I've just spent 3 days with an 07 1.4 Civic courtesy car (5000 miles only on the clock) while mine was in for a minor bodywork fix. (thank you, Lady Dosser!)
I can't say that I liked the 1.4 much, in all honesty. (sorry if you own one).
It is so underpowered that it's a real chore to drive, having really poor acceleration and hill-climbing ability.
When joining main roads (even 30mph ones) I found that I was having to let decent gaps in traffic go by because I didn't have the oomph to merge in safely.
A steepish hill round here, that the diesel can take in 4th or 5th, was a struggle in 3rd with the 1.4 engine.
Perhaps the digital speedo doesn't help here, but going up hills was torture to watch as the digits went slowly through 27.....28.....29.
It was also very noisy in the lower gears, even at moderate revs, and there appeared to be no real acceleration advantage in holding the revs into the 5-6000 range.
It simply got noisier, but not much faster.
There seemed to be a bit more road noise, too, but that may have been down to the Dunlop Sport tyres.
On the plus side, once the car was rolling along in 5th or 6th, it was much more quiet and civilised and much more like the diesel experience.
Having said that, I didn't go far at that speed so I couldn't assess whether it ran out of steam and required lower gears on motorway hills.
Again to be a wee bit more positive, the economy was very much better than I expected.
On a 40 mile run of 40% motorway, 20% urban dual carriageway and 40% city driving, it ran at 43-45 mpg. Even in full city conditions it was around the 40mpg mark.
This is, unfortunately, achieved by not pumping sufficient petrol through the engine to generate any power!
All in all, driving the 1.4 Civic reminded me of nothing so much as an "Eco" Corsa I once hired in Mallorca
- but more roomy and comfortable.
Again - sorry to all owners but it wouldn't be the version for me.