A Review of My 2004 Civic... VS my old Focus ST

It’s been somewhere around a month (judging by the fact that I’ve payed Geico twice) that I’ve owned my new-to-me 2004 Civic, so I wanted to give some first impressions - and why not compare it to my previous car (well, before the Jeep), a 2013 Focus ST (ST2 Package, if that matters).

Interior: 8/10 - THIS THING IS AMAZING, in context

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One thing that I’m amazed about. This car is... what, 13 years old? There are ZERO weird squeaks, rattles or clunks from interior trim panels. Everything fits together great, and this is AFTER I took apart the center console and radio/HVAC thing like 10 times to get the radio in.

Compared the the Focus ST (3/10 interior build quality), it’s a godsend. Right off the lot I had a lifetimes worth of headaches of panel gaps, cheap plastic and squeaks. Not to mention, the previous owner kept it in great shape. No holes in floor mats or anything. The rear seat headrests are extremely faded, but that’s about it.

Exterior: 7/10

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It looks good for it’s age. It’s got some dings and dents, but whatever. I don’t have to worry about the damn thing being parked around the city like I did the focus.

Compared to the Focus ST: (10/10 looks, 5/10 build quality). Panel gaps galore on the Focus. But god damn did it look fiiiiiiine.

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Performance (Engine, Braking, Accel, Handling... you get the gist): 5/10 

It’s a civic. I don’t expect much. It runs, and handles. It’s got rear drum brakes so it stops. Everything works, that’s about it. It’s not fast.

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Compared to the Focus ST: (8/10 performance) It was fast, it was fun, it stopped really well. I miss this part of this car.

Sound: (3/10)

It’s got a 1.7L VTEC-E (Not really performance focused) 4CYL engine. It sounds like it has that exactly. I put a new head unit in, so the audio sounds... better, and ran the mic up the driver’s A pillar so I have bluetooth. It looks stock-ish and I’m happy w/ that.

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Compared to the Focus ST: (10/10) This thing sounded great. I loved the 2.0T roar, and the extra noise piped into the cabin. The SONY Sound system sounded great too. I do miss this part a lot.

Ownership: (10/10)

I’m happy to have a simple car at the moment. While I’m in the position where I’m only using the car on weekends, I’m fine having something that I really don’t need to worry about street parking anywhere. It came with dents. Do I wish it was a manual? Yep, but since my girlfriend’s splitting the thing with me, I’d rather have it this way. Plus, only like one of my friends ever learned to drive stick. For $2000, and under 102k miles it’s sweet. Is it fun to drive? It’s a car, and I like driving so sure. Parts are abundant, and it takes regular gas. It made it a 4 hour drive to VT and back with zero issues.

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The previous owner even texted me to let me know he found more paperwork on the car last week about when the timing belt, water pump were done. I know I bought it from someone that cared for it, and was the first owner.

Oh, and it’s easy to work on. Getting the new radio in, easy. Getting the frozen spare tire out, and threading a new tie down? Pretty easy.

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Compared to the Focus ST: (4/10) This car was in and out of the shop WAY too much for being a new car. Between the motor mounts (TSB that put a new revision on b/c they couldn’t handle the torque), the wiring harness (dipping idle when let off the clutch), and the immediate pothole (yes, my fault) that required me to get new tires, wheels and alignments (fml.) I was constantly worried about it getting damaged or scratched.

Don’t get me wrong, the Focus was the most fun car I’ve ever owned, but in NYC it’s tough. Real tough to own a new car. I’ll stick to CPO, and 2nd hand for a while I think, and keep this civic around.

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Here’s a few more pics for your time:

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