I'm a long time Honda fan, returning to the fold. End of the day, there are STILL no free lunches. When you look at the Accord EX-L and the Civic EX-L, you will simply give up speed and size to gain MPG and dollars.
Fit and finish of materials are good. The array of technological controls are mind-boggling; if that is cool to you, at this price point I can't see where you'd do better.
Bottom line, is the juice worth the squeeze? All in (no games on trade-ins), Accord EX-L w/4cyl, $10,400 for three years of lease ownership. The Civic is $8600, plus 10-12% savings in gas/ins. Hard to justify it.
My previous car, a Nissan Altima, was a disappointment and had over a 100,000 miles that worried me when I first brought it back in 2010. Over the years, I had to constantly do repairs on it, such as power steering replacement; new alternator belt; new power plug; the bottom replaced (the plastic cover); and headlights replaced. I was so scared that I would have to spend more than I decided to look into a new car. I've been waffling between the Toyota Corolla and this. I heard that the Corollas have been about less than average because of transmission and reliability, so I test drove the Civic and been a happy customer ever since! I am so happy with this car, you have no idea! You don't!
I have been buying & driving Honda's since the early 90's. Most of them are still on the road. Instead of trading them in, we have been giving them to our children & grandchildren. We have already given this Civic to our son & are looking to replace it with a new Pilot. In addition to fine automobiles, we also have Honda lawnmower's & Generator's. Other than a rare recall, I've never had to return to my dealer for any unscheduled repair. That is the best recommendation for a car regardless of its price.
Recently bought a 2015 Civic LX sedan with the 5 speed manual transmission, which I think is the best combination for a daily commuter car. To date, my gas mileage has averaged 37mpg doing about a 40 / 60 mix of city and highway driving. The manual transmission also makes the best of the 1.8R engines meager power band. When searching for a new car, I also looked at the Mazda3, Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla, and the Kia Forte. I felt the Civic had the best balance of features of all of them, the dealer giving me a competitive price of $16,250 cinched the deal. I did like the Mazda and the Ford's more fun to drive characteristics, but the Honda felt like a better built car.
**Update**. After 1 year of ownership, average gas mileage has improved to 38 - 39 mpg, best freeway only gas mileage has been 42.5mpg. Still wish the car had at least another 30 hp and torque.
I love this little coupe but I would definitely save the money and go for the new 2016 coupe. I have two complaints with the car. Getting in and out is a hassle as the doors open very wide, but that comes with the territory of a coupe. The CVT isn't a favorite transmission. It is constantly hunting for a good RPM to keep speed and jerks like a normal automatic transmission. It becomes very annoying on the highway with cruise control on. The touchscreen is clear and easy to use and I love the Passenger side LaneWatch camera. My Civic has been very reliable, coming from a very unreliable 2014 Dodge Dart. I will own this car for a few more years before I trade up to a new Civic SI or an Accord Sport.
Update: I sold my 2015 Civic for a 2016 Civic sedan in March of 2016. I wish I would have kept my 2015 though. The 2016 doesn't have the reliability that the 2015 had, but has more features...