[The Test of Time] How Long Do Honda Civics Last?

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

What's in this Article

An impressive 11.8 years — that’s the average age of light vehicles in the US as of 2019. That’s an almost 14% increase from the 2009 average age of 10.3 years!

All in all, modern vehicles now exceed their mileage expectations — they can now last for more than 200,000 miles

There are some brands, makes, and models, however, that last even longer, some of which are from Honda. One example is a 1993 Honda Civic coupe, which still runs great despite having covered 355,720 miles

The big question now is, does this apply to all Civics? How long do Honda Civics last on average anyway?

Keep reading to find out all the answers to these burning questions!

A Quick Trip Down the Honda Civic Memory Lane

Honda made its first-ever Civic available to the US market back in 1972. It launched two models that year — a two-door sedan in July and a three-door hatchback in September.

The first-generation Civics, by the way, only took two years to develop. Despite that, the line-up took home the prestigious “Car of the Year Japan” from 1972 to 1974. The Honda Civic also ranked first in the 1974 US Road Test magazine’s “Car of the Year.”

Since then, the Civic has been winning awards for its reliability and technology. It’s because of this that the model is now on its 10th generation, marking almost 50 years of service.

The Honda Civic Reliability

Now, vehicles won’t last five decades in the market if they’re not reliable, or if they break down on a regular basis. In the automobile industry, the more reliable a car is, the fewer its issues and complaints are. It also has the fewest instances of failures and mechanical breakdowns.

So, the more reliable a vehicle is, the longer you can drive it for.

That said, Honda placed 12th in the 2019 Consumer Reports reliability ranking. That means its vehicles are more reliable than many US- and EU-made models, such as Chevy, Jeep, Tesla, and Volks.

Granted, the Toyota Camry may be the top-selling car for high mileage. The Honda Civic, however, is also a best-seller, thanks to its well-known reliability.

In fact, in August 2019 alone, Honda sold almost 35,000 units of the Civic in just the US. That’s a 26% increase in the model’s sales, making up a bulk of Honda’s overall sales gain. In fact, Honda itself says that the Civic is still the company’s “star of the show“.

How Long Do Honda Civics Last in Years?

Now, let’s answer your question, “how many miles can a Honda Civic last?” On average, it should last for more than 200,000 miles. However, with proper care and maintenance, it can last you longer — up to 300,000 miles or more!

In 2018, US motorists drove an average of 13,476 miles. If you stick to this average, it would mean driving a Civic for almost 15 years to reach 200,000 miles! If you take good care of your ride, you just might be able to keep driving your Civic for 20 years to reach 300,000 miles.

All these then make the estimated average lifespan of a Honda Civic between 15 and 20 years. Most Civic owners, however, tend to keep their ride for at least 10 years.

The Most Common Problems Faced by Civic Owners

Despite its impressive mileage, Civics still have their flaws, such as faulty transmissions. The most common problems, however, depend on their specific model years.

2001 Models

The 2001 model, in particular, had the worst transmission-related problems. In total, this model had over 1,100 complaints with the NHTSA. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports 26 recalls for this model.

2006 to 2009 Models

Cracked engine blocks are also common in Civics, especially in the 2006 to 2009 model years. These Civic models also have the worst issues, as they’re prone to coolant leaks.

These leaks, in turn, have resulted in many of these models to have overheating engines. These are the worst since such issues can result in the death of the engine itself.

Latest Generation

Complaints with the latest generation, however, are more minor — most have to do with Bluetooth. The display screen in the later models also appears to be prone to malfunctions.

Buying a Honda Civic: Is It Worth It?

With the exception of 2001 models and those from 2006 to 2009, yes, a Honda Civic is definitely worth it. In fact, Honda Civics, as well as a slew of other Japanese cars, are still the most popular used cars to flip.

Just make sure to ask for the vehicle history report if you’ll buy a used Civic. This way, you can check for yourself how many times that vehicle has gone to the mechanic. This then gives you an idea of how reliable that specific Civic is, and how long it will last you for.

Selling a Honda Civic

Just as you would ask for the vehicle report if you’re buying, make sure to also prepare this if you’re selling. This will make it easier for buyers to determine the reliability of the car you’re selling. It’s also for their peace of mind, as the report will tell them if your car has been in an accident.

Make the Most out of Your Honda Civic

There you have it, all the possible answers to your question, “how long do Honda Civics last?” Now that you know it lasts for a long time, then you can decide if it’s the right ride for you.

If you’re in the market as a seller, however, then make sure you prepare and polish your ride before selling. You may want to get as many of the needed repairs done before you post those sale ads. This way, you can negotiate the highest price for your beloved Civic.

Not sure how much your Civic is worth? We can help — feel free to use our instant online offer tool to get an estimate using some basic vehicle information or simply by using your car’s VIN!

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About the Author


Marc is the Co-Founder of Cash Auto Salvage and Director of daily operations. He retired from a leading Internet Marketing company in 2013 and has been involved in the automotive industry ever since.

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