2007 Honda Civic LX
2007 Honda Civic LX; photo by Greg Wilson. Click image to enlarge
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Honda Civic Reviews

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By Chris Chase

The eighth-generation Honda Civic hit the market in 2006, and made a bit of a splash when it did, with its wedgy exterior and modern interior, including a controversial split-level dashboard. Nevertheless, the Civic remained one of the most popular cars on the market and largely retained its reputation for being a dependable form of transportation.

If you bought a Civic in 2006, you got a compact sedan or coupe powered by a 1.8-litre, four-cylinder engine making 140 horsepower in all trims save the Si coupe and Hybrid. The Si got a 2.0-litre, 197-hp motor, while the Hybrid used 1.3-litre engine paired with an electric motor for a net horsepower power rating of 110. Regular-grade Civics came standard with a five-speed manual transmission that could be optioned to a five-speed automatic. The Si used a six-speed manual exclusively and also got a limited-slip differential; the Hybrid came with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) as the only one available.

In 2008, an Si sedan was added to the line-up. Some upper trim models got stability/traction control in 2009.

Natural Resources Canada’s fuel consumption ratings for the 2006 Civic were 7.8/5.7 L/100 km (city/highway) for the 1.8-litre model with manual transmission, or 8.2/5.7 with the automatic. The Hybrid was rated at 4.7/4.3, and the Si at 10.2/6.8. These figures would remain the same through the eighth-gen Civic’s run, to 2011.

Reliability on the whole has been good, earning the Civic inclusion on Consumer Reports’ list of used car “good bets.” It’s not without fault, however, particularly the hybrid model.

2007 Honda Civic LX
2007 Honda Civic LX; photo by Greg Wilson. Click image to enlarge

Consumer Reports’ data on the Civic shows electrical system problems with the Hybrid powertrain. These include the IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) warning light turning on, indicating a problem with the battery or the software that manages the IMA system. Here’s a thread talking about how high ambient temperatures and hot weather can negatively affect the Civic Hybrid’s battery pack. The battery packs themselves appear to be pricey; I’ve seen figures upwards of $3,000 for replacement (including labour) mentioned in more than one forum.

There’s also an IMA software update mentioned frequently that apparently causes driveability issues after it’s installed in the car’s CPU. Apparently, this is due to the system needing to recalibrate itself, but kills the electric assist function in the process, making the car slow, and dangerously so, say some owners.

2007 Honda Civic Hybrid
2007 Honda Civic Hybrid; photo by Chris Chase. Click image to enlarge

This thread at CleanMPG.com details some tips for helping the battery pack keep its cool.

If the check engine, IMA and battery light come on and the car loses electric assist (runs on the gas engine only), a common, and simple, cause is a weak 12-volt battery (just like the one every car has). If this battery is bad, it frequently causes the car’s sensitive electronics to go haywire.

Here’s a Civic Hybrid FAQ from CleanMPG.com.

I’ll go out on a limb and say that the Honda Civic Hybrid is one to approach with caution, especially used, and even more so if the hybrid system warranty is close to expiry. A couple of posters in this GreenHybrid.com thread call their 2007 Civic Hybrids the worst cars they’ve ever owned.

2007 Honda Civic
2007 Honda Civic; photo by Greg Wilson. Click image to enlarge

With that out of the way, non-hybrid Civics have fared much better, suffering only from relatively minor problems.

There’s a common problem with the Civic Si’s transmission that causes grinding and hard shifting into third gear, and a shifter that pops out of third. This prompted the folks at 8thCivic.com to draft a (poorly written) petition in an effort to get Honda to acknowledge the problem. The company eventually did, by issuing a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) advising dealers on how to fix the bad transmissions.

A popping sound from the front suspension, a problem that appears to affect mostly 2006, 2007 and a few 2008 Civics, is caused by an incorrectly manufactured bump stop. Honda addressed this in 2007, with the TSB that can be found here.

2007 Honda Civic
2007 Honda Civic
2007 Honda Civic; photo by Greg Wilson. Click image to enlarge

Read this thread for a few details about a rear suspension problem – bad upper control arms – that seems to affect only the Hybrid.

This thread indicates that some Civic owners have experienced head gasket failures. There’s no evidence of this in Consumer Reports’ data, though.

The two-door Civic earned a “good” rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) frontal offset crash test, and an “acceptable” score in side impact testing, with the IIHS citing a possibility of rib and pelvis fractures for front seat occupants. The four-door model scored “good” in both tests, but the IIHS noted that there was still a small possibility of rib fractures for front-seat riders.

From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave Civic two- and four-door models five stars for driver and front passenger protection in its frontal crash test, and four and five stars for front and rear seat protection in side impacts, respectively.

Used Civic pricing, from Canadian Black Book (CBB), shows these cars have held their value well, as is the Honda way. At the low end is a 2006 DX coupe, at $8,150, or $8,625 for a DX sedan; for bigger budgets, a 2010 sedan in top EX-L trim is worth $20,200. The Si’s values range from $15,525 for a 2006 coupe, to $21,300 for a 2010 sedan (the coupe is a bit cheaper), and the Hybrid starts at $10,750 for a 2006 and ranges up to $17,075 for a 2009. (CBB doesn’t have pricing info for the 2010 Hybrid.) For middle-ground shoppers, a 2008 LX is worth $14,450.

As stated above, the Civic Hybrid is a car to avoid, or at least, consider very carefully when shopping for a fuel-thrifty vehicle. The rest of the Civic line has held up well, earning consistent above-average used vehicle reliability ratings from Consumer Reports, with few, if any, serious trouble spots. Regardless, look for a car with detailed service records and have it checked out by a trustworthy mechanic before buying.


Black Book Pricing (avg. retail) January, 2011:

Price today
Price new
Civic DX-G sedan
Civic DX-G sedan
Civic DX-G sedan
Civic DX-G sedan
Civic DX-G sedan
Online resources
  • 8thcivic.com is a terrific resource for these cars, particularly the technical forum, which is rich with information on troubleshooting and common trouble spots. Other places to look include HondaCivicForum.com, the eighth-gen section at CivicForums.com, ClubCivic.com and the Temple of VTEC at VTEC.net. Si owners can check ClubSi.com, and hybrid drivers are best to stick to the Civic sections at HybridCars.com and GreenHybrid.com.

  • Transport Canada Recall Number: 2006207; Units affected: 292006:On certain 2-door vehicles the rear window and/or quarter glass panels do not properly adhere to the vehicle body. The glass panels could detach from the car while driving, increasing the risk of injury to traffic. Correction: Dealers will properly bond the glass.
  • Transport Canada Recall Number: 2007254; Units affected: 1,387

    2007:Certain vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of CMVSS 120. The Tire and Loading Information Label was printed with incorrect Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) data. The information printed on the affected labels is that for the Civic LX model, which weighs less than the Civic EX model. The incorrect labels indicate a GVWR of 1665 kg, front GAWR of 880 kg and rear GAWR of 785 kg. The labels should instead indicate a GVWR of 1695 kg, front GAWR of 895 kg and rear GAWR of 800 kg. Since this does not pose any safety risk, no corrective action is required.

    Transport Canada Recall Number: 2008384; Units affected: 75

    2008-2009:On certain vehicles, the bracket that covers the fuel hose connector is normally secured with a nut and bolt, however during assembly the nut was omitted. In the event of a crash, the bracket may become loose which could result in damage to the fuel hose connector. A damaged connector could lead to a fuel leak and increases the risk of fire causing property damages and personal injuries. Correction: Dealers will inspect affected vehicles and install a nut on the fuel feed hose bracket.

    Crash test results
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)Used vehicle prices vary depending on factors such as general condition, odometer reading, usage history and options fitted. Always have a used vehicle checked by an experienced auto technician before you buy.For information on recalls, see Transport Canada’s web-site, www.tc.gc.ca, or the U.S. National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA)web-site, www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

    For information on vehicle service bulletins issued by the manufacturer, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

    For information on consumer complaints about specific models, see www.lemonaidcars.com.

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