Most people buy this car because it is sporty; I bought it because it was the only new hatchback available from Honda at the time. I don't race or do any after-market parts or changes. People are always amazed when they ask me what changes I've made and I say none. Honestly, I don't know what you would do to this car to make any kind of significant improvement.
The stick shift is on the dash and it not only looks cool, I feel that it is way easier and more comfortable to shift. This also leaves the area between the seats open for the drink holder and storage console.
The suspension on the car is amazing. I bought my car new in 2003, and to this day the car still feels as tight and stable as the day I bought it. Pretty much any other car I drive feels sloppy and almost dangerous compared to the stability I have in the Civic SI.
Little things like the pull out drink holder, rear view mirror, etc. have held up very well and have not broken, discolored, aged poorly. The exterior paint still looks new, and I do not garage my car. It is left out in the rain, snow, and baking sun. Also, I was once caught driving in a hailstorm with golf-ball size hail, and I was sure that it had ruined my car. There was absolutely no damage! I couldn't believe it.