• (4.5) 44 reviews
  • MSRP: $1,181–$6,645
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 28-40
  • Engine: 115-hp, 1.7-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 4-speed automatic w/OD
2002 Honda Civic

Our Take on the Latest Model 2002 Honda Civic

2002 Honda Civic Reviews

Vehicle Overview
The best-selling small car in the United States, Honda’s popular subcompact earned a redesign for 2001, bringing it closer in appearance to the larger Accord. The exterior and interior dimensions of the two-door coupe and four-door sedan also grew.

Like other small-car manufacturers, Honda will turn to performance this season. A revived version of the performance-focused Civic Si, which cars.com classifies as a sports car, packs a high-output 2.0-liter engine and a close-ratio five-speed-manual transmission. Built at Honda U.K. in Swindon, England, the Si will be a three-door hatchback — the only example of that body style to be sold in the United States, at least for now. Honda expects to sell about 12,000 units in the first year.

Except for the addition of the Si hatchback, little is changing for 2002. The Civic gets additional insulation, a revised steering box and a few interior refinements. All Civics other than the new Si carry a 1.7-liter four-cylinder engine, but horsepower varies from 115 to 127, depending on the model. Environmentally oriented folks can go a step further and choose a natural gas-powered Civic GX, which was the first vehicle certified in California as a near-zero emissions vehicle.

The restyling for 2001 was not radical, but it amounted to an evolution of the previous design. The Civic’s rear end now has a more noticeable look, and its overall appearance resembles the midsize Accord. The interior in the new Civic is larger, but its total length of 174.6 inches measures about half an inch shorter overall than its predecessor. The Civic rides a 103.1-inch wheelbase and is a hair shorter overall than the Ford Focus.

The coupe and sedan share the same hood, front fenders, front bumper and headlight styling, but the coupe has a steeper front windshield. The coupe also uses different rear pillars, rear bumper and taillights. Featuring a double-layered mesh grille and a rear spoiler, the Civic Si has a firmer suspension than other Civics, as well as bigger wheels and tires.

The Civic offers a more spacious feel than some smaller cars. Rear legroom has increased in the current generation due to a compact rear suspension. All Civics seat five occupants, with a shoulder belt provided for the middle rear seating position. Trunk space totals 12.9 cubic feet, and the split rear seatback folds down for additional cargo room. Sport seats are included in the Civic Si.

Under the Hood
On DX and LX models, the 1.7-liter four-cylinder engine makes 115 hp. The engine on the EX model boasts Honda’s variable valve technology and a boost to 127 hp. Both engines are available with a five-speed-manual-gearbox or an optional four-speed-automatic transmission.

The Civic HX coupe has a 117-hp lean-burn engine that operates with reduced emissions, according to Honda. That’s not the only difference. The HX is available with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which has no gears, provides infinite drive ratios and functions more like a dimmer switch than a three- or four-way light switch. The CVT transmission also is available on a GX model that runs on compressed natural gas.

The 2002 Civic Si carries a high-output 2.0-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine that makes 160 hp and teams with a close-ratio five-speed-manual gearbox. Instead of the usual floor gearshift, the lever is mounted rally-style at the dashboard center, close to the steering wheel.

Side-impact airbags for the front seats are optional on all models; they automatically disable if sensors detect that an occupant is out of position. Antilock brakes are standard on the EX and new on the Si, but are not available on other models.

Driving Impressions
Solid and substantial as ever, the latest Civic is not markedly different from the prior generation. Though it is easy and pleasant to drive, and is quiet on the road, it’s a bit on the bland side in appearance and performance. Still, those aspects may easily be overshadowed by Honda’s reputation for quality and dependability. In fact, consumers seeking a practical small sedan — especially one with a stick shift — need to look no further. The Civic EX is about as good as the compact sedans get.

Throttle response with the 127-hp EX is good, but its automatic transmission reacts a bit slowly. The manual gearshift, on the other hand, functions like the proverbial knife slicing through butter. Even better, the clutch performs expertly. The only minor drawback is its inability to move at low speeds in higher gears, due to the lack of low-speed engine torque.

Steering has a substantial feel, and it requires only modest effort. The Civic delivers excellent ride quality and is delightfully capable and precise during tight maneuvers. Though appealing and undeniably sensible, the current Civic does not come across as overpowering or alluring. In a word, it does everything a commuter car is supposed to do, and it does it well.


Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 44 reviews

Write a Review

Great car

by Civ8 from Desplains il on October 17, 2017

The car can take a beating. It lasted till 200k and than trans gave up. Its a great car and much more smoother than toyota

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8 Trims Available

Photo of undefined
Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2002 Honda Civic trim comparison will help you decide.

Honda Civic Articles

2002 Honda Civic Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Honda Civic DX

Moderate overlap front

IIHS Ratings

Based on Honda Civic DX

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Moderate overlap front

Left Leg/Foot
Overall Front
Right Leg/Foot
Structure/safety cage
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Honda Civic DX

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Honda Civic DX

Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.


There are currently 22 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $5,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years