COAL:2005 Honda Civic – Reliability is Boring

After some annoying problems with my previous car, I decided to just go out and pull the trigger on a new car.  I wanted something reliable and bulletproof, and I thought Honda.

A lot of family members – uncles and aunts, cousins – had Hondas, and were repeat customers.  I’d driven some of their Accords and Civics, and they were all well-made cars.  I figured if I was going to do it, buying a new car, I might as well do it right.  I went to the dealer in town, and took a beige SE-model automatic Civic for a drive.  It seemed to be good to me – nothing fancy, so I decided to deal on that one.  I’d known the salesman for a long time, and he had a demo unit they were getting rid of.  It was a LX-G – almost fully loaded.  All it was missing was the automatic and the VTEC engine.  I tested that one, and really liked it.  It was a lot nicer, and was the first vehicle I’d seen with the light up backlit gauges.

Ooh, pretty!!

I’m a sucker for a well laid out dash, and this car had it.  Everything fell easily to hand, and felt nice.  The engine was quiet, the shifter had a positive feel, and the sunroof just added to the whole deal.  I made the deal, and went home with it.  I loved the car.  It was a good handler, and when driven normally would return almost 40 MPG.  I only had one issue with the car over the 2 years I owned it – the shifter got jammed up.  Somehow a rock got lodged in the linkage on the top of the transmission, and bound the shifter up.

About a month after buying the car, I went on my first date with the woman I was to marry.  We realised very quickly that we were compatible with each other, and got along famously from the start.  She had also bought a new car about a month before our first date, a car that would show up some of the Honda’s shortcomings.

On our Honeymoon on Mount Washington.  It’s telling we didn’t take the Honda.

She had just bought a new Mazda 3.  A midlevel model, automatic, it was a great little car.  I found that the seats were more comfortable, the engine had more power, and was more solid feeling than the Civic.  If we needed to go somewhere, we would more often take the Mazda as it was just a more enjoyable car to drive.  It ended up giving her 3 years and 150,000 KM of troublefree driving, and we were sad to see it go.  We needed something bigger for her with a baby on the way.  Another Mazda was on the way – a 5 – and it was terrible.

The Honda I kept for two years total.  It served me well, but I wanted to get a car that she could drive – an automatic.  I put it up for sale, and I was able to sell it for what I owed on it after the two years.  One of the benefits of a Honda is the resale value…they hold up well here.

The only other picture of it I could find, there in the background.

It was an unassuming little car, and even 13 years after the last one of this generation was sold, they are still pretty common here.  I’d buy another one in the future for a cheap beater, but to me there wasn’t anything “fun” about them…no sporty note or performance to the engine, or good looks – just a reliable, unassuming little car.