I based my car buying decision on my experience with owning an assortment of different beaters, and that this time I was going to buy something new. Out of all the beaters I've owned, Hondas always got the best gas mileage, were the cheapest to fix, were easy to sell. If you read the bashing reviews for the 2012 civic, you'll notice the gripes are mostly about the cheap interior plastic and road noise. If you compare the reviews to other competitors like the 2012 focus or elantra, they are having serious issues involving the transmission, and check engine lights coming on recent to the purchase of the vehicle. That should tell you something. No car is perfect, but Honda seems to get close.
Instant MPG meter. Handling/acceleration is fun.
Wish the Econ button made a bigger difference in gas mileage.