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2012 Honda Civic

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2012 Honda Civic Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

The 2012 Honda Civic is the all-new, ninth-generation version of the country's best-selling compact car and third-best-selling car overall. Offering a unique combination of affordability, reliability and refinement, the Honda Civic has long been a gold standard not just for the category, but for personal transportation in general. Its dominance is in decline, though, as evidenced by our most recent compact sedan comparison test in which the 2012 Honda Civic tied for first place with the ultra-stylish new Hyundai Elantra. The Honda Civic does remain the clear leader in variety, with a wide-ranging lineup that includes sedan and coupe body styles, a 201-horsepower sporty Civic Si version, a 45-mpg Civic hybrid variant, and a limited-availability natural-gas-powered version.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you appreciate mechanical refinement similar to what you might find in a commercial airliner, the 2012 Honda Civic is the clear choice in the category. And even if you don't easily discern such qualities, just-right steering and pedal feel are the kinds of qualities that quietly contribute to long-term driving satisfaction.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2012 Honda Civic is neither as sporty nor as stylish as the Mazda3 or Ford Focus, the interior design isn't as interesting as the Hyundai Elantra's, and it isn't the smoothest or quietest car in the class.

What's Significant About This Car?

The all-new-for-2012 Honda Civic is instantly familiar inside and out, with key changes comprising increased fuel economy, more refined driving dynamics and enhanced infotainment abilities. The Civic hybrid is now more fuel efficient, the Civic Si is more powerful and there's the new mileage-maxing 2012 Civic HF that delivers 41 highway mpg.

Driving the Civic

Driving Impressions The 2012 Honda Civic is not the smoothest or quietest car in the category. Nor is it the most fun to drive. Curious, then, that we'd rate it tops in...

driving dynamics in our shootout of the four newest cars in the category. How does it do it? With the help of steering and pedal response that other automakers could only dream of delivering. It's easy to overlook excellence in these areas, but just as driving feel is a big part of the magic in a Porsche, the way the Civic gracefully listens and responds to a driver's input is a key reason we consider the 2012 Honda Civic the connoisseur's compact sedan.

Bluetooth Audio
We like being able to listen to the music on our iPhone without having to plug it in, and the Civic's Bluetooth Audio system is notable for how quickly it connects and begins playing.

i-MID Display
Standard in all but the base Civic DX trim is a new five-inch LCD monitor that provides music and mileage info, plus Bluetooth and navigation info when equipped.

2012 Honda Civic Details
2012 Honda Civic photo Interior

If the 2012 Honda Civic has an Achilles' heel, it's the interior styling. Everything works wonderfully, but the design, textures and materials put its visual appeal in the bottom half of the segment, behind new and newly relevant nameplates like Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus and Chevy Cruze.

Exterior
2012 Honda Civic photo

Just when observers thought Honda might unleash the most expressive Civic yet - as an answer to the bold new Hyundai Elantra attracting so much attention – the even-keeled automaker instead delivered the most evolutionary Civic redesign ever. It's hard to argue against sticking to a styling strategy that's helped keep the Civic at or near the top of the sales charts for many years running.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Honda Civic starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $16,555 (including destination) for a Civic DX, but that's with no radio, no air conditioning and no power mirrors or door locks. Stepping up to the Civic LX remedies those shortcomings and nets a few other goodies for an extra $2,000, but an automatic transmission will set you back another $800. The Honda Civic's myriad active and passive safety technologies are included as standard equipment across the line. The EX and EX-L models sit at the top of the 2012 Civic's non-hybrid, non-natural-gas pyramid, with the Si coupe and sedan covering performance side of the street.

Optional Equipment

A 2012 Honda Civic EX-L with Navigation has an MSRP at $24,225 and includes leather seats (heated front), a moonroof, Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity, a full-function i-MID display and a six-speaker AM/FM/SAT/MP3/ Bluetooth audio system with USB and auxiliary ports (which offers plenty of functionality but just-okay sound).

Under the Hood

With no direct injection or turbocharging, 140 horsepower, and five speeds not six in the manual and automatic transmissions, the 2012 Honda Civic has the simplest powertrain of the newest compact sedans. Nevertheless, it delivers exceptional fuel economy and plenty of power. The mileage-maxing HF trim features the same powertrain, but adds two highway miles per gallon with a lower ride height, aerodynamic adds and tires with lower rolling resistance. The Civic Si, in sedan and coupe form, comes with 201 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission.

Civic DX, LX, EX, EX-L and HF
1.8-liter in-line four cylinder
140 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
128 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/36 (manual), 28/39 (automatic), 29/41 (Civic HF automatic)

Civic Si
2.4-liter in-line four cylinder
201 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
170 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 (manual)

Civic Hybrid
1.5-liter in-line four cylinder + electric motor
110 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
127 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1,000-3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 44/44 (Continuously Variable Transmission)

Civic Natural Gas
1.8-liter in-line four cylinder
110 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
106 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

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2012 Honda Civic Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 172 Ratings for the 2012 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

nice car 32 mpg over all and 44 plus on open roads

By on Thursday, July 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "easy to drive good pick up wiyh ac off"

Cons: "no cup holders in back seat and no spare tire with"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"great car to save gas, and monthly payment is very low, on a lease only 175 plus tax with 500 dn. cant beat that on a 3 year lease .easy to drive and lots of air bags"

Awesome Car

By on Wednesday, July 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great price, lots of value, fun to drive, mpg"

Cons: "light steering wheel feel"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have a loaded 2013 White Civic SI 4D with Navi, love this car I average 30 mpg combined for every fill up. Also has great power, fast 2.4L engine matches great to the easy shifting 6 speed manual, Interior quality is great also carbon fiber trim, great 17 inch wheels make the car look nice. The sound system is superb and I get lots of compliments on the looks of this model."

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Fun, Sporty commuter when I'm not on my motorcycle

By on Monday, June 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 400

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Lane watch, Fun, Interior quality looks nice"

Cons: "Rims, Only 1 option for Interior Color"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I normally commute on my Sport Bikes but I can't ride those in the rain or pick up friends when going on road trips so I was looking for a car that will give me that fun sporty feel while commuting like how my bikes does. I wasn't expecting much when I saw the 2014 Civic Si Sedan until I test drove it. It has more than enough power than I need for a car. The few things that I didn't like about it (which are just my personal tastes) are the 18'Rims and 2 tone Seat color. Overall, I love this car and I think I made a great decision buying it."

10 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Excellent fun and practical car

By on Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Quality, MPG, fit & finish, Sound, Fun"

Cons: "USB location, long trip comfort"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I love my civic si, I've driven it like a stole off the lot and it hasn't given me any problems. With to stock tires I was getting a average of 32 mpg but when I changed to softer tires now the mpg has dropped to 30. It sounds amazing when I mash the gas but road nose isn't over bearing while cruising. Also with softer tires the road noise is significantly less. Steering is quick and very responsive but can feel twitchy on the highway. I love the interior styling, very cool. Seats look cool but are not the most comfortable. Ergonomics is excellent except for the placement of the USB port. The blue tooth link for playing music off my iPhone is one of my favorite features but I've noticed that my friends have had issues playing music on the system with android phones. It will link up fine but isn't as reliable as when using my iPhone."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Excellent buy

By on Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "styling"

Cons: "head room"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I am pleased with my purchase. I have owned the car for 2 yrs. I have noticed that the drivers leather seat is showing wear. I am 6 ft tall so the head room is lacking a bit. Also noticed the performance decline when the air conditioning is running, but I guess that is with most cars. The actual mileage I get is around 35 mpg, I drive mostly on high speed interstate to and from work. Other than that I love my Civic."

SIgnificant Bargain;Fun 2 Drive;Good mileage

By on Monday, June 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 750

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "LOTS for the $;Solid;Blast2Drive;Economical"

Cons: "Back seat ingress/egress:No Temp Guage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

Sojourn of Light

"Bought a 2014 SI coupe. It's a looker save the front end being a mite busy and a matter of taste, but I do not find it ugly or repulsive as some seem to. The rest of the lines on the car, to my eye, are well thought out and handsome. Although I have not put allot of miles on it yet, it is immediately apparent it is screwed together well. No rattles, squeaks or creaks. Doors close with a reassuring thud. Just feels like a solid car. Fun,Fun,Fun to drive. It is a car that can be driven comfortably everyday with a LARGE dose of fun mixed in. Out of the box no Track car, but you do not suffer the everyday penalties of such. Do not need to rev the thing into the stratosphere to get some torque. Has a very comfortable ride which comes with handling that won't disappoint. On top of that it can easily be made a track car if that is what you want,a few bolt ons should do the trick. Regarding the love it or hate it interior and gauges, I like it, Allot. I have to say, it should have a temperature gauge for the engine instead of the idiots lights, (a blue light comes on 'till the car warms up to temp and of course there is the overheat light). I have read mixed reviews regarding the seating,again a matter of taste and physique I suppose, but for me and my wife, (I'm of average size my wife is petite), we find the seats to be very supportive and comfortable. Add to that the tilt/telescope wheel and we both can find our ideal driving position. I have to make mention of the Manual,(six-speed)and clutch;F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C, the best I've owned and I have had several. In the end if you are looking for a daily driver that is economical to purchase and own, one that is safe, that has got enough, "sport" to put a smile on your face, So far, for me, the SI nails it."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Sojourn of Light

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