First of all, I have the Si version of the Civic Coupe. You should not buy this car if you can't handle a slightly harsh ride and the requirement to rev it to make any real power. That being said, the...
First of all, I have the Si version of the Civic Coupe. You should not buy this car if you can't handle a slightly harsh ride and the requirement to rev it to make any real power. That being said, the reason the car has a stiff ride is because it handles like a dream. Second only to the Integra Type R as far as handling is concerned. The Limited Slip Differential means no torque steer. The ride is very tolerable, even on long drives, but you will feel every bump through the steering wheel, which may or may not bother you, depending on how much of the road you'd like to feel.
This car absolutely LOVES to rev. I've had mine dyno'd and although the torque curve is low at 125ft-lb, it's almost flat, so you don't need to rev much more than 2,000 rpm around town. This vehicle is equipped with VTEC. For those of you that don't know what that is, basically it enables the car to drive around under 6,000rpm, and get great gas mileage just like a regular Civic. But, if you go beyond 6,000rpm, the engine switches over to a race cam profile, which gives an immediate 30 horsepower and screams all the way to the 8,000rpm redline making 197 horsepower. That may not seem like alot, because it's not alot of power, but the engine revs so quickly it's never caught with it's pants down.
The interior of the car is what you should expect from a $22,000 car, and from a Honda. Fitment is perfect. Soft touch materials everywhere. Seats are molded perfectly to hold you in place, and are very comfortable. The dash is a love/hate issue. Some love it, some hate it. It's a 2 tier design that puts the tachometer directly in front of the driver, and the digital speedo as well as digital engine temp and fuel gauge are above the tach, but positioned perfectly to check your speed without looking away from the road. For the enthusiasts, there is also a shift light located next to the speedo. The clutch is typical of a Honda, very light, very short, with a progressive pick up, meaning it's not jerky at all. The shifter is very notchy, so you need to make sure it's in gear before you lift off the clutch. But, it's a short throw kit and positioned very close to the steering wheel.
I've owned 4 previous cars, an '89 Buick LeSabre T-Type, a '94 Chevy Blazer, a '00 Lincoln LS, and a '00 Acura Integra GS-R, and all of the American cars were massive money pits, and the Integra only cost me $90 in extra costs due to the hydraulics in the hatch freezing. Honda builds the perfect car. Give it a chance, you'll fall in love too. Especially VTEC.