my 6th gen had a D16Y6, and we were the 2nd owners so the thought of a swap is simply not possible.
coming to 6th or 7th, i have driven both, i had a 6th gen in a condition similar to your 7th gen, but the 7th gen i have now is definitely not that great, and although there are many good points about 7th gen, i simply love the drive of the 6th gen.
About suspension, i had disregard for 7th gen's suspension even before i had one, and when i got one, my dismay was confirmed. the 6th gen runs like a boat flows in the water.
Handling, i dont think that 6th gen is less, infact i think 7th gen lacks that extra it needed to have in terms of handling.
Braking, agreed that 6th gen lacks ABS and stuff, but i would again disagree about them not being the best out there. As per my own observation and opinions and experiences of other people as well, i think the 6th gen had the best brakes of its time, comparable to nissan sunny's (who arguably has excellent braking)
Agreed on the updated thing (obviously it is a newer thing) and agreed on the car safety ranking things. also, the 2 tone interior is stunning
But i think if both are to be compared accordingly, the 7th gen seems to be thrown out in haste ... almost same dashboard design, not that special engine as compared to the 6th gen, no notable increase in power ... not to mention the bharam one car offers.
But again, getting updated was the reason i bought a 7th gen. My 6th gen was the 1997 one, didn't had sunroof and stuff, but my 7th gen is the oriel one, so obviously loving all the additional things, but really miss the elegance of the 6th gen.
As my dad puts it: she looked like a shehzaadi, doors used to close with a ear warming crisp click, and flowed like a boat.
against it, i think the 7th gen was put out with only minor upgrades and looked like the guys at honda have just launched a new model to stay in the market. So i, although hating the rear lights of 8th gen a lot, still call the 8th gen a real successor of the civic !