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Honda is well-known for its reliable and impressive vehicles. From compact cars to spacious SUVs, the company produces some of the most popular cars on the market. The Honda Civic is one of Honda’s longest-running and most-popular cars, with many still cruising the roads decades after leaving the lot.

But as with all things, some Civic models may stand the test of time better than others. And if you’re looking for a Honda Civic that will keep you out of the mechanic shop, there’s one model year you’ll want to steer clear from- 2001. Here’s why:

Stay away from this Honda Civic model year

The people over at have compiled a database that includes all complaints and reported problems associated with particular car make, models, and years. When considering all model years for the Honda Civic, CarComplaints found that the 2001 Civic had “the most overall complaints,” ranking the models “on several factors such as repair cost & average mileage when problems occur.”

The most-reported problem by 2001 Civic owners is transmission failure, with more than 317 complaints to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) for transmission problems. Following transmission issues and failure, the most commonly-occurring complaints include engine problems, interior accessories problems, seatbelt and airbag problems, and suspension problems.

In fact, the 2001 Honda Civic came with a dangerous airbag defect, which allowed the airbag to activate with excessive force, that didn’t get recalled for more than a decade. 

Recalls and repairs

According to Consumer Reports, there are 27 total recalls on the 2001 Honda Civic. Most of the recalls involved fall into the following categories: airbags, exterior lighting, fuel system, seatbelts, and engine and engine cooling.

As found by CarComplaints, the 2001 Honda Civic is the most-recalled car ever, and fourth most-recalled vehicle overall. The most commonly-experienced transmission problems often begin in 2001 model after only 100,000 miles on the road. Not to mention, the fixes cost an average of $2,200-$2,500 to fix. These transmission issues can include the inability to engage, slipping of transmission, and complete failure.

The popularity of the Civic

The Honda Civic first made its debut as a two-door model in 1972. Since then, the Civic has remained the same reliable car it was back then, while also undergoing great changes along the way. Still one of the most popular cars out there, Civic owners are some of the most loyal on the market. Here are just a few of the things the Honda Civic has built its long-standing reputation on:

  • Reliability- The Civic is known for standing the test of time, with many still on the road decades later. 
  • Affordability and practicality- At an affordable purchase price, the Civic also has the draw of reliability and low repair costs.
  • Economy- Even back at its debut, the Civic was a money-saver at the pump. And today are even more fuel-efficient than ever.
  • Comfort- Not just a smooth and fun ride, the car has always been known for its spacious and comfortable interior.
  • Safety- Before safety standards were demanded or expected, Honda was leading the way with safety. And it’s no different today, with Honda still leading the way in safety innovation.

Using results from almost 8,000 interviews, the people at YouGov found that the Honda Civic is the “second most popular car model and the second most famous.” It’s equally popular among all age groups and only slightly more-popular among women, with a 63% positive opinion by women and 59% by men.

If you’re looking for a great, used Civic, CarComplaints found that model years 1990-2000 received the least amount of complaints from owners and required the least amount of repairs.