Okay, picked up the car this morning -
First impressions (note that previous car was a Honda FR-V):
Behind the wheel:
Took a little bit to find the optimum position so I could see easily all of the primary displays without having to move my head. Once I did get there everything was fine except that the lights stalk in particular is mostly obscured by the wheel making it a bit awkard to select an appropriate setting (heavy rain this morning requiring the use of lights on the dual carriegeway). I suspect that after a few days driving this will not be an issue.
Everything lines up well - wheel, seat and pedals so I found driving the Civic to be more naturally comfortable than the FRV, especially as the Civic seats are larger and more supportive. Clutch is nice and light so heavy traffic is likely to be less of a problem.
Coming from an FRV the view from the driving position is a little lower in the road but general all-round visibility was not an issue; even content with the view out the back as the mirrors more than compensate for the restrictions caused by the spoiler and small rear window. Again coming from an FRV frontal vision viz-a-viz the A piller is an improvement and so not an issue.
Very nimble, except for the turning circle which is, surprisingly, twice that of the FRV. The car turns in to corners very readily and I had to compensate a bit to avoid turning in to soon - something that will come naturally after a day or two. Feel from steering and throttle was better than I expected and more than adequate.
The car 'feels' sporty and sits very well on the road so in addition to the fun factor it feels like a safe car to live with.
Better than the FRV - a more compliant ride; actually softer going over speed bumps and absolutely no problem on some rough and decidedly windey local B roads - at speeds of up to 60mph. Not as harsh as the FRV over a range of pot holes I picked as a before and after test.
No worse than the FRV and in many respects better - to ears attuned to what was a pretty noisy environment previously (engine excepted) the Civic aint half bad.
Kids loved the cabin, the panoramic roof in particular making it feel surprisingly light and airy given the size of the car. Storage areas a bit small in places, e.g. door pockets but the storage space beneath the bank seats will be a bonus for those in the back, especially the girls!
Now the only negative bit; I had the garage install my xcarlink prior to picking the car up, and you've guessed it... my dashboard has more creaks than Jonathan. The sound is truly terrible, this may be as a result of having the dashboard disassembled to install the xcarlink or it may be coincidence; either way it is completely unacceptable. Anyway I'll be visiting the dealer next Friday morning to let them have a look at it. I'm not having a rant at this stage (the information given on this forum is warning enough) provided of course that the cabin becomes the quiet and harmonious place it's meant to be.
So extraneous creaks excepted I like the Civic enormously (good job really) and I'm looking forward to up to 4 years of ownership.