We got an '06 Civic as our beater car as my silverado only gets about 8 mpg city 11 hwy and I love it. For a little 1.8L engine, that thing actually has a surprising amount of peppyness compared to the cobalt and corolla that we test drove as well. We got everything except the navigation system on ours and paid like $19,500 out the door.
On yeah, I try to keep a log and calculate my gas milage as much as possible. The EPA estimate is 30/40 for it, I average about 35 - 38mpg with equal amounts of city and highway.