I needed to get away from the rut of owning two Impreza Turbos in a row over 7 years. The Civic compared very well on outright performance, but I missed that 4-wheel drive traction from standstill in the Subaru.
Buy it for that amazing, zingy engine and incredible, light gearbox. The step-up in performance (and noise!) as you pass 6200 RPM is very addictive. However the high revs and noise that go with getting high performance makes you feel a little bit anti-social.
The "space saving" spare CANNOT be put on the front (fouls the brake caliper) ; so if you have a front flat, you must first put the spare on a rear position and use the good rear wheel/tyre on the front. Not good on a wet night!
The free Motoring Appreciation Course (MAC) that Honda provides is a nice touch. It does NOT teach high speed driving, but makes you a better driver.
The ride is not great and the driver is inhibited from using all the performance for fear of alienating his passenger who gets thrown about!
Very cheapskate and annoying of Honda to not even fit "one-shot up and down" to front passenger window and only one-shot down (not up) to driver's window.
When either front seat is folded for access to rear, it does not return to its previously set position; this sounds minor, but is disproportionately annoying!
The "motor cycle style" Type-R decals on the sills are a bit ostentatious.