Having done almost 800 miles in two weeks I thought that I would provide a more considered view of the Civic; albeit one that is only useful to non Civic owners.
In the cabin.
First the good - extremely spacious although forget seating 5 adults for anything other than short journeys. Managed to get two full sized road bikes in middle of the car with the back seats folded up - a definate bonus. Also good - the switch gear falls easily to hand and has a nice feel, and I like the headlight leveler being in a place easy to see/use (better than fumbling around beneath the dash as in the FR-V). Line-up between seat, dash and pedals is good with no stresses or strains; clutch, break and throttle are light with enough feel to let you know what your feet are doing without risk of RSI. Insrumentation is good and clear and tells you what you need to know at a glance. The focus on engine revs is interesting and hints strongly at a "drivers" car - more on that later. On board computer has plenty of useful functions that are easy to access.
Now the not so good - dust magnet or what! The shiny bits just love the dust and need cleaning regularly. Glove box that doesn't lock - I can only assume that Honda clearly believe that no-one will ever break into a Civic so a locking glovebox is not required (try telling that to the insurers).
Now the bad - piano black inserts in dash; presumably a wiz idea in design but a crime that the accountants that put the components together went for the cheapest material they could get. Looks great until you shine a direct light on them (tip when viewing a car take a powerful torch) when the many tiny scratches create an image more to do with LSD than LED.
Viewing the outside world.
When not looking at the 3D effect of the instrumentation the view of the outside world isn't bad at all (although this may depend on where you happen to be at the time - grotty part of Birmingham or Lake District
). You may/will have heard about rear window visibility but in truth this is no worse than many cars where there is an increasing trend toward the letter box rear window. Certainly the rear spoiler does divide opinion (and the view out the rear) but importantly it does not completely obscure the rear view and with the large door mirrors it is largely a non-issue. The view foward is good with a "cab forward" position the fairly thick A pillors aren't a significant hinderance although you may have to move your head around a bit in some situations.
Having recently accomodated the lost tribe of the Incas in the space beneath the boot it is fair to say that, for a car of its size, the Civic is capable of swallowing a fair amount of stuff; either in the aforementioned boot with the seats up, seats down or in the boot and middle with the rear seat bases in the raised position. You get the feeling that if Dr Who had first been made in 2006 the Tardis might have looked more like a Civic.
As previously mentioned everything in the cabin lines up nicely so it is easy to get comfortable and well-adjusted (unless, of course, you have had a cr*p childhood - quick nod to Freud). Put the key in turn it to the first, second and non-existant third position before remembering that you have to reach over and press the button and you're ready to go. The 2.2 diesel is a particularly fine engine; not that quiet in the Civic but not one to cause the ear drums to bleed either. The initial impression is wow - this is great, and mostly it really is, it's a great car to drive - in this version, powerful, plenty of pull and very secure on the road. But... the electric steering - on fast A roads and motorways not a problem at all, but on twisty A roads and B roads the steering is too vague to be fun; the weight is fine it's just the direction it's supposed to be going in that requires constant minor adjustments (nothing to do with the road surface here). It's the electric steering that really lets it down as a drivers car - it makes you feel as though where you are telling it to go is always transmitted through an intermediary rather than directly to the wheels.
On roads that are designed for heavy and fast traffic mostly not a problem at all (e.g. good A roads, trunk roads & motorways). On some of the roads where I live it becomes a bit of a trial - wakes you up a bit at 06:00 and it will spill the coffee if you are stupid enough to be drinking while you are driving. The suspension is not at all keen on concrete roads; gives a good impression of a car that's drunk far too much caffiene.
I haven't checked the oil yet so I don't know if the car is sipping or slurping it. I have tried to run it in in the manner suggested by those that know so hopefully all will be well in that direction. With respect to diesel I am returning 49/50 mpg per tank so that is a definate plus point and with only 700 miles covered so far. Current tank has done over 400 miles which is new territory for me so all to the good.
The Civic is more of a Curate's egg than a Curate's egg - brilliant in parts but pretty cr*p in others. It feels like it was designed by a genious but built by accountants. For my circumstances where interior space is important its pluses outweigh the minuses. Notwithstanding the steering and interesting suspension, it's good (fun) to drive and very responsive; the interior is mostly very good and overall interior space is excellent; everything seems to work very well (even the much maligned ICE).
Am I happy with the car... a qualified YES!