I purchased this Civic for work when my daily drive became 55 miles each way. 25 freeway and 30 mountain switchbacks. The fuel savings have paid for my car. The only problems in 80000 miles have been the sun visors and the OEM Bridgestone tires wearing out. The engine performance as well as the fuel economy improves with the engine RPM. Keep the engine up over 2500 and the car performs well. Run it at 3500 and it really scoots. I put on some Perreli P3000 (now 5000) tires increasing the handling and doubling the tires life. The only drawbacks to this car are it seems to be invisible sometimes in freeway traffic probably due to its low roof line and it has no room for snow chains if they are required.
The small smooth revving engine that is built for higher rpm power and fuel economy (consistent 35 MPG) combined with the stable predictable curve holding handling. The dash layout that is easy to read well laid out and also makes the interior feel more open.
A simple base model with air conditioning included. The existing AC has a hard time keeping up when the temperature outside is over 100 degrees although it is adequate and a stronger unit may decrease mileage.