Based on my personal hands on experience of both the rides, I present to you a small analysis of mine for your help.
Comfort: I think both are comfortable. Seating position of Lancer is too good but you can adjust the seats of Civic too.
Safety: Civic has got ABS but Lancer has got awesome brakes as well. If you talk of 2006 JDM imported Lancer, then it would have ABS and Airbags as well.
Drive: I have always driven an automatic Lancer and I personally think Prosmatec's drive is better than Lancer's. Lancer gets too loud and the RPM goes up too quickly as compared to the speed. The Lancer I am talking about is driven on Hi-Octane.
Handling/Road grip: Lancer is amazing.
Maintenance: Lancer's maintenance is hell expensive. A few days ago I got the complete suspension of 2004 Honda City in 20,000 whereas for the same amount I just got 4 bushes and a foundation of Lancer. But Civic is not cheap as well. But when we compare 05 with Lancer, 05 is cheaper. If it was Reborn, the story would have been different.
Looks: 2005 Civic is the best.
Resale: Civic has a much better resale; specially, 2005 model. Whereas, finding a very clean Civic would be a tough job.
Reliable: Lancer is more reliable than Civic. Civic is fragile.
Both are good cars and it is really hard to compare them and select one...