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2003 Honda Civic Review
The 2003 Honda Civic beats the crowd.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The Honda Civic was first introduced in 1973. Since that time, it has been one of the most popular cars in America. It has several hallmarks, such as clean and spunky engines, great reliability, and a decent price, which make it one of the best on the market. The 2003 model steps it up by offering its very first hybrid model. Several interior changes have been made and new interior materials, a CD player, and other amenities are now included.
Engines: 1.3-liter four-cylinder, 1.7-liter four-cylinder, 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: two-speed CVT, four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Honda Civic DX, Honda Civic HX, Honda Civic LX, Honda Civic EX, Honda Civic Si h, Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda Civic GX
The 2003 Honda Civic receives interior improvements, including better seat fabrics, rear adjustable headrests to prevent whiplash, and a new four-spoke steering wheel. A new gauge illumination is available on the HX, LX, and EX models. The LX and EX also get a new center console. The HX and LX also get a new CD player. The exterior of all models include new tail lamps and brand new wheel designs. The Hybrid model is also new in 2003.
The 2003 Honda Civic receives a new wheel design for 2003, as well as refreshed tail lamps. Many other changes were made in 2001; much of the exterior remains the same in 2003. The four-door model is 174.6 inches long. Both the sedan and coupe models ride on a 103.1-inch wheelbase and use the same hood, fenders, bumpers, and headlight styling. The Hybrid has its own distinct look with a different front fascia, rear spoiler, and tail lights. A power plant is stored behind the rear seats, the battery being the same size as the gasoline engine. The hatchback has a slightly different, double-mesh grille, a different rear spoiler, and a dual-performance exhaust.
The 2003 Honda receives new materials for the seats. The steering wheel is also changed to a four-spoke design. The center console also gets an update. All models can seat five passengers with plenty of legroom, shoulder room, and other comforts. This is due to the compact rear suspension allowing plenty of rear space. Trunk storage space measures 12.9 cubic feet. The rear seat splits and folds for extra storage room. It receives an upgraded interior with premium upholstery. The Hybrid also receives special gauges. Standard equipment includes automatic air-conditioning, cruise control, CD player, power windows, door locks, and mirrors.
Performance & Handling
The 2003 Honda Civic DX and LX come with a 1.7-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 115 horsepower. The same engine is available in the EX model, but it utilizes the variable valve technology, which gives the horsepower a bump up to 127 horsepower. Both engines use either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The HX has reduced emissions, using a similar 1.7-liter four-cylinder that produces 117 horsepower. The HX uses the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that has no gears. The Hybrid utilizes a 1.3-liter, i-DSI lean burn four-cylinder engine that produces 85 horsepower. Auxiliary power comes from a 13-hp electric motor that adds 46 lb-ft of additional torque. Although it's an economy car, it's fully functional for everyday use. Steering is a bit numb due to the suspension and shock dampening.
The 2003 Honda Civic sedan has earned high marks in crash tests. It received a five out of five star rating for frontal impacts and four stars for side impacts. The Hybrid has not been tested by the NHTSA.
EPA Fuel Economy
Honda Civic coupe HX: 31/39 mpg city/highway
Honda Civic coupe LX: 27/35 mpg city/highway
Honda Civic coupe EX: 27/35 mpg city/highway
Honda Civic sedan DX: 27/35 mpg city/highway
Honda Civic sedan LX: 27/35 mpg city/highway
Honda Civic sedan EX: 27/35 mpg city/highway
Honda Civic hatchback Si: 22/28 mpg city/highway
Honda Civic Hybrid: 40/45 mpg city/highway
Honda Civic natural gas GX: 26/31 mpg city/highway
- Fuel efficient
- Environmentally friendly
- Big interior
- Crash test scores are superb
You Won't Like
- Anti-lock brakes are unavailable for the DX and LX
The 2003 Honda Civic beats the crowd.
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