I purchased this little beast as my first car. I got the car with 167,000km on the odo and I am the second female owner.
This car has served me well since I bought it in 2014. Learning to drive it in accordance with how the acceleration and handling worked was a long journey, especially after learning in a Mazda 3 SP23.
Two doors is often a struggle. However, the smallness of the car is handy when needing to pull into a tight parking space or get out of a sticky situation.
I believe newer models have already improved on the height of the car, however this model is very low to the ground – some of my passengers even tripping when they get out. Without fail, every ride someone makes a comment about how low the car is – this thankfully has been reviewed in newer generation Civics.
The car handles amazingly, hugs the road and corners like a long lost lover. The economy is amazing, a full brimming tank (about 35 litres) will last me three weeks running around town. I can drive to the nearest capital city (approximately 350km away) on one tank and still have a quarter tank left to do some sight-seeing.
The lower gears have amazing power when needed, and the gearbox is small and sporty. The car I own has a five-speed manual transmission. The recommendation for gear changing is rather high, and I found that short-shifting also aids in the fuel economy – I often slip it into fifth-gear when traveling at 60km/h around town.
However, highway driving is a little scary. If a truck goes past on the opposite of the road, the whole car will sway and move pretty violently with the wind buffeting.
The car's ability to increase speed on the move is very weak. I found that dropping back to fourth and overtaking did help, where needed.
This car has been so reliable; I've only had issues with a small leak in the clutch. Simple fix; just keeping checking the fluid levels.
The current Civic models are very beautiful, however, I do believe that after reviewing their exterior, these models do look best in a hatch. I'm not biased to my own vehicle.