I have put 14,000 miles on my 2005 Honda Civic EX, and I am glad that bought it. It has been very reliable, and the Honda dealership has had great customer service. No problems at all. I find that i get good enough traction with mud & snow tires that I don't even need to use studded tires for driving in the snow in Alaska. Despite sub-zero temperatures, it has always started reliably. It's not a sports car, but it is a sporty, well-made, polished and reliable car that saves money; it saves money by needing less fuel, by needed little maintenance, by saving the hassle/money of being in the shop, and by maintaining good resale value when it's time to sell. My next car in 10 years: Civic!
fuel economy; build quality; reliability; attention to detail; sporty, though an economy car; excellent dealer customer service; it is the best car for me for almost every situation--though it's not a pickup and can't carry large furniture, though the rear seats do fold down to carry skis, etc.
Remote-controlled trunk release; I wasn't sure about the styling at first, but it has grown on me and come to like it--I felt the same way about the new 2006 model, but now like it too---they're more classic, subtle designs that won't grow old that quickly, but they don't catch your eye at first