Buying a car, whether new or used, is a significant investment. You want a car that’s sleek and stylish, comfortable and safe, and gets good gas mileage. The Honda Civic is a top contender if you’re looking for an affordable, highly rated compact car. Paying for repairs can strain your finances, though, so researching Honda Civic reliability is a great way to help you decide if it’s the right car for you. How reliable are Honda Civics? Let’s find out.

How Are the Honda Civic Reliability Ratings?

Overall, the Honda Civic is a reliable car. First released in Japan in 1972, the Civic has gone through 11 generations, with the latest redesign taking place with the 2022 model. Both the sedan and hatchback models have roomy interiors and good fuel economy.

The Honda Civic has differing reliability ratings for each model year. If you’re looking for a newer used car, pay attention to the data for that year. Most rating agencies rank the Civic in their top five picks for small sedans.

Check out this data from U.S. News and World Report. The overall ratings take several factors into consideration, including the car’s performance, interior, and safety and reliability ratings. The top problems for each year come from Consumer Reports.

2023 Honda Civic, Best Compact Car for the Money

  • Overall rating: 8.7/10
  • Safety rating: 9.4/10
  • Reliability: 80/100
  • Top problems: no data availalbe

2022 Honda Civic, Best Compact Car for the Money

  • Overall rating: 8.6/10
  • Safety rating: 9.6/10
  • Reliability: 82/100
  • Top problems: in-car electronics, brakes, and paint

2021 Honda Civic, Finalist in 2021 Best Compact Car for the Money

  • Overall rating: 8.6/10
  • Safety rating: 9.7/10
  • Reliability: 76/100
  • Top problems: in-car electronics, suspension and steering, and climate system

2020 Honda Civic, #3 in 2020 Compact Cars

  • Overall rating: 8.6/10
  • Safety rating: 10/10
  • Reliability: 76/100
  • Top problems: noises and leaks, climate system, and power equipment

2019 Honda Civic, #6 in 2019 Compact Cars

  • Overall rating: 8.2/10
  • Safety rating: 9.7/10
  • Reliability: below average, 2.5/5 (Consumer Reports rates at 2/5)
  • Top problems: climate system, electrical system, and in-car electronics

2018 Honda Civic, #6 in 2018 Compact Cars

  • Overall rating: 8.4/10
  • Safety rating: 10/10
  • Reliability: average, 3/5 (Consumer Reports rates at 1/5)
  • Top problems: climate system, electric system, and brakes

What Are Common Honda Civic Reliability Problems?

Mechanics assess the reliability of a Honda Civic.

Some repairs are more expensive than others. Understanding the issues that Civic owners experience gives you an idea of what problems and expenses you might face. Contact autopom! to find out how a vehicle protection plan can save you money on breakdown and repair costs.

While car shopping, always research the particular model years you’re interested in, since each has its own history of problems. Keep in mind that every car in a model year may not have the listed issues, and some vehicles will have problems we don’t mention that could impact the Honda Civic reliability rating.


Many Civics have problems with airbags. These include malfunctioning warning lights and faulty occupant position sensors. Honda recalled the installed Takata airbags for several model years because they posed a significant safety risk.

Air Conditioner

Many 10th-generation models have air conditioner issues. For some, the AC doesn’t cool efficiently; for others, the AC doesn’t cool at all. Replacing the compressor and condenser can cost around $3,000 at a dealership, although independent mechanics can usually do the job cheaper.

Honda discovered that a manufacturing defect in Civics produced between 2016 and 2019 caused refrigerant leaks. To save money, some owners add freon rather than replacing these parts.

Cruise Control

The adaptive cruise control on the redesigned 2022 Civic can suddenly stop working, presenting a potential safety issue. Owners report that they can’t re-engage this feature without restarting their cars. Honda addressed this problem by updating the software.

Older model Civics may have cruise-control problems stemming from the car’s electrical system or defective buttons.


Engine issues caused Honda Civic reliability problems for many eighth-generation models. These issues include cracked engine blocks and faulty engine mounts. Engines may overheat or misfire. Depending on the model year, you may choose to replace rather than repair the engine.


The reliability of certain older models of Civics can be hampered by exhaust issues arising from damaged exhaust manifolds or catalytic converter/manifold combinations.

Grinding Sound

The 2016 and 2017 models, in particular, can produce a grinding sound when owners start their cars. The pressure control valve in the transmission rattles, creating a noise similar to a starter motor. Owners might worry that this noise indicates transmission or engine problems.

Replacing the lower valve body can stop the sound, although the noise may come back eventually. Honda’s redesigned valve minimizes the noise-producing vibrations.


Honda typically uses water-based paint for vehicle exteriors. This paint type isn’t as durable and can lead to:

  • Clear coat peeling
  • Cracks, chips, and scratches
  • Discoloration and fading
  • Flaking

Such paint problems can lead to rust and a less-than-stellar appearance.

Does the Manufacturer Warranty Cover Honda Civic Reliability Issues?

Honda provides a 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty for new cars. If you buy a used Honda Civic, though, you probably won’t benefit from this coverage.

New car buyers can purchase an extended warranty through Honda Care that provides coverage for up to 8 years or 120,000 miles. You’ll have to use a Honda dealership for covered repairs. You must purchase this warranty through a Honda dealer before the basic warranty expires.

Are There Alternatives to a Manufacturer Warranty?

A couple budgets for common Honda Civic reliability issues.

If you want more flexibility and cheaper cost, you can buy a vehicle protection plan or vehicle service contract from autopom! Similar to an extended warranty, these plans don’t cover routine maintenance. However, you can select the level of coverage you need, from basic to exclusionary plans. You can use the repair shop of your choice, and you can purchase a plan after a basic manufacturer warranty expires.

Each plan specifies what it includes and excludes, so you won’t have any surprises. Eligibility and plan pricing depends on your state and the car’s year, make, model, and mileage.

Honda Civic Reliability: Why Choose autopom! for Your Vehicle Protection Plan?

Although Honda Civic reliability is above average overall, you can experience a breakdown anytime. To avoid paying for expensive repairs out of pocket, buying a vehicle protection plan from autopom! makes sense. Get a quote online, email us, or call us at (800) 724-8141.

By Mike Jones, President & CEO of autopom! Insurance Services, llc