VTEC - the car just asks to be revved, gives you a race car buzz over 5k rpm. Once broken in, with a gentle, partial, throttle it can be driven from 1500 rpm in any gear (that was 2k+ rpm when new). Pedals are nicely set for heel and toe.
Good lumbar and side support, nicely adjustable seat and wheel. Shifter is very close to the wheel. Fits me like a glove, but my wife does find the seatback slightly tall.
Not sure about how insurance costs stack up, but compared to the Mazdaspeed3 or VW GTI, this is a much cheaper car when you take depreciation into account.