Test drove the new Civic but even though you get a better gas mileage, you have to run the VTEC motor 5-6K RPM to get the power out of it. I am impressed with the amount of space and the reliability (have a BMW X5 4.4 SUV with 11 pages full of service records). The side trim on the door is plastic, and it seems that the air conditioner could use a little "boost" (It seems that recycled air blows just a tad stronger than outside air). It is quiet, the sound is adequate, 6 CD upfront is nice to have, the gearbox is sweet, AUTO/Manual gets the best of both worlds, a 5th gear would have been nice. Performance is good; remember, it's not a race car...turns tight and the fuel economy - I am getting 23 mpg city.
Body style, performance, reliability.
Hard to improve the 3 without raising its price...a 5 speed gearbox would be nice, options in interior color (black gets too hot), refine the A/C system.