I have two '05 Civics, one a 5 speed manual, the other is an auto. The 5 speed has never has any mechanical problems except the clear coat started to peel off the rear bumper after a visit to the car wash. Honda fixed it under warranty and I never had another problem. That car has 70K on it. The auto has 32K. Although they are slugs power wise, I am getting high 30's in the winter and low 40's in the warm weather. Driving a stick can be a pain in traffic, but it consistently gets better mileage than the automatic trans. The Honda's feel like they have been gone over by engineers until they have it right. Drive the car gingerly and don't beat it, get the maintenance done and they will hold up
mileage close to a Prius, looks, reliability
Short wheelbase and being low to the ground means very firm ride. Slow pickup, but I'll put up with that in exchange for 42 MPG's.