This is the 2nd Civic I have owned, my first was a '98. I bought a Civic for the 2nd time based on my first one; great fuel economy, reliability, and maintenance. Both of my Civics have given me 38-40mpg (mix of city and hwy driving) The only problem I have ever had was on my '98 civic was around 200k, when I had to replace spark plugs, wires, and distributor cap. ~$600. Otherwise, just regular care. Oil changes (every 5k) Tires (around 70k) and fluid flushes starting at 100k. I highly recommend a Civic, regardless what year. My 2003 Civic may be basic compared to a brand new car, but it does its job, and I'm very happy with it.
Mileage! I love laughing at my girlfriend when she tells me shes only getting 28 mpg in her brand new(2011) Fusion. 40 mpg with gas at $3/gallon is nice. Illuminated dash is super nice and sporty.
I wish it had bigger wheels. My Civic is equipped with 14" wheels. Looks small even on a smaller car. Wish they were stocked with "15.