My parents and I picked out this car in January 2008 as a birthday present for myself. My last car was an Oldsmobile Alero (what a piece of junk). That car was canned after continuously not starting.
The Civic is a very good car. It is used daily and driven constantly, far distances. It gets good mpg about 25/35 (which is close to what it should be - 30/40).
The cabin is very small, and my God the dashboard is like a dance floor. It's huge and collects a lot of dust. The digital dash however is amazing. It's placed at just the right location, and is always correct with the digital speed check-points cops set up.
On the road, the steering is very sensitive, hard to get used to. Once you do though you really will appreciate it. I have had a few close calls and I guarantee my steering being so touchy saved me. The car was in an accident at about 27,000 miles and it held up. The other car was totaled (no surprise - 1995 Ford Contour) and the Civic only had minor front end damage. The brakes are sensitive like the steering wheel, and I am still not used to them.
The car is slow to start off after acceleration, but once it gets going it purrs! It can easily go 80 mph. I usually notice the car "bucks" right after you get past 55 mph, when you let off the gas, and then press it again, I know its most likely just the gears shifting.
Has a tiny trouble starting in cold weather, but is a lot better than my first car. It will not start sometimes on the first try, and then will start instantly on the second. The AC is a bit wimpy, isn't all that cold at max (and it's has plenty of freon). But, the heat is great! I feel like I'm in Florida in July when it's on.
The interior seems to get very dusty and dirty, very easily. Not sure why. If you have lots of things with you when your driving, the interior is small and clutters quickly. Seats are a dream, so comfortable. I drove from Philadelphia, PA to upstate PA, a 3 hour drive, without one complaint. My back gets stiff and just sitting on the seats, the way they contour you is like having a massage.
I have the oil changed every 3,000 miles. The Oil Life % feature is absolutely wonderful. I also like how it tells me the temperature, very helpful. Perform regular maintenance on the car. Had to be taken to Honda for a check up, and they found "issues" and billed me $500. They said it had to do with the brakes, I don't buy it.
The stereo system is the best I have ever heard. I didn't add anything to it, and I've had people in the car who say it's like I have sub woofers. You could blast the music and have the volume at 40 (the highest) and not blow the speakers. It's amazing. I also love the instant i-Pod hook up!
All in all the Civic has a few rough spots, but I love it and wouldn't trade it for any car. It's reliable and sporty. Plus it's economical AND fast, all in one car!