I purchased this Civic 6 years ago. It was a little over a year old at the time. I have had absolutely zero problems with this car. Other than routine maintenance, (brakes, timing belt, CV boots, filters, and oil), I have not put a dime into the car.
The "routine" maintenance I have gone through with the civic was much less frequent than several other comparable cars. In fact I did not change the brakes for the first time until 99,000 miles and I just changed the timing belt and CV boots at 134,000.
As far as performance is concerned, a civic is not a Porsche. It has good pep and has no problem cruising at 95 on the highway. It is not going to win any races, however.
I have read complaints regarding the Civic's loud engine. I have never had this opinion. The car is not silent, but engine noise has never been a concern of mine with this car. The car has a very smooth ride for a car its size.
The Civic is very fun to drive. It has a very tight turning radius. As mentioned above, the Civic is not a race car, but you can have a lot of fun driving it as long as 95MPH is fast enough for you. The fuel economy is good. Using synthetic oil and keeping your filters clean helps, but I regularly get 35 MPG. On some of my cross country jaunts, I have gotten 41 MPG in the car.
This car has a limited amount of space. The front seats are both comfortable (I am a 210 lb guy). The back seats, however would not be suitable for long trips. The trunk is small, but not overly small.
I have taken very good care of this car. I have used only synthetic oil, changed filters and plugs regularly, and made sure all major maintenance is taken care of before it becomes a problem. The car, in turn has taken excellent care of me. It has never broken down, never refused to start, and never cost me a dime in non maintenance repairs. I have driven this car across this great country several times and I would not hesitate to drive it across country again.
It is not hard to find a Civic with 250000 miles on it and running just fine. That is the beauty of the Civic... the car is long paid for, still runs like new, and still has resale value at 135,000 miles. You cannot say that about many other cars, especially in this price range.