Used Honda Civic (2006-11) Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know

  • Unmodified Civic Si’s command a premium in today’s market
  • Beware of coolant leaks, it could mean a cracked engine block
  • Regardless, this generation of Civic is as reliable as they come

In the eyes of just about anyone, just about anywhere, this is the used car. No matter the budget, no matter what you need, there’s a used Honda Civic for you. So, we thought we’d slap together a guide on the 8th generation of Honda Civic. Currently, despite supply chain woes, this is still a cheap used car. A really nice one is $20K. And the Civic Si? Some might call the last N/A Si one of the greatest FWD cars out there.

A blue 8th generation Honda Civic sedan shot from the front 3/4
2008 Honda Civic Sedan | Honda

What makes the Honda Civic such a good used car?

So, what’s so great about this Honda car? Obviously, Honda’s reputation for reliability is first and foremost in consumers’ minds. The Civic is one of the most consistently reliable cars out there, and the 8th gen is no different. As for the 8th gen specifically? As far as body styles and trim levels go, the 06-11 Civic is arguably one of the most varied offerings in Honda’s lineup, offering both a sedan and coupe body and numerous trim levels.

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Honda Civic reliability and known issues

The engine bay of the 8th gen sedan
You won’t find a more reliable engine | Honda
  • The 06-11 Honda Civic is about as relaible as you can get
  • Honda Civic Si models have a somewhat fragile gearbox
  • Beware of any coolant leaks, as it could point to a cracked engine block

So, let’s get into the 8th gen’s reliability. In short, the Civic is as reliable of a used car as you can buy. The first maintenance item to be aware of sounds scary, however. In 8th gen Civic EX, DX, and LX models, a coolant leak can spring up from a cracked engine block. Thankfully, these cars are either dead and gone or have had the issue fixed under warranty. Just watch for puddles of fluid and you’ll be fine.

As for the 2006-11 Honda Civic Si, the big worry here is the gearbox. They’re notoriously fragile, and the forums are awash with horror stories. Anything that doesn’t feel right with the shifter should be addressed immediately with no expense spared. Finally, both of the engines (K20 and R18 for you know-it-alls) in the 8th gen Honda Civic are known to burn some oil. Check the levels before and after a test drive to see how bad the issue is. Really, that’s it. It’s a Honda Civic, after all.

What year of Honda Civic is best?

A silver 8th gen Honda Civic Si shot from a high 3/4 angle
Some call this the last “real” Honda Civic Si | Honda
  • The Honda Civic Si was at it’s best from 2009-11
  • We reccomend the EX trim level, as its cheap enough now to be worth the extra cash
  • Unmodified Si models will command a premium in today’s market

There’s two paths for knowing which years to buy. First: if you want a simple used car for daily use and not the Civic Si, know that there’s three trim levels across the entire production run: the Civic DX, LX, EX, and EX-L. Those are listed in order of original pricing and options, with EX-L being the top-tier Civic trim at the time. We’d suggest searching out a low-mile 2009 Honda Civic EX. Thankfully, these are still cheap despite the trim level.

For the enthusiasts, the 2009+ Honda Civic Si is the way to go. ’09 brought a revised shifter and new gearbox fluid (said to help with aforementioned transmission problems). However, know the super-cool red Si gauge cluster was dropped in ’08. Folks adore these Civic Sis, but they, like any fast Honda, will command a premium if they’re unmolested.

How much should you pay for a used Civic?

A red 8th gen sedan shot from the rear 3/4
8th gen Civics are incredibly cheap, even now | Honda

Now to the money. No matter which one you choose to buy, $15,000 will get you a clean, unmodified, sub-100,000 mile used Honda Civic of the 8th generation. Of course, if you want a nicer Civic Si, especially in a rare color, expect to pay somewhere in the $20,000 range. Keep in mind these prices are at the height of supply chain issues in early 2022, and prices may shift up or down in the future. Happy hunting.

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