My wife and I purchased our Honda Civic LX new in February 1998. Aside from normal maintenance we also experienced the cracked exhaust manifold problem. It now has alomst 100,000 miles and that his, honestly, the only problem we've had. Interior layout leaves something to be desired and the cramped cup holders are weak compared to other more user friendly designs. Overall the car feels cheaply made. The four banger really struggles when climbing hills and the automatic transmission is kinda jumpy.
Fuel economy. Low maintenance. BMW looks.
How about letting customers know about recalls! Cup holders that are more user friendly. More solid feeling and quiet interior. More pep under the hood. Transmission dipstick in tough location and wants to pop out - had to secure it with a zip tie.