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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 229 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

reliable, great gas mileage, basic car but no wow!

By on Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"The ride is moderate and the noise is low for cars in its class but "fun to drive" does not fit this car. It is okay, handling is just mediocre, my Mazda 3....now that is fun to drive and handles sharply, not this Honda. But, the gas mileage is phenomenal, i average for 40,000 miles 35.6 and have gotten as much as 43 mpg on the highway! And in 41,000 miles, no maintenance issues, zero nada! many controls on steering wheel and ability to set many different looks on digital dash. heads up digital speedometer is great! Cloth seats and mats are cheap. Body integrity is great."

17 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Good trouble free car

By on Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good car,good on gas"

Cons: "Noisy as far as road noise"

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

"My first Honda.I bought it thinking resale value would be tops but in less than 3 years I've lost half its value.it's a good car!it does need four tires now and having rotated them every oil change(5k) I thought they would last longer.,but overall I can't complain.we also own a new toyota and feel the Toyota has a better built solid ride.I would buy this car again and recommend it to anyone but I think Id step up to the accord next and not loose much in gas mileage and have a quieter rikde"

17 people out of 33 found this review helpful

Another Great Honda

By on Sunday, March 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200

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: "Styling, gas mileage, dependability"

Cons: "None so far"

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

"Just purchased and drove home from the dealership. This drive is approximately 90 miles and includes rural and interstate highway driving, hills and flatlands. I did a great deal of research before purchasing, and this car exceeds all expectations. I've owned twelve Hondas and seventeen total cars in the past 25 years. Never had a problem with a Honda, but others have let me down. Compared to the other Hondas I have owned, this is one of the best. Look forward to driving this for a long time."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

So far the best vehicle I have owned

By on Saturday, March 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, fuel mileage, great looks"

Cons: "Seats are not very comfortable"

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

"I purchased this car in January 2015 from a dealership where my sister-in-law had traded it in for a new Mustang Roush. She keeps her vehicles in impeccable condition inside and out, the car had only 30,000 miles on it and was perfect. I purchased it through the dealership and got a very, very good deal. I commute 25 miles one way to work each day and the fuel efficiency, especially in ECO mode is awesome, averaging 35 mpg driving some interstate and some stop and traffic. The car has all and more amenities than I ever dreamed of. The ride is good, handling is awesome."

Troule free car with excellent gas mileage

By on Thursday, March 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "economical to maintain and operate."

Cons: "brakes, buzzy engine sound wide open."

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

"Bought new and In 3 1/2 years of driving not one single problem. Routine maintenance only, ie oil/filter and tire rotation, etc. Gets consistently 36-38 MPG overall freeway/city driving as verified by gallons used at fill up. Nice handling OK acceleration and braking. drives straight and true down the road with no pulling to side. Fairly quiet interior ride, about as expected for this class car. High quality paint, interior trim, appearance. I would not hesitate to buy another one"

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Reminds me of my Benz

By on Monday, March 23, 2015

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, solidly built, incredible mpg"

Cons: "No car-charger plug in back"

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

"I own a 2014 and am in sales. I have already put 18,000 miles on the car, since mid-July 2014. I had leather installed, as it's easier to sit on for long periods of time. I routinely drive 90 miles one-way to get to a job. I drive from the coast of Florida to the center of the state, and my mpg on country roads is always above 42mph. I keep my speed down to where the tach says 1550 rpm. This irritates other drivers, but they pass me. Generally keeping it at 55mph accomplishes this. When I drive to my office, I frequently get 50mpg. This car literally reminds me of my 2007 Mercedes Benz, in how it handles, how solid it is, and how comfortable it is. I don't necessarily love the exterior appearance, but that's okay. It looks professional, and yet I don't have to drive something big and heavy to get "classy". I don't regret this purchase at all."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?