1993 Honda Civic

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1993 Honda Civic
Available in 9 styles:  Civic 2dr Hatchback shown
Asking Price Range
$1,294–$3,398
Estimated MPG

29–34 city / 35–40 hwy

Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 2 of 5
1993 Honda Civic 5.0 5
$ 1,294-3,398
November 15, 1992
Testing cars for a living has its hazards.

Whenever exiting a Corvette, for example, you must run to a doctor to remove the yellow divider line from the highway that`s been embedded in your backside from time spent in Chevy`s low-slung buckboard.

After driving a Hyundai Excel, for example, you must take a quick spin around the vehicle to determine whether all the parts you started with are still in place.

And, after a test-drive in a Buick Century or Oldsmobile Ciera, you run to a mirror to check for added gray hair or liver spots, because these cars have been on the market so long without change that some say GM founder Billy Durant drove the first ones off the assembly line in 1920something.

And then there`s the Civic coupe, the new addition to the compact Honda lineup for 1993 as a companion to the sedan and hatchback. You don`t even have to turn on the key-just open the door and look at the seats and floor mats carrying a striped/spotted design that looks like someone spilled a year`s supply of Clorox all over the threads.

Some will grimace and simply sit down and turn on the key. Others will reach for the Pepto. We opted for the latter, but only after a sound scolding from No. 2 twin daughter, who came to the defense of the interior.

``Those of a more mature age may find the pattern a bit foreign to their liking and you really have to be a teenager to appreciate how sporty that interior design looks,`` she said.

Amazing what college and the need for a source of weekly gas money can do to a young woman`s power of observation and articulation. Considering the teen strung together a sentence without once using the word ``Da,`` we accepted and appreciated her critique.

Still, after an hour and a half in the car, we were tempted to call Empire Carpets or hand the keys over to the nearest teen and take a bus; the bus option gives you some idea of how hideous the Civic carpet/seat pattern is.

Aside from the mind-altering decor, the Civic coupe is a pleasant little machine with rounded aero body panels that make it appear to have come from the same mold as a Toyota Corolla. The next time you see people wandering aimlessly through the mall lot with keys in hand in obvious search for their car, you know they own a Civic or a Corolla, so be a good sport and help them out.

If we were to rate Civic styling against that of some of the competition, and we will, Corolla would get the nod ahead of it, and the Saturn SL1 and SL2 would be the choice over either Honda or Toyota.

The new coupe comes in DX and top-of-the-line EX trim levels. We drove the EX, which is loaded with power accessories but, even more important, comes with driver- (standard) and passenger-side (optional in what seems a strange teaming with a six-speaker AM/FM stereo with cassette) air bags.

The test car was powered by a 1.6-liter, 16-valve, 125-horsepower, 4- cylinder engine teamed with a very smooth 5-speed manual transmission. The combination is quick yet quiet. It also brings a more than decent 29 miles per gallon city/35 m.p.g. highway mileage rating with 5-speed, 27/34 with optional automatic.

Nimble power steering and double wishbone suspension with front- stabilizer bar provide the ride and handling you might expect from a car larger than the Civic with its 103-inch wheelbase and 172-inch overall length. However, 15-inch tires would make for even better handling than the 14-inch all-season treads that are standard.

A low hood and high rear decklid make the car look bigger than it is. One drawback to the high deck lid is that it robs some rearward visibility for shorter drivers.

Base price of the EX coupe is $12,400, $13,150 with automatic. With the option package that includes passenger-side air bag, the base price is $13,200 with manual, $13,950 with automatic.

Standard equipment include driver-side air bag, power brakes and steering, power windows and door locks, dual body colored (our test car was a deep plum, oddly enough a new color for 1993 at Saturn, too) power mirrors, power moonroof with tilt feature, cruise control, tinted glass, dual pop-out (from the dash) cupholders, intermittent wipers, remote fuel filler door release, remote trunk release, rear-window defroster, coin box and passenger- side vanity mirror.

Conspicuous by its absence are antilock brakes. They aren`t offered as an option. Honda should be applauded for dual air bags, but why not add antilock brakes in the Civic coupe, especially when they`re offered in the sedan?

There are a few irritants other than the Salvador Dali foot mats/seat cushions and lack of ABS. The primary ones are the rear seats, which fold to allow added storage but don`t lay flat, and the front safety belts, which block the rear-seat entry. The rear seat area is so cramped, however, that Honda may be doing you a service by keeping you from getting back there.

The Civic coupe is built only in the U.S. at Honda`s Marysville, Ohio, assembly plant.




    Expert Reviews 2 of 5

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