I was a mechanic previously. I bought a 1999 Civic new when I worked as a process server in Boston MA. I drove 200 mi per day for the first year. I got in a total accident with 2,400 miles on the car and the insurance wouldn't replace it. They paid more than new car price fixing it. I kept it. It now has 230k mi. Not only have I never had problems with it, as a mechanic I do my own maintenance. It is the easiest car I have ever worked on. Front brakes take me 15 minutes. The only work that was at all difficult for me was timing belt (the crank pulley bolt is hard to get loose.) With 230k miles I still only have to change oil (synthetic every 5 to 8k miles) never need to add oil!
I like the comfort. I got the LX which has power everything except seats. Drivers seat has many adjustments. This is as comfortable on long drives as a full sized car. I have driven it cross country several times and no problem with fatigue.
I would make the transmission adjustable as in when it shifts and how it shifts. The automatic trans is set up for performance. I would rather have economy.
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