Let me start with I checked out just about everything out there in this price range and took my time making a decision as I did not need a new car but rather wanted one. After looking for over a year I decided on the Honda Civic EX 5 speed and so far am very happy with it. The car rides nice and handles very well for what it is (I had Miata's, and MG's before this) the deciding factor was the Honda's resale value compared to everything else. If you are looking for a well built, fun to drive and reasonable cost to operate car look at the Honda Civic! The EX model has all the toys you need, sunroof, 4 wheel disc brakes, cruise, and a decent stereo system. I paid 17,451 including destination. Love IT.
Nice pickup in 2nd and 3rd gear, feels like you are going faster then you are! Stereo is nice also in the coupe model with 350 watts!