1986 Civic Honda Hatchback: The Good and The Ugly Uncovered

Patrick Oziegbe
Published On:

The 1986 Honda Civic hatchback is a classic, known for its performance and innovative features. You’ll appreciate the good aspects of this vintage car, while also acknowledging the not-so-pretty parts.

As a proud owner or enthusiast, you might admire the 1986 Civic Si’s fuel-injection system, delivering 91 horsepower and 93 pound-feet of torque. On the flip side, the complex CVCC system can be a challenge, especially when dealing with emissions regulations. Buckle up as we take you on a ride through the good and ugly of this iconic hatchback.

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The Good

Good
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Fuel Efficiency

Fuel Efficiency
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The 1986 Honda Civic Hatchback Si is known for its impressive fuel efficiency. Its 1.5-liter engine, which uses Honda’s racing-style fuel-injection system, delivers excellent performance without sacrificing economy. This means you’ll spend less on gas while still enjoying the fun of driving this classic Honda.

Owners of this vehicle have reported a combined average mileage of around 30.17 mpg. Not as high as modern eco-friendly cars, but definitely praiseworthy for its era. Adding to its green credentials, some variants like the VX and HX are even better at conserving fuel, according to mpgomatic.com.

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Reliability

Reliable
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The 1986 Honda Civic Hatchback is known for its dependability and reliability. Equipped with a 12-valve, 1.5-liter engine, it features Honda’s racing-style fuel-injection system, which delivers 91 horsepower and 93 pound-feet of torque. The removable moonroof adds a special touch to its design.

With a well-maintained vehicle, you can easily expect it to run for years, providing you with peace of mind and low ownership costs.

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Handling

Handling
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The handling of the 1986 Honda Civic Si is one of its key selling points, thanks to its lightweight chassis and responsive steering. This makes it an engaging and enjoyable car to drive, even by today’s standards, and it’s perfect for those who love the feeling of being connected to the road.

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Practical Hatchback Design

Practical Hatchback
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The practical hatchback design of the 1986 Civic Si offers plenty of cargo space, making it a versatile choice for daily driving and longer road trips. With a removable moonroof incorporated into the design, you can enjoy open-air driving while having the flexibility to carry your belongings with ease.

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Aftermarket Support

Car Aftermarket
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Owning a 1986 Honda Civic Si means having access to a wide array of aftermarket support. Enthusiasts and tuners alike have loved this iconic model for years, resulting in a wealth of knowledge, parts, and upgrades available for your ride. This ensures that you can personalize and improve your Civic Si to suit your preferences and needs.

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Economic to Own

Economic to Own
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Lastly, the 1986 Civic Si is affordable to own, not only due to its fuel efficiency and reliability but also because of its reasonable prices for parts and servicing. This makes it a fantastic choice for those who want to enjoy a classic and fun-to-drive car without breaking the bank.

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The Bad and Ugly

Bad, ugly
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Unfortunately, the 1986 Civic Honda Hatchback had some drawbacks. Under the hood, it featured a non-CVCC SOHC engine displacing 1,342cc, generating only 60 horsepower. This low power output resulted in slow acceleration and limited top speed for the car.

Additionally, the base model came with a four-speed manual transmission, which by 1986 standards was considered outdated, as most three-pedal Civics had moved on to five-speeds. If you wanted the cheapest possible new Honda back then, you had to settle for the 1300 hatchback with four-on-the-floor.

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Safety Features

Safety Features
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Back in 1986, the Honda Civic hatchback didn’t have all the advanced safety features that you may be used to today. Although it had seat belts, it lacked airbags and advanced collision avoidance systems. You should be aware of this if considering a classic car like this for daily driving.

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Limited Power

Under the hood, the 1986 Honda Civic 1300 Hatchback came with just 60 horsepower. For comparison, modern compact cars have at least double that amount. With such limited power, you may find it struggles when merging onto highways or carrying heavy loads.

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Noisy Cabin

Noisy
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The cabin insulation in old cars was not as effective as it is in today’s vehicles. As a result, you might experience more road and engine noise when driving the 1986 Honda Civic hatchback. Modern cars have made significant strides in reducing cabin noise, so if you’re used to a quiet ride, this car may disappoint.

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Rust Prone

Rust Prone
©Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Older vehicles like the 1986 Civic hatchback were not as well protected against rust and corrosion as modern cars. You should be prepared to deal with rust issues, especially if the car has been exposed to humid or salty environments. Check for rust near the wheel wells, undercarriage, and body panels.

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Aging Interiors

Aging Interiors
©Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

The plastic and fabric materials used in 1980s car interiors have aged over the years. You may find that the dash, seats, and door panels are prone to cracking, fading and tearing. Additionally, the electronics and wiring in an ’80s car may not be as reliable as modern systems.

Limited Safety

Limited Safety
©Photo Credit: MiramarSpeedCircuit

In the 1986 Honda Civic hatchback, safety features were limited compared to modern standards. Back then, airbags and anti-lock braking systems (ABS) were not common. As a result, driving the 1986 Civic hatchback might feel less safe, especially if you’re accustomed to present-day vehicles.

Aside from lacking modern safety features, the 1986 Honda Civic hatchback also falls short regarding its crash test ratings. Older vehicles generally have poorer crash performance in comparison to modern cars due to advancements in safety measures and structural engineering.

Hard to Find in Good Condition

Bad condition
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Finding a 1986 Honda Civic hatchback in good condition can be a challenge due to its age and rarity. Despite its appealing fuel efficiency back in the day, many have either been driven extensively or exposed to harsh conditions, leading to wear and tear.

Since the 1986 Honda Civic hatchback is over three decades old, finding one in good condition may be challenging. Many of these cars have been driven extensively, and finding a well-preserved example requires time and effort. You may need to travel considerable distances or spend time searching online to find the right one.

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons
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The 1986 Honda Civic Hatchback has its share of pros and cons. On the plus side, it’s a reliable and fuel-efficient vehicle that was popular during its time. However, it also has its drawbacks.

Some common issues included alignment problems, flimsy antennas, and interior build quality concerns. But considering its age, these issues are to be expected. Keep an open mind as you explore this classic hatchback!

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