How Long Will a Honda Civic Last?

When we buy new cars today we do so in the full knowledge that we are not making an investment for the long term future. Classic cars might go for ridiculous amounts of money today but they are vehicles of another era.

Cars are not made to be classics anymore so we know every day we own them they likely decrease in value and will never be a cash cow if we hold on to them for decades. This is why then it’s important to know how long the car we buy is likely to last us.

In this post we will look at the Honda Civic to learn more about this brand, the model and how long they will be likely to last.

History of Honda

As a young man Soichiro Honda was fascinated with automobiles and worked as a mechanic at the Art Shokai garage where he tuned cars and entered them into races. It was in 1937 that Honda went into business for himself, securing funding to found Tokai Seiki, a piston ring manufacturing business.

This business had several hiccups along the way but Honda was determined to learn from his mistakes. After an initial failure supplying Toyota with piston rings Honda visited Toyota's factories to learn more about their expectations and by 1941 was able to satisfy the company enough to win back the supply contract.

During the war Honda's company was taken over by the Japanese government to help with the munitions needed for the conflict. This period taught Honda a great deal but ultimately by 1946 he had to sell off the remains of his company to the already heavily invested Toyota company.

Soichiro Honda next moved on to building improvised motorcycles employing a staff of 12. It was just a few years later that Honda hired Takeo Fujisawa, an engineer with marketing expertise. Together they worked on the design of the first Honda motorcycle, the Dream D-Type which was released in 1949.

This was the beginning of the Honda company which would ultimately grow into a global automotive giant. Just a decade later the Honda brand would officially reach the United States when in 1959 American Honda Motor Co., Inc. was formed.

The Honda Civic

Honda motorcycles became popular around the world but the company's early cars were generally only successful in their home nation of Japan. That is until the arrival of the Honda Civic, their first market success in this field stacking up against some of the best compact cars of the era.

The first Civics were released in 1972 and were equipped with 1,169 cc (71.3 cubic inch) four cylinder engines. Considered sub compacts for many years, models after the year 2000 are now officially designated as compacts.

It was just last year in 2021 that the most recent 11th generation of Honda Civics hit the market. Sold globally the model actually is not for sale in Japan as the previous few years had shown a waning domestic interest in the iconic model.

It is however on sale in the United States where it is available in 4 trim levels LX, Sport, EX and Touring. The LX and Sport models feature a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine with EX and Touring models coming with a 1.5-liter turbocharged version.

How Long Can Honda Civics Last?

Obviously with all cars how long they will last is a question that is really very dependent on how you treat them. Poor maintenance and dangerous driving can give any car a short life. If however you are a diligent car owner who looks after their vehicle you might be surprised at how long a Civic might last.

It is estimated with the right treatment that a Honda Civic may have a lifetime of between 200,000 -300,000 miles. This could mean it would last between 15-20 years of normal day to day use. These are of course estimates and are dependent on many factors.

How to Extend Your Car's Life

When we buy a brand new car it is really up to us how long it will ultimately remain in good working order. This is why we should follow some guidelines to ensure our car keeps running smoothly and lasts us a long time. As already mentioned we’ll never make a profit reselling this car years down the line.

Wash Your Car Regularly

This may not seem like an important thing but actually it can have a bearing on the longevity of your vehicle. Cleaning off contaminants can avoid issues with rust which is essentially car cancer. So beyond having a sparkling clean car it can keep structural issues at bay for many years.

Regularly Service Your Car

If this is part of your own skill set you should make sure to service your vehicle regularly if not take advantage of any service deals when making your purchase to get regular check ups for the car. This will help you discover issues early and potentially repair them before they get worse.

Don’t Ignore Issues

Once you get to know your car you will be surprised how attuned you become to any differences it starts to display. You may hear noises you never heard before or feel the handling change. If you notice something different, look into it.

If you ignore a sound or something markedly different about the car you may allow other problems to develop as a result.

Take Your Time in the Morning

We all need a stretch in the morning and this is also true of our cars. We should be aware that engines ideally should be given a chance to warm up before we start driving. Oil is at its best once warmed so it protects our engines best if we allow it to get to the right temperature before we start making it work harder.

Starting an engine from cold especially in the winter without letting it warm up before we pull away can lead to damage. Over time this damage can build up and cause something major to break. This in turn could lead to a major repair bill.

Choose a Good Driving Style

The way you drive is important to how long a car will last. If you drive fast and keep high pressure on your engine this can lead to increased wear and tear over the years. Using your gears to slow down rather than your brakes can also cause damage to your gear box.

Essentially try and develop a smooth driving style. Fans of motor racing will often hear drivers described as having a smooth style and this is essential for them. These cars are designed for high speeds but components wear out quickly from the hard use.

Smooth gear changes, acceleration and deceleration will help protect your car from undue damage.

Keep the Load Light

Unless your vehicle is specifically needed to carry loads from place to place be mindful of how much stuff you have on a day to day basis. You obviously need certain things in the car at all times but random unnecessary junk should be removed.

The more weight the car has to move the more pressure you place on the engine, wheels and chassis.


A well maintained Honda Civic could potentially last you up to 2 decades. It might not be a family heirloom to pass down the generations but you might be able to give it to your kids if you treat the car well.

It’s conceivable that you could get up to 300,000 miles out of a Civic although this all depends on how you use the car and how well you maintain it.

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