Preface: I did my homework, and shopped around pretty extensively. I knew what I was buying (an economy car), and held the civic to those standards. First, a few minor quibbles: 1. Thickness and durability of the paint is disappointing. I'm finding too many chips on this young a car. 2. I can't locate the source of some random clunk coming from the right rear wheel... Other than that, all I have for the civic is praise. The car handles famously considering its class and competition, and the ride quality is uncompromised. It's solid, doesn't get flustered over bumps, and inspires much more confidence than my previous car (a 1998 Audi A6).
I waited for the '09s specifically for the USB interface.. and I'm glad I did. The stock radio sounds great for a car in this segment, the manual transmission is buttery smooth, and I love the styling, inside and out. Win. Oh, and 31 city MPG makes me happy.
Paint thickness! Some extra sound-deadening material could have been used, but I find road noise to be acceptable overall.
Overall I'm very pleased with the Civic. Fuel economy has exceeded my expectations, and the car is very nimble and fun to drive with the manual. The seats are also very comfortable, and there's plenty of room for me (5'11") even with the seat raised to its highest position. I would have rated it with 10's across the board if it weren't for a few things: 1) Either drive-by-wire or the VTEC mechanism makes acceleration under certain conditions somewhat choppy and abrupt. 2) There's a creaking noise coming from the front suspension, and a rattle coming from the rear of the car. I can't determine the source of either. 3) Thin paint.
The stock EX coupe radio is amazing. One of the best stock systems I've heard. It trumps that of a relative's Acura MDX, and the Bose system in the GMC Yukon Denali. I love the iPod interface. IMO, the styling is also top-notch. Performance is solid, minus the DBW/throttle issue.
The paint is ultra thin, but I knew this before buying. What disappoints me the most are the above mentioned noises (quality issues), and having to find them in a brand new car.
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