars for both front passengers. Elantra (with side airbags) receives 5-stars for frontal impact on driver side, but only 4-stars for passenger side. It does, however, get 5-stars for driver side impact, but 4-stars for passenger side impact.

    IIHS results for the Elantra is not consistent with NHTSA results. Overall, it was rated Poor (lowest score), with Good ratings in Structure/safety Cage and chest injury, and Poor ratings in head injury and restraints/dummy kinetics, and only Marginal right/left foot/leg evaluation.

    2002 Subaru Impreza has not been tested by the NHTSA yet. Also, it is not tops in the IIHS test. Both the Civic and Impreza are rated best picks, receiving Good (highest score) in all frontal crash test evaluations.

    Jetta received an Overall rating of Good. While not at the top of the class in this test, its rating is not as inconsistent with NHTSA as to receive a Poor rating.
  • bjk2001bjk2001 Posts: 358

    Good research and thanks for clarification.

    Since I don't own an Elantra and never will (had very bad experience with Korea made TV. cell phone and electronics), I don't really care what kind of rating an Elentra gets. Guess people always wants to compare with Civic since its bench mark of the small cars in US.
    IMHO, if I purchased some other car I will have to justify my decision to convince myself that I made a good decision. Since I bought a Civic, no question asked. :D

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,623
    IIHS also measures bumper damage and head restraint design in addition to the frontal impact test. The bumper test measures rear bumpers also.

    You are correct that the Elantra does not match Civic and Jetta on NHTSA frontal impact scores. I did not say that it did. When I said Elantra was comparable to Civic (4-door) and Jetta on NHTSA tests, I was referring to the fact that each car received two 5-star ratings and each received two 4-star ratings. Yes, they received them in different areas. I guess the difference matters only when you get hit in the front vs. the side. :-0

    IIHS lists cars in order from best to worst. The Impreza eaked out the top spot in crash worthiness over the Civic, perhaps because of the numbers behind the frontal crash ratings, perhaps because of a slightly better ranking on head restraint design for the Impreza. It's obviously not because the Impreza comes alphabetically before the Civic. Note that in the pictures of "Best vs. Worst", it's the Impreza and the Spectra, not the Civic and the Spectra.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Impreza and Civic both scored Good in all evaluations. It's under "Other Evaluations" where the Impreza received an Acceptable in Head restraint design while the Civic received an Acceptable/marginal score. But the Civic received an Acceptable on the bumper damage evaluation whereas the Impreza received a Marginal rating.

    This chart gives you the details on occupant compartment intrusion on frontal crash tests, where the Impreza is ranked first because it betters the Civic by 3 cm (<------3cm------->) in the footrest, 1 cm in the left and center footwell intrusions, and 2 cm in the right footwell intrusion. It also either ties with or betters the Civic by 1 or 2 cm in other compartment intrusion evaluations.

    As you hinted, that is why the Impreza is ranked ahead of the Civic in the IIHS report. It's not because of the headrest (where the Impreza ranks ahead of the Civic), otherwise the nod would go to either the Civic or both cars since IIHS also includes the bumper damage evaluation (where the Civic ranks ahead of the Impreza) into the overall ranking. Although Honda does come before Subaru alphabetically.

    So you're correct that the Impreza is tops, even though by only 3 cm at most.

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I went to a consumer preview group for the new Saturn ION tonight. They had 4 other competitors on tap for testing, a Civic LX, a Focus SE, a Corolla LE, and a Jetta GLS 2.0. People kept complaining about the low power in the Civic. I was thoroughly surprised, until I drove it.

    The car didn't have the "tossability" I thought Hondas were famous for. The interior felt cramped for my 6'3, 270lb. body (the Corolla did too). The controls were not lit at night for the power accessories. And the car's transmission (auto), when shifted, sounded like it would come lose. Rattles were abound too, but I am sure these cars were abused.

    I had never checked the Civic sedan before buying my 2002 Jetta. Now it looks like I didn't miss much. Shame on you, Honda.
  • I love my Honda :)
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    vocus - If you want Honda's "tossability," you're certainly not going to find it in a Honda sedan under 20K, especially in a Civic LX.

    You get a bit more tossability in a Civic EX (more responsive, powerful engine), which is more expensive than an LX, but it still won't handle like the Protege.

    If you want the Honda tossability that people either rave about or scoff at, it's going to cost you close to or above 20K. Think Honda Accord Coupe, S2000 or Prelude. You may even have to switch to Acura if you want more selections.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Everyone has always raved about the Hondas' handling thoough, even the Civic. They say it's very light and maneuverable. It didn't feel that way to me on a test track. And I was going pretty slow, I thought. The car's limits came early, the engine was very low on power, and the car was very tight inside (to me). These are my personal opinions though, but alot of other people in the same test group as myself shared these opinions.

    Why spend more for a Civic EX? For that price, you can nearly get a Jetta 1.8T. Which one would you choose?? :)
  • bjk2001bjk2001 Posts: 358
    You must be joking about price of Jetta 1.8T. Can you get a Jetta 1.8T for $14,988? That's what we paid for our 02 Civic EX AT. Jetta 1.8T is at the price range of Honda Accord not Civic
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I was talking MSRP. The Civic EXs are very close to the Jettas, especially when you start adding alloy wheels and all the stuff that VWs come with standard.

    Per (MSRP):
    2003 Civic EX sedan, automatic with side airbags: $18,570
    2003 Jetta GL 1.8T, auto., ESP: $20,680

    Civic has a power sunroof and center armrest. Jetta has side curtain airbags, ESP, traction control, cassette/CD player, 180hp vs. 127, and longer warranty (4/50K vs. 3/36K). So for $2110 more, you get additional safety and warranty coverage, and a much nicer interior ambience, but lose a sunroof. And better service too, from what I have heard.
  • bjk2001bjk2001 Posts: 358
    No one pays MSRP for Honda Civic or Accord. For less than $20K, you could get a 02 Honda Accord EX V6 with leather and fully loaded which has 200 HP vs 180 HP. Also its not a Tubor you don't have to deal with it's potential high maintenance of turbo charge.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    EX V6 for under 20k?? Highly unlikely. 23k if you are a good dealer. Under 20k is doable for a four cylinder EX.
  • Yes you can get a 2002 EX V6 for under 20K in the Northern Va area.

  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    It's regional. You can definitely get an EX V-6 for a little over 20K in my neck of the woods.

    vocus- For that price, I'd get an Accord.

    I've never really heard anyone rave about the Civic's handling, though. It's certainly not floaty like a Buick, but I wouldn't call it sporty, either.

    Just curious...did you test drive the Civic before or after the Protege? Perception plays a large part, also. I find the Accord to handle quite well, but I'm pretty sure I'd scoff at that statement if I drove it right after I drove a 3-Series.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I drove all these cars at a Saturn ION preview test drive. There was no Protege there (I think they only had best-selling competitors there). There was a Corolla, 3 IONs (of course), a Civic, a Focus, and a Jetta. I even drove the Jetta last, because I didn't want my perception clouded (I own a Jetta 1.8T).

    The handling wasn't the only thing about the Honda though. The interior felt cramped compared to the others, at least in the driver's seat. I was totally shocked, like I said. And let down a little.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 237
    I have a quick question. I may have asked you guys this before, but my son's car is making this clicking noise again, which is usually within 5 seconds of putting the in drive.

    He'll put the car in drive, drive away, and within 5 seconds or less, there is a distinct "click" coming from the front of the car while in motion. And it's only one click, and then it never happens again.

    Has anyone noticed this before, is it supposed to happen, and do you think he should take the car in?

    It's done this for a long time, but he's starting to notice it again, and having heard it myself, it just doesn't sound QUITE normal. Thanks!
  • You tell me. The next cavalier looks pretty good.Photos at:
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    If the next Cavalier is built anything like the current Cavalier, then hype. And this comes from a person who doesn't really like the Civic that much either. I would much rather have a Civic than a Cavalier though, any day of the week.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,623
    The "Civic Killer" is the Corolla, with the Protege, Elantra, and Lancer not far behind--but not the Cavalier. I have trouble mentioning the Civic and Cavalier in the same sentence.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    I think we're talking about the 2005 Cavalier.
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