First of all about the engine. This engine is really noisy and the cabin isn't "soundproof". When we push the engine only to 3000rpm everything is fine, but the car is without power (max horse power is when we get 6000rpm). But when we want go "really fast" the engine must work with 4000-4500rpm and more. But then we can't say, that the engine is working silently. Anyway Civic 1.4 is still more silently than Deawoo Lanos 1.5 DOHC for example. So when we haven't much power to 3000-3500rpm and when we love dynamic driving, is good to know, that the gearbox works fantastic. The engine have sport characteristic and we could push it to 7200rpm. My still can go 175Km/h without any "fight", and my record in this car is 195km/h. 100km/h you can do in less than 12 seconds.
I use this car practically only in Warsaw, so I "know" traffic jam very well. 9 liters for 100m/h this is normal I think. On highways when I often go about 170-180km/h the petrol consumption can be really high. I think even 14l per 100km.
Handling...hmm...my previous car was Mazda 323F (pop-up lights model) and maybe that's the reason, that in my opinion handling could be better. Anyway, people says, that the car is nice to drive, and the suspension is rather stiff. In compare to my first car Citroen BX of course yes, to Lanos 5D also. Anyway we can say that, the handling is pretty well. This suspension "stiffnes" is good choice for 90KM Civic 5D.
Interior...in my opinion is very nice. Car is well equipped. Power windows and mirrors, power steering, two front air-bags. Plastic is soft, velour, wooden insertion. Very nice, well made... good point of Civic 5D. No "crickets" after 155000km.
Summary. Very well made car. Looks really nice inside and from outside. His style is timeless. Very reliable. If you can, try to buy 1.6 version (faster, but fuel consumption the same) but 1.4 also isn't bad. Maybe isn't "silent master" but engine noise in upper revs range is even nice. If you don't like to change gears... maybe this car isn't for you. But the engine like I said have "sport" characteristic. Good for tuners I think. The version after lifting (1997) are better made, and have doors "strengthening". Service is very good, but not specially cheap in Poland.