Pristine Survivor: 1989 Honda Civic DX Hatchback

This 1989 Honda Civic may not be on the top of your collector car bucket list, but this little hatchback will appeal to plenty of gearheads and is probably the best example of a fourth generation Civic on the road today. In my opinion, this car represents the glory days of Honda; the mid-’80s until the mid-’90s. During that time Honda produced some of the most efficient, simple, reliable and attractive cars on the road. If you’re in the market for a fourth Generation Civic or just in need of a great commuter, this car is worth checking out. Find it for sale here on eBay in Stow, OH with a starting bid of $7,000 and a BIN of  $9,000.

This generation Civic was produced from ’87 until ’91. Several models of the Civic were available, this car is a DX which is one level above the very basic Civic STD which had vinyl seats, lower horsepower and a 4-speed transmission. The DX was a little better equipped with 92 HP, 5-speed transmission and cloth seats. Don’t get me wrong, this is a very basic car without power steering, power windows, and no A/C! The future owner of this car does have the luxury of AM/FM cassette and cloth seats.

The condition is what sets this car apart from the rest, it looks brand new from the pictures. The interior is pristine from the seats down to the floormats. This is a one owner car, the car belonged to the seller’s late father. As you would expect, mileage is low at 40,500. The car has always been in a garage, never been in snow and only in rain twice! Upon the seller taking possession of the car, the front brakes have been replaced as well as the exhaust from the Catalytic Converter back due to rust from the inside of the muffler out. The seller goes on to describe the car as “the CLEANEST civic you’ll ever see”.

Under the hood is a 1.5 liter 16 valve fuel injected 4 cylinder which should deliver in the neighborhood of 40MPG. Mechanically the only thing I would worry about is the timing belt. If the timing belt is original I would replace it simply due to age. It may have been done already but the seller does not mention it. The price may seem a little steep for a 30-year-old commuter car but when is the last time you have seen one in this condition. This will make a great commuter car for someone but no A/C may be a deal breaker in some parts of the country. Hopefully, this car will go to someone that will use it while maintaining its high level of preservation.

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  1. John m leyshon

    HS class of 1989 here…Feeling even older after that feature ! Not seeing it the sellers way pricewise… Either it’s a commuter or museum piece. What would one do with it if they pay 9k ?

  2. Gerald

    I’m hs class of ‘89 also and I had an ‘86 hatch (in 1995-96) that was a mistake to get rid of. These have street cred despite 70-90hp. They’re inherently good. There’s just “something about” the 3dr hatch, any and all of them, from mid-80s to late 2000s when the design was put out to pasture.

  3. Jeff

    The longest FWD burnout I’ve ever witnessed was by my college roommate in one of these. I hated how he abused that car.

  4. David

    I had a ’90 DX hatch (with auto) in Honda’s dark red color. It was my favorite car until it was rear-ended and nearly totaled by a poorly-maintained Cadillac. The thin pillars and low sills made the interior feel like a small plane cockpit. It rode fairly softly but cornered hard and got great mileage. Good luck getting the asking price.

  5. Billy007

    I bought a new 1990 with a four speed on April Fools Day of that year. $6980 and off the lot I went. Best damned car I ever owned. If I knew I would keep it for a quarter of a century I would have sprung for the cloth seats and the air. I have owned five Hondas since, other cars too, but the Hondas are our reliable daily drivers.

  6. Will Fox

    I bought a `90 Civic hatchback base model brand new–$ out the door! The cheapest MSRP of any new car sold in the US that year. Mine didn’t even have air. 4-speed, vinyl seats, AM/FM and that’s it!
    You die-hards can say whatever you want…that Civic was hands down, THE best quality car I’ve ever owned!! Never once in the shop for a thing except maint.!! Sold it myself for a new `96 Civic EX coupe; wanna guess what I got for it with 73K miles on it? $5600. CASH!!!! In 6 years, I only lost $400. from what I paid for it! And the next owner drove it for almost 10 more years.

  7. Big Mike

    I want to say, first I am 6′ tall weigh in on a good day around 375. That being said, I squeezed my fat butt in the back of one of these for a trip, from St Louis, to Bismarck, S.D., for a Church group. I set in it side ways for the first 300 miles, but rented my own car in Kansas City and drove myself the rest of the way.
    What I am saying these are not for an old Fat man!!!!! or a young fat guy either.

    • CanuckCarGuy

      Big Mike, one of the things I enjoy about Barn Finds is when others share their personal stories about the featured cars. Your story was short but sweet…thank you for sharing Big Mike.

    • Brad460 Member

      Bismarck is in North Dakota.

      • chrlsful

        that’s how painful it wuz

  8. mike b

    Trying to understand how an appliance grade (an excellent appliance) car gets the sports car treatment in a town where you have to drive to do things. Winters in Florida? The mileage/time works if it was a KSU staff commuter, but that would include plenty of salt time.

  9. Dwayne

    Would call the base model “standard ” instead of STD! 😂😂 Had a 81 wagon, one of my favorite cars I ever had and an 88 with 5 speed EFI. Agree the 80’s and early 90’s Honda’s were their best cars.

  10. Royal Ricci

    These were great cars that built even more so on Honda’s great reputation. My friend’s brother’s GF had one of these but a four-door sedan. My friend, had an 88 CRV with the four speed automatic. He loved it until the insurance carriers tried to reclassify it as a sports car about three or four years in.

  11. Steve

    Another Class off 89 alumni here. I never had one of these, but I had several friends with these and the CRX equivalent. I was still a big V8 guy at the time, but respected these roller skates for being dependable and good handling cars that also got great gas mileage. (I had several Honda motorcycles and ATV’s at the time, so I was familiar with Honda quality.) I liked them so much that when looking for a commuter car, I was given the opportunity to pick up a 91 Integra RS with an auto trans (UGH!) and a blown head gasket for $300, I jumped on it. Unfortunately, the blown head gasket turned out to be caused by a stripped head bolt. Nothing a $600 RHD JDM Civic SI R clip with a B16a (VTEC, yo! LOL) and 5 speed tranny swap didn’t solve. I kept the stock muffler and steel wheels, though and sold the sheetmetal parts For $300 to a kid who wanted to do a rhd conversion (I asked him if he aspired to be a mail man LOL) . Not into the “Ricer” look/ sound. I sold it when I bought a new Cobalt SS turbo (and almost immediately regretted it.)

  12. chrlsful

    B fine DD 4 me @ 1/2 the price.
    Am lookin 4 one in 1/2 the condition.

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