Very reliable 1996 Civic CX HB, 5 speed, no AC.
I bought Old Reliable (1996 Civic CX Hatchback, 5-speed) back in 2002 with 60,000 miles. Now has 259,000 miles and runs great. Most of the miles are highway. Had a 91 Civic HB before and distributor went out at about 200K, so I replaced that on my 1996 at about 180K for routine maintenance. No other major repairs except usual muffler replacement, etc. It still passes the smog test. I have spent a lot on maintenance at the local shops. Now it needs new shocks (they are original - ha ha), new CV axles (boots torn), and new tie rods, etc. I've had the CV boots and joints replaced before several times, not sure about the tie rods. I have had the rear trailing arm bushings replaced a couple of times, as well as a couple of engine mounts, etc. I get about 40 mpg on the highway - maybe 30 in town. Paint clearcoat is mostly gone on the top, but sides are good. It has been a great car and will keep driving it as long as I can. Mine does not have AC and now that I'm getting older and the world is getting warmer, I wish it had that, but I'll survive. One less thing to go wrong, but driving across Nevada on HWY 50 when the interior is reading 120 F is rough; That's why I only gave it 3 stars for comfort - in winter it's awesome - heater will drive you out when it's 0 degrees F outside. :) If I take the front tire off my mountain bike, it will fit behind the front seats. Put chains on the front tires and it will go on solid ice up to your favorite winter mountain recreation spot. I wish Honda would reproduce it exactly, except put better bearings in the distributor so it would go 400K before replacement, AND bring back the flip -out rear windows for ventilation that my 1991 had - those helped in the heat!
Economic car for short school runs for high school
Bought for daughter's first car for school transportation was just right for the purpose small but comfortable ride, noisy though fuel economy: good large trunk
Most Reliable Car I've Owned
Great gas mileage (30mpg city/38mpg hwy), affordable repairs, fun to drive a manual, and fits a surprising amount of gear with the hatchback style. I had a bike rack mounted on top and could get most places I wanted to go. I put a set of snow tires on it for the winter in Colorado and it was the safest vehicle I've driven in the snow (used to have a 2000 Jeep Cherokee). I would absolutely recommend the Honda Civic Hatchback (especially the older models, because they are easy to work on, simple, and extremely reliable).