I have driven a 2004 Civic for nearly 20,000 miles now, and can easily say that it's hard to go wrong with this car. I have yet to have a problem with it, and it continues to provide a great driving experience, even as gas prices continue to rise and the roads get more and more crowded.
The first thing one notices about this car is the mileage. In city driving, with relatively quick acceleration and braking, the car consistently provides 29-30 mpg. Highway driving can't be beat, getting between 35 and 40 mpg, depending on the cruising speed.
Speaking of speed, the 115-130 horsepower of this car isn't that much. But, given it's light weight, the car has a bit of a punch in lower gears, and picks up fast enough to make merging onto highways at least a comfortable experience. Handling wise, it's quite a fun car to drive. It makes you feel like you have a lot of control, and takes turns quite easily. Throughout all of this, it is a very safe car (though some models don't have ABS brakes), and has been, for me, quite reliable so far.
Despite the reliable and fun system it runs on, the car itself isn't of the most impressive design. That's not to say it's ugly - in my opinion its quite a good looking car, there's not just much that stands out. The dash and interior styling is somewhat bland and unexciting. In addition, it's somewhat small on the inside, and the back is very hard to get in and out of, and has very little legroom and headroom. Finally, the rear window is at such an angle that it makes it nearly impossible to back down anything downhill. But that's just a little gripe.
All in all, the Honda Civic is a great value as a car. While not very expensive, it provides all the basic things one needs in an automobile, skimping on little, and over providing on some features (such as mileage). If you are looking for a high powered performance car, a people wagon, an off road machine, or something else of the nature, it's not for you. But for anyone looking for a reliable, cheap, and fun way to get from one place to another, you can't go wrong with this.