A same model 3 year old civic with 30-40k miles can be had for around 10k.
If that were the case, then what you say would make perfect sense. However, 2004 Civic EX 2d coupes sell for over $15,000, not 10k (according to kbb.com private party pricing). These cars aren't depreciating like they used to. For me personally, though, a big part of my decision is that I plan to keep the vehicle for fifteen years or so, so re-sale isn't too much of a consideration for me.
I'm actually looking at the Honda Pilot, because my wife and I have two kids and are hoping for two more in the next four years or so, so we need third-row seating. This is why we just sold our 2002 Forrester, not enough seating for a growing family (driving my 96 Ram in the meantime-- that I bought last year for $1,300 and did some repairs myself). A 2007 Pilot LX MSRP is around 27.5K, and a 2004 at 35,000 miles goes for 21K.
Another thing I'm thinking over is that at 1% APR, that's less than inflation, so financing it should save more than paying cash; kind of like 30K in 2007 dollars is a lot more money than 30K in 2010 dollars.