Looked at the Corolla S and Mazda 3 before settling on the Civic. Was a toss-up between the Corolla and the Civic but the safety features were slightly better on the Civic. Great little car. Sporty, comfortable, fun to drive, and the mpg is great. My wife drives it as a commuter car and it regularly gets 35+ mpg on the hwy. Overall very pleased so far.
5 spd. manual and the engine. Auxiliary jack for ipod. Seats and layout of the dash. Great resale value. Honda safety and reliability.
Wish the coupe had a hatchback for greater utility instead of a trunk.