I test drove just about every competitor with the idea I did not want a Civic. After 5 weeks and numerous test drives there was only one choice; the Civic. Handling, MPG, styling and the track record of the Civic's reliability won out. The only car that came close was the Mazda 3. The LX-S comes standard with 16" alloy wheels, small spoiler and "SI like" seats. The fit and finish are excellent. I got 34.1 mpg on my first tank (2/3 highway). The car handles like a dream and the manual trans is typical Honda, smooth as silk. My Civic replaces my sporty 1994 Ford Probe (Mazda mechanicals) after 201,000 miles. Trust me, all things considered, the Civic is the best car in its class.
manual transmission, neat cup holders, large trunk, two tiered digital dash and LX-S sport seats
the emergency brake lever is located a bit to close to the drivers right leg position for me (I'm 6'1")