I purchased my Honda Civic EP3 Type R back in 2010, and even though I couldn't drive a manual, I still purchased it. And learnt how to drive manual very quickly.
It came with Japanese rego stickers and the JDM E-tag system still attached. I was going to purchase a Honda S2000 but my left knee didn't fit without me contorting like a freshly-baked pretzel, so I went with the EP3 Type R.
I purchased the car with 43,000km on the clock and it now has around 130,000km under its belt.
I liked the naturally aspirated engine so much, I couldn't resist owning it. Now, it has been my daily car for seven years.
The interior has held up like a champ, standing the test of time both visually and practically. There's no signs of UV fading and everything still works okay. The stock, red Recaro seats are awesome. They provide perfect support and hold you just right and don't sag at all. Not bad for 16-year-old seats.
The overall looks of the car are subjective. Some people get it confused for a "big Honda Jazz". But that works as a deterrent for unwanted attention...
Performance-wise, I'd say this is one of the most fun cars I've driven. It has a fair bit of go for a 2.0-litre, naturally aspirated engine, and paired with the six-speed manual, it's a lot of fun. There is a bit of torque steer when you take off and turn from a standstill, but it's easily manageable.
I get around 490km per tank of 98RON until the fuel light comes on and I engage the VTEC multiple times per day.
This car has basically zero technology and that's why I love it. It's a real drivers' car, no driving assistants to save you here apart from ABS and a couple of airbags.
Reliability is fantastic for a car that I push each day to have a bit of fun. I get it serviced every 5000km and apart from the normal clutch and brakes getting done, it's been good.
Practicality wise this is a one- or two-person car. If you need room for three or more people, steer clear. Getting in the back seat is not a lot of fun. You have to slide the front seat forward on the rail each time to make enough room for rear passengers to enter and exit, which I hardly ever do.
The reason I've kept it for so long is it's hard to find a car that is as reliable as this and performance is a key factor for me.