Thursday, February 28, 2013

Used Car Review - Honda Civic Hatchback (1992-1995)

You see this in modified form, but you want to know how it performs in the stock form. Myk Belmonte dishes out the story.

1992-1995 Honda Civic Hatchback

There is such reason that Japanese vehicles sell well in the tuner community. Why do I say so? Tons of aftermarket parts ranging from the performance enhancers to the aesthetics such as wheels and body kits are available. You can almost buy anything from the local tuner shop to your suking online seller to get what you need.

One of the "tuner" favorites is the Honda Civic EG in both sedan and hatchback flavors, but for this article, I will be discussing more of the latter, with the sedan having its own review soon. It was available to consumers in Japan on September 10, 1991 in sedan, coupe, and hatchback flavors. It was more lighter and more comfortable than the previous generation but the latter took a toll on its handling. It received a Belo treatment (we're not sure she is famous back then) in 1994 and replaced by the popular EK Civic in 1996.

This vehicle was launched in 1992 as an entry to the Peoples Car Development Program which occurred during the early 90s. It replaced the briefly sold Civic EF not because it was a lemon, but it was a coincidence that it was made available in 1991. The local aftermarket racing and tuning scene had to thank this car as it made an impact to this sectors because of the ease of fitting in a B16A engine and the fun to drive characteristic. Sales ceased in November 1995 with the launch of the EK Civic, which makes the EG and the previous EF having both sedan and hatchback choices in the Civic line-up.

Value and Costs
Almost twenty years in age, the Civic hatchback does not resist in having lower than P100,000 prices. Try searching in the Sunday block of classifieds to spot prices ranging between P110,000-P200,000, depending on the vehicle condition and whether it is stock or not. Back in 1992, the P236,000 base price did not include options such as headrests, sun visors, a passenger-side mirror, alloy wheels lifted from the LX Sedan, and other creature comforts.

Cost of maintaining this baby is similar to vehicles having a carburetor sold in the same period. If you plan to buy one and keep it stock, make sure that the engine is fine and there is no need for an engine rebuilt. Going for a unit with a B16A powerplant? Make sure it is not abused or raced extensively. Rust and paint problems are common, especially if the previous owner didn't have a garage to park the car under.

Exterior and Interior
From the hatchbacks in the PCDP whose lines are on the boxy side, the Civic hatchback goes with the aerodynamic side sporting a sexy profile. The Daihatsu Charade may have some sporty lines but it is based on a cube shape. Squint hard at the headlamps, they make a low hoodline and a rear spoiler contemplates the sexy back. Similar to the first generation CR-V, the glass hatch must be opened first to gain rear access.

With this vehicle focusing on economy, vinyl surfaces are abound to provide a durable interior. Comparing to the EF, dashboard quality is more excellent with softer materials being used, which you'll think it is not an economy car at all. Don't expect any power amenities here, since people back then aren't expecting a lot. Front space is excellent while the rear seats are reserved for the vertically challenged, which makes this one a two seater vehicle. Among the participants of this development program, only this and the Daihatsu Charade are sold with a two door option. .

A D13B1 1,343cc with 74hp at 6,300rpm and 102Nm at 3,100rpm motivates this hatchback in stock form. Notice the tachometer with an 8,000rpm red line, this can rev up to 7,000rpm that makes it more sporty to drive, despite the carburetor system standard.

Driving Impressions
Light and with close gear ratios, this vehicle is a hoot to drive. Parking can be a chore no thanks to the unassisted rack-and-pinon steering assembly especially if you swap the stock wheel and tire combo to some larger ones. Handling does not scream economy car, which is a surprise in this segment before. Visibility is excellent, except for the tiny portion in the rear left corner. Never mind if this vehicle was bare, these things make the driving experience unspoiled.

Bare by todays standards, but if the driving thrill matters to you, then this car is for you. But if the daily grind to work requires you a cheaper wheels, there are other more "modern" choices available. Just make sure to drive safely.

The Good:
  • Fun to drive
  • Very stylish
  • Bare but durable interior
The Bad:
  • Don't dare find any power amenities (except steering of course)
  • Good luck finding a stock model
  • Good luck maintaining a stock model
The Pick: You have no other choice but to get a stock unit

Engine: 1,343cc D13B1 I4 gasoline
Power: 74hp @ 6,300rpm
Torque: 102Nm @ 3,100rpm
Fuel Consumption: 8-10km/L (city), 12-14km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Suspension: Front and rear double wishbone

Price (New): P236,000-P300,000
Price (Now): P110,000-P200,000
Rivals: Kia Pride, Daihatsu Charade, Fiat Uno
On Sale: 1992-1995


  1. car namin dati yang EG na yan na for sale sa olx :)) ngayon ko lang nakita to

    1. hahaha maraming salamat sir. hope na nabenta po yung car nyo

    2. matagal na po namin nabenta yan :))

  2. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)