I have used this car for a commuter car and put over 100k on it in the last 3 years. It now has 210k on it, it has been bullet proof. A couple minor things go wrong but for a 13 year old vehicle you can't beat it.
It was my very first car in high school and it has been in the family since my dad bought it brand new. This car was probably the best car I have ever owned! The vehicle is so reliable that you have to try really hard to destroy these things. The seats are so plush and so comfortable, if I ever buy a car with cloth seating, it would be that car! The gas mileage is also quite impressive on these cars. Why I ever got rid of it, I will never know.
I have owned Honda Civics for 13 years. My first one was a 1990 and now I have the 1999, which I have owned for 8 years. It is a Civic LX automatic. Green. The mileage I had on it when I got it was 70,000. Now there are 150,000.
I have spent more money on repairs for this car than the 6,500 it cost to purchase it. I am angry at the car for this purpose. At least three times something caused me to break down in the middle of the road. I have treated it well and it has not been reliable. I would love to sell it just because of the frustrations I have had over the years.
My advice is, if you buy a civic, make sure you know its history.
I did not know the history of this one except that it was a leased car.
I imagine those are not often treated for longevity by someone who knows they will be giving it back.
Once the fixes started, they didn't stop and it was always something new and strange.
The 6th gen Honda Civics have supreme reliability, and good gas mileage (http://www.fuelly.com/driver/danwat1234/civic). It does as well or better than my mother's 2012 Elantra! I am the 3rd owner and has 226,000 miles on it, mostly highway. Automatic 4-speed transmission, d16y7 engine. The coolant system has a very very slow leak it in it somewhere but everything else is absolutely perfect with this car. Supreme reliability, great suspension, handles really good after installing a rear sway bar and 205/50/R16 tires.
I love that this car is so versatile. I plan on installing a trailer hitch so I can tow small trailers with this car too! This car has supreme usefulness.
I am very happy that the components under the hood are not tightly packed like newer cars. I was able to add a complete train horn system including the air compressor, 2 gallon air tank and the horns all under the hood and inside the front bumper. There were even pre-drilled holes on the sides of the rails just inside the hood to knit all my zip ties through to secure the components! Awesome. The double wishbone suspension is very nice, especially with the help of good tires and a beefy rear sway bar bought on Ebay.
The rear bumper's support beam has lot of pre-drilled and smoothed holes so I could mount a genuine train bell in under there with Zip ties!
It's a crazy easy moddable car.
Wish my car had a drivetrain like this;;;
Electrical system recuperation (what Buick calls E-assist)
Lean burn (if emissions can stay low enough, like the Civic HX)
A-VTEC (advanced VTEC)
Atkinson valve behavior when engine load is low for more MPG (Honda Earth Dreams engines)
Have dashboard illumination lights be more accessible for replacing.
Have audio-in jack built into radio.
Have paddle shifters so I can shift early to save gas.
Have the transmission lock up in more gears than just 3rd (at about 66MPH) and 4th (at about 53MPH) for more MPG.
Better interior lighting (too dim) and have a trunk light. Had to mod up lights myself.
As you read this, please keep in mind that this was my second vehicle and I purchased it from an individual who bought it new from the dealership. When I purchased the vehicle in 2010 the guy handed me a grocery bag full of receipts from all of the maintenance he had to do while he owned it - red flag #1. 2 years later I have had to replace the exhaust manifold and the radiator. Also, the air conditioner is broken and I refuse to fix it for $900. I'm pretty sure it eats spark plugs and wires because I've replaced them twice. It sounds terrible when I'm driving on the highway, shaking & whatnot. However I do drive it a lot and I have put about 40k miles on it and I also get 35-40MPG.
It gets great gas mileage and has only broken down on me one time and that was a radiator problem (it basically exploded).
It's uncomfortable, it sounds awful (all of them, not just mine), and it really has a lot of problems.