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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 219 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

Great economy and reliability

By on Thursday, February 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fuel economy,low maintenance and of course Vtech"

Cons: "not as sporty as previous models"

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

"I drive almost 1000 miles per week to commute to work.I needed a very reliable and somewhat economical car.The Civic was an obvious choice.I purchased it brand new and have now clocked over 90,000 miles on it without a single issue. Other than oil changes and replacing air filters I have not had to spend a dime on it."

6 people out of 13 found this review helpful

All about performance.

By on Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quick, fun, practical."

Cons: "Not much."

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

"So I will start with the surprisingly bad, the battery at 35k literately is just plain shot and died on me despite being two years old. Also the tires from the dealership, bald and worn all the way down by the same mark (this is more typical at this mark I'm told.) I seem to have a sensor issue with my gas tank? It sometimes shows I have no gas for a few seconds and then comes to. So, but I will say I usually get better then the EPA projections. I have achieved 32mpg on a 500 mile road trip. I usually average 27 in town (250 routinely.) This car is 100% about performance. I personally love the torque and power of this car which is has plenty of. Of course it's a little on the small side but it is what you sacrifice for economy and power you lose a little comfort I suppose. I love the navigation, the different options for the graphics, and the bluetooth. Overall if you need amusement at the wheel- this is the car for you."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Drives amazing, amazing gas mileage, very sporty

By on Saturday, February 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,250

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Drives amazing, great MPG's, sporty, great sound"

Cons: "back seat will not fit anyone except small child"

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

Front end view. Car will get full detail this week

"2012 Honda Civic SI. I'm the original owner, non-smoker, I've taken amazing care of this vehicle to include all Honda scheduled maintenance, vehicle is near immaculate inside with just 1 or 2 minor scratches in non obvious places, exterior in near perfect condition with only 1 minor scratch that was touched up with Honda certified matching color code paint (1" scratch), 10/2015 inspection, I've babied this car from day one, and always have kept the interior/exterior like new, 6spd manual transmission, tinted windows, will even include the Weather Tech floor mats for the entire vehicle and even have an Eibach 2" lowering spring system that I never installed because I decided to keep the vehicle stock. I average 23-26 MPG's city. I do not do much interstate driving but I'd imagine the MPG's highway would easily hit 30+. I got all the options except the navigation and the Honda HFP Kit (the larger rims/tires and the front and rear body accents). The tires are the summer sport tires (believe they are Michelin but not sure, either way, make for a very smooth ride with awesome handling) This car has only 18,200 miles which is amazing considering its a few months shy of 3 years old when I drove it off the lot with only 2 miles on it...average mileage for vehicles currently is 15,000-20,000/yr! This car would be a steal for anyone looking for one! Absolute only reason I want to sell this car as painful as it will be is because I have a German Shepherd that I would like to take places with me when I go out but never have her in the Civic because it's too small and also because I don't want a dog in a super clean car. If there are any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask!!!"

11 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Front end view. Car will get full detail this week

Gas sipper

By on Tuesday, February 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Quiet and easy to drive. Handles well."

Cons: "I wish I would have bought more interior features"

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

"I get 36 MPG in the city and on the road got 47.6 MPG at 63 MPH. I did go 8o and still got 41 MPG. The car handles well and the CVT transmission is quiet and smooth. The economy mode works great. I never take it out of this mode. My grandson always wants to borrow it when he is home from college."

51 people out of 87 found this review helpful

Great first car!

By on Friday, January 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Features: LaneWatch, push-start, backup cam, wheel"

Cons: "Acceleration, driver's seat, no volume knob"

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

"I got my driver's license a few weeks ago, and I was fortunate enough to be given a new car. I am really enjoying the Civic so far. Though its price and reputation may suggest otherwise, it is actually a pleasure to drive! It's certainly no Corvette or Maserati, but the Civic truly does get the job done. One of my favorite features in the car is the digital, intelligently-placed speedometer. However, the enormous tachometer perplexes me. I still do not understand why Honda decided to make it so large, and why they devoted a huge part of the dash to it. I was very impressed with some of the standard features in my EX model, such as the small sunroof, the "smart key" and push to start button, and the backup and LaneWatch cameras. One major disappointment for me is that I am not averaging the advertised MPG. I drive almost solely in New Jersey suburbs, and anyone who has been here knows that THE CARS DO NOT MOVE. Therefore, I am essentially driving in an environment the EPA would classify as "city". That said, I am not getting the 30 MPG they suggest. I am at least 2 MPG lower. It's not the end of the world, but that was one of the justifications for me getting this car. Likewise, the seat bothers my back on rides long than about 45 minutes. The cloth material is surprisingly high-quality, but the seat lacks much-needed padding. In total, though, the car serves its purpose, and very well. I would recommend it to anyone, and especially to young drivers."

27 people out of 59 found this review helpful

Runs like a champ...

By on Thursday, January 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "dependable, bluetooth, modern dash"

Cons: "not sporty"

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

"This car does not have a lot of get up and go. I have had it for about 32,000 miles. Bought it at about 18,000 from a toyota dealership. I have never had a single problem out of this car. Always gets me where I need to go with great gas mileage."

20 people out of 38 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

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