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Honda Civic 2005 and earlier



  • Styling is a personal preference. If you don't like the Civic fine but I would much rather have a 2004 Civic in 2014 than I would a 2004 (insert other economy sedan here).

    Honda's take it or leave it policy is better and more cost-effect than having alot of stand alone option packages or misc. options. Someone who wants a Civic LX knows exactly what they are getting if he/she orders a green Civic LX automatic. Probably part of the Civic's excellent resale value.

    dunworth: You can now go to and view the 04 Civic coupe and sedan. It will even let you build your own with accessories.
  • mdrivermdriver Posts: 385
    Ahhh, "accessories" as opposed to options. Accessories are the things that you can "snap on" after the car is built at whatever the dealer can get you to pay. Unfortunately, a $300 safety device (ABS) isn't one of them for the LX. I don't call that good marketing, I call it lack of choice (the Honda-way). Obviously, Honda must know that LX buyers don't care about ABS. That kind of buy-it-my-way philosophy was once practiced by GM who thought it could do no wrong.
    I can understand not having, say, a sunroof avaialable on the LX, but no ABS on a 2004 model even as an option? Shame.
  • I have owned several cars with ABS and can count on one hand the number of times my ABS has activated. Even if Honda offered ABS as a stand-alone option how many people would actually pay extra for it? Again, if you have alot of individual options you drive up production costs and drive down resale. If you HAVE to have ABS the you will buy an EX Civic or something else. The Civic has been one of the top-selling cars for a long time so obviously most people are either buying the EX or dealing with no ABS. The Civic has some of the highest crash test scores available. Unfortunately, some cars don't have this option but I bet more people would pay for it than would pay for ABS.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    I agree if it is imperative for you to have ABS get the EX. EX has $1600 premium over the LX, but you get more than just ABS. By eliminating factory options Honda can efficiently produce cars. They offer 6 trims in Civic line and you can find one that suits you.

    Don't care for power anything nor A/c get DX.

    Want power everything and A/C but coud care less for sunroof, cruise and ABS - get LX

    Want power everything and A/C but also want better fuel economy get HX (only available as coupe)

    Wand power everything and A/C and really good fuel economy get Hybrid

    Want power everything, sunroof, cruise and ABS - get EX

    Want power everything, sunroof, cruise, ABS and peppiness get the Si. (only available as hatchback)
  • Thanks for the link. I think the Civic is a very crisp design overall but I do not care for the refresh. It is not ugly by any means and as someone said before it does look like the outgoing Accord. However , the slight v shape in the grill does not suit the rest of the car - it is slightly jarring.

    I have never understood what the big deal is with ABS. I live in the Toronto area of Canada and often travel north and I have never found the need for it. In Canada, a high quality, well maintained FWD compact with a 5 speed gearbox and a careful driver is more than adequate. Ofcourse if you going into the bush or driving on ice maybe a Subaru or SUV would be a better choice.
  • Haven't been here in a while. I bought a 2002 Civic LX sedan a year ago. Once I made the purchase I quit checking this site. I see people are still debating styling issues. I said back when I bought the car that the competing vehicles all looked just as good or better to me (actually thought the Protoge looked the best). But I made my choice based on what I thought would be the most reliable car for me. Not trying to set off the old reliability debate. I will say this though (just a report based on real experience with a new car over a one year period)- the Civic is a grear car and I couldn't be more pleased with it. I have had the car for exactly one year. It has never been back to the dealer once. I took it to Jiffy Lube for the 5000 mile oil change. I'll be taking it back to the dealer for the 10,000 mile oil change in a few weeks. Not only has it never been back to the dealer - there has not been one thing go wrong with it. This is the first time I've bought a brand new car that had nothing wrong with it. I've been pretty lucky when it comes to cars, but any car I've purchased always had some minor problem that needed to be fixed during the first few months I had it. I thought the Civic had a problem a few times - but both turned out to be normal. Once the light indicating that the side airbag was off came on - but I realized that the sensors in the seat determined that my young son had shifted his weight in the seat and had temporarily shut off the side airbag. Not long ago I noticed that the maintenance required light was blinking longer than normal when I started to car - but that turned out to be normal also. It goes from blinking for a few seconds to 8 or 10 seconds once the odometer registers 8000 miles - it'll reset at the 10,000 mile service. Great car. Has never failed to start on the first turn of the key. Love the gas mileage.
  • Good to hear you are enjoying your car. My '03 is now 10 months old and 16,000 km/10000 miles with no worries. I did have a dash rattle which took three times to correct but this is not my first new car and that sort of thing is hard to find. Anyway the dealer corrected it and the car is great.

    Unlike you I am a firm believer in dealer service and always had my vehicles looked after where I bought the car. I usually buy locally as. Perhaps I could have saved a couple hundred here and there but dealers do look after their own sales.
  • mdrivermdriver Posts: 385
    Someone wrote: "I have never understood what the big deal is with ABS. I live in the Toronto area of Canada and often travel north and I have never found the need for it."

    I've never needed my seat belt either - but I still wear it!

    Same with airbags

    Same with laminated windshields

    and on and on...

    ABS is one of those devices you may never need, except that one time you're going to crash head on into a tree when ABS might come in "handy".

    If Honda has found such an efficient way of packaging options in their cars, why hasn't everyone else adopted it? This only helps Honda's bottom line, not the customer's choices. Honda has fooled many into believing that having just two options (LX or EX, you won't find the DX anywhere) is beneficial to the consumer. Why is having fewer choices a good thing? It's only good for Honda.
  • None ABS cars are death traps? Hooey. I like the ABS on my Si, but I wouldn't have gone out of my to get it or paid extra for it. Yup, LOL, if I live long enough I'm sure to meet a situation where ABS would save my life. Likewise, if I live long enough I'm sure to meet a situation where ABS kills me.

    I LIKE Honda's "trim line" approach to marketing. It simplifies the choice process and really cuts down the room dealers have to manipulate the prices. Go shopping for a 'Yoda if you wanna see what a dealer can do with the option package game. To be fair, you can probably make the option package thing work for you if you have time to wait on a special order. Anybody compare the costs of cars optioned out to equal Civic LX, EX, Si, etc?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    It simplifies the choice process and really cuts down the room dealers have to manipulate the prices.

    Gee, you could have fooled me. From my experience, Honda dealers (along with Toyota dealers) wrote the Book on "ADM". It sure didn't stop Honda dealers from "manipulating the prices" during the early years of the current-gen Odyssey--and the Ody has only two trim lines! I'm also still trying to figure out why "simplifying the choice process" is a good thing, for buyers. I always thought freedom of choice was a good thing, not lack of choice.

    Anybody compare the costs of cars optioned out to equal Civic LX, EX, Si, etc?

    Yes, I have. And then I chose not to buy a Civic. I couldn't get a Civic with the features I wanted without going to the EX model, and it was much pricier than some competitors. Comparing costs of cars optioned out to equal the LX, EX etc. is not the point. The point is, what is the cost of the car optioned the way the buyer wants it equipped? For example, if I want an engine with decent power, I need to get an EX. If I wanted (in '00) a height-adjustable seat, I needed to get an EX (LX has it now). If I wanted ABS or a moonroof, I needed to get an EX. With other cars, I could get a lower-priced trim line to get those features.
  • You missed my point on price manipulation via option packages, but that's okay.

    Sure, if you choose a car line with option packages AND have the time to special order you can probably get exactly what you want and nothing more.
    (I thought I said that.)
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    I agree that Honda did the trim packages to save some dough, but it also benefits you, like river said, the dealer has fewer things to jack up prices on. I think you are confusing dealer options with factory options when you referred to the Odyssey. In the end if it costs Honda less to make the car they will sell it for less.

    ABS is not like a seat belt. ABS is there for people who can't or won't pump their brakes, but rather use the technique known as "Stomp and steer" A good driver, who is concentrated on the road rather than something else, will be able to pump brakes in an emergency situation rather than freeze in fear and stomp on the brakes hoping the car stops. It is a learnt habit. I learnt how to drive without ABS, so ABS is not an issue for me. ABS does not shorten the stop distance and may, in fact, lengthen it.

    Price comparo using carsdirect for zip 06902
    2003 Civic EX is optioness, so it is a standard: $15,252 (no rebate, only 1.9% financing)
    2003 Corolla LE+$600 for sunroof+$258 for ABS+$200 for cruise: $15,270 ($600 rebate available in lew of finance options)
    2003 Protege ES+$566 for sonroof and 6CD (the only way to add sunroof)+$402 for ABS and side air bags (the only way to add ABS): $16,776 ($2500 rebate available in lew of finance options)
    2003 Ford Focus SE Zetec+$530 for sunroof+$356 for ABS: $16,129 ($3000 rebate available in lew of finance options)

    If I am financing a car and have decent credit (Tier 1 and 2) Civic EX make smost sence. Although Si made more sence to me at the time I bought it. If you are in the market for new car and have cash to pay for it, then Ford Focus is the better option. It is available here in North east with 2.3 liter engine for the same price as 2.0
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,238
    The lack of choice makes it easier to
    "up" the customer into a higher-priced
    model to get the item they want, along with
    some they don't want. Increases dealer and
    corporate bottom line.

    As long as people believe they have to have
    the honda because of the image the customer has of durability, value, etc., rather than another brand that does offer the choices that individual wants, the marketing
    system works...

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    You are a bit misinformed as far as ABS goes. There is no way you could pump your brakes and think as quickly as a computer can. Sorry, just not possible, no matter how great you think you are at driving. And it has been proven many many times that in MOST cases ABS will stop shorter than non-ABS on the same car. There are cases ABS will lengthen stopping distances and those are: ice and gravel roads. But how often do you drive on those surfaces? Look at any instrumented test and in almost every case ABS shaved 4-20 feet off the distance. And that my friend can mean the difference between totalling your car and not hitting the car at all.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,238
    I respectfully disagree about the value of ABS.

    The ABS helps the driver keep the car under control, which means steerable.
    E.g.,if the right side is onto the berm or grass or gravel, the brake effect is going to be unequal and the car will swerve. The driver pumping the brakes will not do as well. IF the car is one where the rear tends to lift and start sideways under heavy braking, the ABS will keep the rear wheels holding a straight line rather than trying to pass the front end.

    Most emergency stops I incur are where ability to steer if necessary is more important than being able to stop 10 feet shorter in 1 out of 10 cases because ideal traction occurred at all wheels and I could do better than the ABS.

    I would rather be able to steer and miss the car or the culvert or the sign support!!!

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • Thank you for explaining why ABS is not like seatbelts. I could not agree more. Like you said driving technique is very important and ABS would not have helped in most of the emergency situations I have been in 22 years of drving.

    However, if I ever buy another expensive compact sedan like a C-Class Benz (I had a Volvo previously), I think ABS coupled with some kind of traction and/or stability control would be a useful package. This kind of stuff on a Civic (we have to pay for the Acura EL version here in Canada) boosts the price of the car to C$30 K out the door versus low $20s K for the mid grade version of the Civic. Still a great car but getting pricey for an econobox.
  • Thanks for the numbers, Dudka. That's kinda how I figured it but without specifics. Lemme add that in the real world I see more dealer and distributer aftermarket option packages on the 'option pac' cars. I, too, figure the trim line approach makes for manufacturing economy; thus, Honda can sell more car for the money. I LIKE the 'trim line' approach Honda uses.

    I think you hit the nail on the head, too, about ABS. Personally, I like it as an add; but if one regularly drives such that ABS is the dif 'tween life and death then it's 'dead man driving'. The guy for whom ABS is a deal breaker just ain't safe. All that said, the Si package is great - with ABS and EBD.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    You get great prices on Civics in your area! Carsdirect puts the EX 4-door 5-speed at $16,002 in my area. In comparison, I know I can get a Pro LX for around $12k (widely advertised price), and if I want ABS and moonroof I can add one or both of those and still come out thousands less than the Civic. Or get a Focus for around $13k (as your numbers demonstrated), or an Elantra GLS for about that same price per Carsdirect (add SAB cost to the Civic to be fair however). Now suppose I want ABS on my Civic, but I don't need a moonroof. Carsdirect has the Civic LX 4-door 5-speed at $14,214 in my area. As you noted, ABS is a $250-400 option on competitors. So if I could get ABS on an LX, I could save about $1500 over the cost of an EX. So, please explain to me again how Honda's packaging of options saves me dough.
  • I'd still take the civic over those other cars you're considering...just take reliability and resale value into account.

    As for me, i'll always consider long term benefits a higher priority than short term benefits. I hate the relatively high(er) prices too, but if that's the cost for quality, then so be it; of course, if honda increases the price any more, i'll definitely consider my options.
  • Now you've done it, Civickidd. You've really done it.

    For a Honda basher, nothing bites the biscuit bigger than 'R' words - like 'R' esale, eliability, eputation.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Civic has a great reputation for reliability and resale value. That's the main reason why its price is higher than most competitors. We were discussing our opinions of the packaging of the car, not the quality of the car.

    I could get into the old debates about relative reliabilities and the worthlessness of resale value, compared to TCO, but I'll let someone else go there if they really want to.
  • mdrivermdriver Posts: 385
    I can't believe I'm hearing people viewing ABS with suspicion. No matter what everyone's anecdotal story is about pumping brakes, etc., the fact is, it stops the car shorter and more importantly gives the driver control during a panic brake. That's not my hunch, that's a fact proven by the insurance industry. Besides, even if you are a fantastic driver, the nut in the oncoming lane may not be able to operate the brakes with the same finesse as you and ABS might come to his (and your) rescue. ABS does shave off only a few feet, but that's how progress works in the world - incrementally. I'm surprised nobody said they had a need for a laminated windshield. I mean, it's possible to pump the brakes and avoid an accident and not break the glass, right?
  • Sorry I think you misunderstood my comment. I know ABS does work, although depending on the system, stopping distances can be slightly longer not shorter. I do not know about the effectiveness of the system used for the Civic.

    My normal braking technique is a pumping one - I do it automatically. I have driven on European roads (autobahn, M1 etc)where good braking technique is a must due to higher speeds and most cars I drove did not have ABS.

    I myself have never locked my brakes on any of the cars I have owned (domestic, Japanese, Korean and European) which is what ABS prevents.

    ABS coupled with stability control make sense in a well equipped pricier car but the value in a Civic/Corolla et al can be difficult to justify if you are on a budget.

    We each choose different paths for safety. I myself want a car that has full size rear head rests like the current Civic and Corolla. I could have saved $1200 on a previous 2002 Civic but it did not have this feature (plus I liked the overall refresh of the interior).

    The current crop of well designed FWD small cars are inherently more stable due to weight distribution, power to weight etc. If I was buying a Camry sized vehicle, I would want probably want ABS etc.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,555
    State Farm was giving us a small discount because one of our cars had ABS. It wasn't much, I think 15.00 a year. A few years ago they stopped doing this. The reason? My agent said the results had determined there was NO reduction in accidents on ABS equipped cars.

    Me, I would rather have ABS than not but I don't think it's all that big of a deal. Other tests have shown the presence of ABS will INCREASE stopping distances on dry payment.

    Go figure?
  • mdrivermdriver Posts: 385
    Airplanes have had ABS for decades. Obviously, they wouldn't still use it today if it didn't work. All large aircraft have it. And ABS is rapidly become standard equipment on all cars sold in Europe. In fact, EVERY Civic sold in the UK comes with standard ABS. That's right, you get it whether you like it or not. I predict that the next generation of Civic in the US will have it standard, as Honda has done with the new Accord.

    Pumping brakes is fine when you're anticipating stopping on a slippery surface. But a panic brake is an involuntary stab of the pedal. Anyone who thinks they can control braking in a panic, probably thinks that they can brace themselves in a crash and don't need an airbag.

    And nobody has still answered my question about other drivers who don't pump brakes who may crash their Chevy Suburban into the flyweight Civic and turn it into a pancake.

    Hasn't anyone seen those tests where they brake a car on a split surface (one side more slick than the other) and the car stops straight with ABS on, but flys all over with it off. How are you going to manually pump just one side of the car's brakes then if not equipped with ABS?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,555
    But in all of my yers of driving I, personally have NEVER ONCE been in a situation where I really needed ABS and I would imagine most people share my experience. Of course, I do drive sensibly, don't tailgate and we don't get that much ice or snow around here.

    I once sold a car to a paramedic who hated ABS. he said the Aid Trucks with ABS take much longer to stop on DRY payment than the ones without it.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    In MOST applications, ABS SHORTENS stopping distances, even on DRY pavement. The reason? ABS not only helps keep control, but it also keeps the brakes operating at the point where they provide the most stopping power, which is that point right before the brakes lock up. If you look at instrumented tests in car magazines of the same car equipped with ABS and without, the one with ABS almost always stops shorter. Car and Driver even did a very interesting test on a Mercedes CL600 coupe back in the mid-90s. The ABS system was equipped with a special switch that allowed them to turn off the ABS system at will. They tested the brake system on multiple surfaces with the ABS on and off. The conclusion: ABS significantly shortened stopping distances in the dry, rain, and snow, but lengthened the distance some on gravel and ice. They determined that even if you live in a dry climate, ABS still comes in handy because the car stops quicker.

    Those reports of people thinking ABS takes longer to stop actually come from people who don't know how to use the brakes properly (or they had crappy early GM ABS systems which were subpar in their performance). They get scared by the noise or pulsation and release the pedal a little, thereby confusing the ABS system and resulting in longer stops due to the decreased brake pressure. This is why brake assistance is becoming more widespread. It was introduced due to people's inability to use ABS effectively.
  • about your driving style if ABS is such a do or die option. In my 8 years/30 cars or so worth of driving I have only activated my ABS twice. But it's pointless to me anyways because I have to have a sunroof so I would buy an EX regardless. Just like when I bought my 03 EX-L coupe. My fiance needed the 8-way power seat so we had to get leather. Luckily we got other goodies like dual-zone climate control and heated seats. This past weekend when we bought our Accord we didn't even think about a cloth Accord. This year the leather gets you side curtain airbags and XM radio (which is awesome). So for the people who are buying a car well within their budget spending an extra $1000 is worth it for the desired option + a few other goodies.

    And the option-packaging does benefit the customer. Look at the Mazda6. It's disastrous option packages have killed it's sales because people think they can get option A, C, and D while skipping B but when they go to buy it they find out it's unavailable or you still have to buy E, F, and G to get B. At least you know what you are getting with the Civic.

    And if ABS is such a requirement why not go all the way and find a car with side curtain airbags. Then you need VSC. And why not go ahead and get AWD. Before you know it you are spending $26,000 for a Forester or even more for an AWD Audi, VW, or SUV. For $15,000 the Civic is a darn safe car.
  • I'm strongly anti-BS, myself; and I wouldn't think of buying an airliner without ABS.

    FWIW, I've never heard of an ABS mechanism not working. The most negative thing I've heard is the cost of repair if the ABS system fails. Overall, I like ABS; but I wouldn't put in the 'essential' catagory.

    OTOH, some folks need all the anti-BS they can get.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Most people don't think to pump the brake pedal when stopping on slippery surfaces or in an emergency situation. I know when someone stops suddenly in front of me or cuts me off, the very first thing your brain says is to slam the brakes down as hard as you can. I actually saw a study conducted by an independent company (I don't remember which one), and they let subjects drive in a simulator. Every single time, the person slammed the brakes down when something pulled in front of the car, and the 'car' skidded out of control.

    On my first time driving in the rain back in 1997, I remember a situation that scared the hell out of me. I was in my parents' 94 Bonneville going down a 4-lane road heading toward a red signal. I got there in time where the light changed green for me, so I kept moving at about 30mph or so (35 is the limit on this road). This tractor-trailer didn't get stopped in time coming from the other direction, and went through the light. I slammed the brakes to the floor to avoid hitting him, not even thinking about ABS (I did have it). I steered around the truck, and kept from going underneath it thanks to ABS. That one experience would make me want ABS in all my cars from here on out.
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