Preserved Commuter: 30K Mile Honda Civic

The fourth-generation Honda Civic was arguably the platform that put Honda on the map for good, eliminating any doubt that the Japanese company could build an impressively durable commuter car yet still deliver a highly engaging driving experience. This 1990 Civic hatchback here on eBay is a super low mileage example with 30,000 miles from new. There’s no reserve and the Honda is located in Tacoma, Washington. 

For a few years now, collector car experts have begun paying more attention to the 1980s – 1990s Japanese car market, largely because the kids and teenagers who dreamed about them as adolescents now have some expendable income to throw at a project. While a brown Civic hatchback may not seem like a “dream car” to many, the ability to buy a car from your youth and still enjoy it as a daily driver is the appeal here. Since so many of these Civics rotted away, finding one with solid fenders and floors is no small feat.

What’s amazing about these cars is that for as plain and spartan as they are, even low-spec trims like this DX model can still deliver the go-kart like reflexes early Hondas are known for. The interior is uncluttered, the A-pillars barely obstruct your vision and the seats are still better than what you find in today’s class of entry-level beaters. While the Civic Si of this same generation is truly the hot ticket and the CRX is even more kart-like, this fourth-gen hatch won’t disappoint when it comes time to point the nose into a corner.

Light weight and an independent suspension made the 92 b.h.p. four-cylinder feel bigger than it was, especially when paired to the standard 5-speed manual like this car. To find a one-owner example as clean as this one will take a good deal of searching, and the reasonable bids at this point make this Civic appealing as a car you can still drive with some regularity without tarnishing its value. Japanese vehicles of this era have been lingering at the bottom of the price scale for too long; expect to see the best cars start to command higher prices in the future.

Fast Finds


  1. al8apex

    “Minty-fresh”? seriously, why would anyone use that term to describe an inanimate object?

    Google “minty” and see what the urban dictionary’s use for this “word” is …

    Yeah, it sure is … smh

    • al8apex

      I see someone came to their senses and edited the “minty-fresh” description out … kudos to whoever did that

  2. dirtyharry

    Pretty amazing, so many relatively new “old” cars around. This one looks so practical and likely will corner like a sports car. I don’t know what it is, I just can’t take a gold paint job.

  3. KeithK

    As a 32 year Honda tech I must add that this car is not a DX as advertised. This is the STD.(insert jokes here) or standard model. This is just one tick below the DX and is a standout due to its vinyl upholstery and 4 speed manual. All other models are marked with a badge under the right rear taillight. DX,LX,EX,SI. These were great cars like all in this model line but the lack of that 5th gear made them screamers at highway speeds above 55. All models above the standard also had a rear wiper .

    Like 2
    • Chebby

      Why go through the trouble of offering a 4-speed gearbox when all the other models have a 5-speed? It seems like extra effort and expense for the factory to feature it, just to penalize people.

      Like 1
      • KeithK

        Did you ever hear of the “bait and switch” routine? This model and subsequent base models were built just for that. The civic was advertised for a super low price. People came then switched up to a better equipped model sitting right next door. We ordered very few of these because they just didn’t sell well. You could add air and a stereo but manual steering kept even grandma from biting.

        Like 1
  4. CliffS Member

    I had this same model, year and color car when it was new, I could never get entirely comfortable in it, and when getting on the gas, the torque steer was legendary, making it very darty, with one hand on the wheel , trying to shift up gears with the other, it was more of a chore to drive than anything. It did get decent mileage though. I guess other’s remember it differently, it is what it is, an economy car!

  5. BiggYinn

    Brown…..its gold ….but looks great for its age

  6. JamestownMike

    Looks like muddy water got into the lower part of both headlights some how?? The rear bumper cover is pulled down of both sides. Too bad its the stripped base model (NON DX) with the lowly 4 speed (instead of 5 speed), vinyl seats, NO power steering and NO A/C!

    • KeithK

      Condensation collects in those headlights and the reflectors in front of the bulbs rust. A little moisture is usually ok for a car that actually uses the headlights. Hot halogen bulbs boil it right out. On a side note NO civics in this style came with factory installed AC, it was a dealer installed fully integrated factory kit. Also no radio,speakers or antenna. Equipping a civic for the lot was a good payday. I miss those days.

  7. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Pretty funny, I never knew there was a lower model than the DX. This is my 1991 DX work ride after last nights terrible storm. I purchased it around 2000. Second owner. It is a 5 speed car. It is a fun car to drive and I would like to compare it to my 1972 Stingray but no speedometer on her. Still in fair shape for being driven year around in Wisconsin. I have had notes left on wanting to buy it. Now my dilemma, Seeing they are collectible maybe I should stop driving it at 181000 miles. Oh, and last week I checked the mileage, a little over 45 MPG.

    Like 1
  8. Marcus

    There is something fishy about this one. They say accident free but the right rear of the bumper doesn’t fit up flush with the body like it should. Then, it must have sat outside for a long time since the headlights are full of water. Being in Tacoma I bet this car has some hidden rust issues somewhere else as well.

  9. Gay Car Nut

    I remember this generation Honda Civic. It was a better looking car than today’s current gen Civic.

  10. LAMike240

    Hood doesn’t fit right either. This car, albeit a 1991 LX was my 1st new car. Tinted windows on the rear 3 and black alloy wheels. Same color. I wouldn’t touch this one with a 10ft pole.

  11. giorgitd

    My 1st new car was a 1990 Civic Si. Fun and practical. Drove it 10 years and 100k+ miles. General maintenance and wear items only.
    Not a single thing failed on that car while I owned it. Traded it in for a new Prelude. I only had that car 2 years when my new wife said that sports cars and babies don’t mix and she was pregnant…

    Like 1
  12. Jeremy Holmes

    Nice looking car but no a/c is a bummer

  13. DrinkinGasoline

    Dad called these “Honda Physic’s”.

    Physic definition: a medicine in enema application that purges; cathartic; laxative ; (noun) Middle English fisyk(e).
    In other words….” To promote….$#!+ (excrement)”
    Honda sold a ton of them taking advantage of the high production/low profit business model of the era but there are few to be found on the roads today, excluding California and like environment states.

  14. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Winning bid:US $4,800.00
    [ 40 bids ]

    Like 1

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