Put simply, it costs a lot to have your automotive cake and eat it too. If you want performance, you will have to pay for it - not only in dollars but in compromises to comfort and, all too often, reliability. Economy has its price as well; inexpensive seldom coexists with loaded, and few miserly powerplants are particularly inspiring when asked to perform. The Honda Civic family, however, is a well-rounded suite of small cars that does almost everything well. If you want to scoot along in sports-car style - as we did in our $16,250 EX coupe - it can answer your call. If you want to squeeze the last inch out of every drop of dinosaur juice, the Civic line is equally ready to perform. It's no secret that Honda boasts a reputation for combining a variety of virtues into a single package. Since its introduction, in fact, the Civic has been a multi-personality machine, and the latest versions do nothing to tarnish that tradition. Careful engineering is the key: A company that earned its stripes as a motorcycle manufacturer understands the need for light weight and optimum efficiency. Honda's product-planning side has been equally successful, specifying those touches, both large and small, that mark the Civic as a quality car.