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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
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 192 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Cheap interior but reliable

By on Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,050

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Reliable and affordable"

Cons: "Loud, cheap interior, not fun to drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"2012 Civic Sedan LX First off the good, the car has had zero issues since I have owned it, which is going on 3 years now. It has lived up to Hondas unrivaled reliability. The seats are comfortable and the trunk is big enough for a couple sets of clubs. The steering wheel controls look and feel great, actually have a pretty natural set to them. Now the bad, the flooring is really cheap, looks cheap and does nothing to drown out noise. I drive mostly at night and HATE the screen on the dash board. The glare shield is not nearly big enough to keep the screen light from filling the wind shield with light. That glare is terrible. The plastics in the car are also terrible, everything rattles constantly."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

I love this car

By on Thursday, October 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"It's the second one I've bought, (totalled my first one within 6 months of buying) gas mileage is great, I got a great deal on it and people from Honda are the best to work with. I know that after working with many others, I'll never buy another type of vehicle."

Just as it is known for

By on Tuesday, October 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fuel Economy, Features, Comfort"

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

"I wanted to give some realistic review of the 2012 civic. I bought it in August of 2011 and have driven so far 80000 miles. I want to say this is one of the few most reliable cars that you could ever get. I have never done any maintenance work since I bought it except for oil changes every 9000 miles. I changed Air filter once and Tires once and that is it. I consistently get 40 miles per gallon but I have to admit I drive on cruise at 63 MPH and 85% of my driving is on highway. All of the above makes me want to keep my car till I hit 300000 and I think I will."

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

GREAT VALUE

By on Monday, October 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,100

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
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
10/10

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

"I BOUGHT A CIVIC LX SEDAN ON JULY 28,2014..ONLY HAVE 1100 MILES ON IT BUT THIS CAR IS FANTASTIC!!!! LOTS OF POWER,SMOOTH RIDE,VERY FUEL EFFICIENT...GETTING ABOUT 44 MPG WITH THE ECON BUTTON ON...MOST THINK YOU LOSE A LITTLE POWER WITH THE ECON,BUT I NOTICE NO DIFFERENCE!! WOULD RECOMMEND THIS CAR TO ANY ONE!!"

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

is one of the best cars on road

By on Thursday, October 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,500

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "everything is good in this car"

Cons: "no cons"

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

"funny to drive , great aerodinamics , very good mileage for the gas , comfortable ride , quite interior , extreme reliable , affordable price : very very good car"

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great car to zip around town and highway.

By on Thursday, October 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,248

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
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "fun to drive, not a great price comparable to othe"

Cons: "interior lights up like spaceage, but lacks in qua"

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

"Car gets fantastic gas mileage. Not happy how the speed fluctuates using cruise control. You have to turn off energy saver in order to keep speed setting you want. No real carpet in the car, no XM satellite, no power seats. Many new cars out have all n more of above accessories at less than I paid for my 2012 Honda Civic. This is my 4th Honda n I do enjoy it but miss my Accord luxury, but not the price."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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