I bought a 2000 Honda Civic 2 door Coupe SE model (which is a DX with a few goodies)and, although I was simply looking for good economical reliable transportation, I got a car that was all that and then some. It is one of the most fun cars I have ever owned. The gas mileage is incredible giving me 51 mpg on the highway, all the while doing it with all the pep I would ever want in a car.
The legroom is great, an important feature for a guy who is 6'1" tall. The air conditioning works , cooling the car in 100 degree heat to very cool in only a few minutes, although I must admit it's a little noisier than I'd like.
The Special Edition model DX came with air conditioning and keyless entry which I personally have grown to love. Having air conditioning works well for those loved ones with allergies and the keyless entry has a feature which automatically locks the doors if the car is left unattended with the key out of the ignition. No more forgetting to lock the doors or wondering if you have.
The seats offer good back and leg support on long drives. I've driven the car from Vancouver Canada to San Francisco California twice without the usual fatigue. The handling on the highway is fine. Parking in the city is a breeze. Nice stock sound system. Good looks too...I have had a number of compliments on it....not bad for a car that was supposed to be "practical".
The major complaint I have is with Honda Finance...one business day after buying the car, after asking specifically if there were any upcoming specials and being told "no", Honda announces a special finance rate on the exact vehicle I bought...and will do nothing about it.....period. In my opinion, if have to finance your Honda, shop around or do it through your bank...NOT Honda. I feel that I have had my new car experience severely tarnished by this, what I feel is, deceptive practice. This is going to cost me thousands of dollars over the term of the loan.
THE COST TO SERVICE THIS VEHICLE AND MAINTAIN MY WARRANTY IS HUGE - BEWARE
UPDATE: October 02, 2001 - A little over one year later the upholstery on the front seat (driver's) is wearing very thin with only 25,000 mostly highway miles, seemingly due to both poor materials and design flaws. I'm about to find out how well Honda stands behind their products and commitment to quality. I'll keep you informed.....
Other than that, the car has been a pleasure to drive.
Honda replaced the seat, no charge although there were some errors made in getting the parts and the appointment straight to have the work done. It took three visits and cancellations, lots of wasted time before the seat was finally repaired.
UPDATE: June 08, 2002 - Well, the seat that wore out and had to be replaced at 25,000 miles has been replaced AGAIN at 40,000 miles. This time my Honda dealer was hesitant to do the work under warranty but did so after minor pressure was put on them. Somewhat disappointing and has raised concerns about how well I'll be treated in the future. The rest of the car is fine, runs well and looks good. Overall, I have to say that I am generally pleased with the car, but time will tell. More to come..................
UPDATE: November 12, 2003 - The seat has had to replaced for the 3rd time and believe me I had some fight to get the dealer who had replaced it twice already to do it a third time, but they did. I am thoroughly unimpressed with the Honda company itself, although still quite satisfied with the car.
My recommendation would be to anyone interested in buying a Honda that they spend the time and search for a good used one, have it tested by a good mechanic and deal with a reliable (non-Honda) shop AND shop around for the best deal for financing. Banks love to compete and are alot more honest and flexible than Honda. It's a good thing that the designers and engineers don't mix with the business and sales staff at Honda. The cars themselves are hard to beat, the same cannot be said for the service and business staff.
UPDATE: March 28, 2005 - The car is now off of warranty and at least I don't have to deal with Honda anymore. While the car itself still runs very well, the driver seat upholstery is shot, the seat itself is collapsing in places and I'm sure that if Honda had a problem fixing it when it was on warranty they sure won't fix it now.
UPDATE: February 11, 2006 - The car is now 5.5 years old, The driver seat is totalled and both remotes for the keyless entry are not working ($65.00 each to replace!!!!). The car is otherwise running pretty well.
To be continued...........
My final update, car is sold. Feeling relieved.
Just past the 6 year mark. Driver seat destroyed for the 4th time, water pump gone, car overheating, needs a timing belt (sigh), exhaust getting noisy, brakes need major work, steering acting weird, transmission hard to get into certain gears like 1st and reverse. In hindsight, I never felt very safe in this car, like driving a tin can compared to my new Ford. Bad memories thanks to Honda Finance, wondering what the hype is about Japanese cars, will never by another, bought Ford and have been treated EXTREMELY well. I love my new Ford. Epinion to come soon.