I bought my 1991 Honda Civic LX in 1994. It had 28K miles then. It now has 139,000.
The only things I've had replaced are the A/C compressor, water pump, and the radiator. My transmission still runs as great as the day I bought it.
It has left me stranded 4 times. 3 times were because the battery went dead on me.(Thats my one quirk with this car.There is no "ding" to remind you your lights are on, and here in Virginia it's the law you have to cut your lights on if you need to turn on your wipers. Do you think the state will buy me a new battery?) The 4th time, it stalled on me. I had it towed to my mechanics and two days later they told me to come get it because they could not find anything wrong. It was running fine. I was happy (Plus they didn't even charge me).
I love the roominess inside the car. I even sat in one of the newer Civics and was surprised to find my 1991 felt more spacious. I really like the way the dashboard is set up. It's lower than other cars so I get much better visibility in front. The seats are very comfortable. It handles very well. The acceleration is sluggish but I don't mind because I love the gas mileage I get. I average 30-35 mpg.
I recommend the Honda Civic to first time car buyers and young families. Its a great car to get started with. And, like me, it makes a great 2nd car for later on when you can afford something bigger. (SEE MY HONDA ODYSSEY REVIEW)