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2003 Honda Civic Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Good dependable economy car. by chris57

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Introduction

The reason I bought the car was great reliability, good gas mileage, and conservative styling.

Reviewed: 2003 Honda Civic

4dr Sedan 115-horsepower 1.7L I4 4-speed automatic FWD

Why the 2003 Honda Civic?

Exterior styling

Except for the tail lights, which curve into the trunk lid ,I like the simple conservative styling of the 2003 Civic. It's hard to find a car these days with styling like this. Most brand new cars are ugly.

Fuel economy

Fuel Economy is good for a car with automatic transmission. 26 mpg city, and up to 40 mpg freeway . I've gotten as much as 45 mpg on a 55mph speed limit hwy.

Reliability & durability

Reliability is good for a 10 year old car. I've had the car for 4 years, and except for brakes, battery replacement , minor electrical issue, there haven't been any problems.

Why Not the 2003 Honda Civic?

Front seat support & comfort

Front seat comfort is fair. There's good side support. But the lumbar support is too high for someone short like me. I've added a but cushon so the bulge hits the right part of my back. It also helps me sit higher for better visibility, and adds comfort for long trips.

Powertrain performance

This is the first car I've had with automatic transmission. While it's nice in city driving, it often shifts too early to a lower gear on highway hills, causing high rpms and engine noise. One thing I miss about a manual is more of a feeling of control when being able to shift down when slowing down. While you can do that with an automatic, it doesn't slow down as good as a manual. You have to rely more on the brakes.

Handling

Front wheel drive doesn't provide good traction from wet stops . There's wheel spin while starting on wet cross walk strips or oil build up .I'm using light throttle. Maybe optional traction control would help. I'm not sure if it's available on an 03 Civic. Starting off in 2nd gear helps reduce the chance of wheel spin.

Quietness

Tire noise on course pavement is noisy. I have to turn up the volume on my radio/ cd player. Maybe some extra noise insulation would help. Otherwise, engine noise is OK, except at high rpms.

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