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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 224 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

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."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Excellent, Reliable Vehicle

By on Thursday, March 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,375

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"This is my 5th Honda Civic and I love them. While I wish they were a little less pricey, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for, and this is an awesome car, no doubt about it, with a consistently terrific trade-in value. Over the years I've been in a few accidents (none my fault, thank goodness!) and my Civics have always performed superbly. The safety in these cars can't be beat and I drive in a metropolitan city in rush-hour traffic twice a day, so safety is a big concern for me. These cars also handle easily in snow, ice, and wet conditions, just get to know your car before bad weather hits. The interior is surprisingly roomy and comfortable for long trips and the A/C works great. The acceleration is good, but perhaps has a little bit of a delay when initially punching the gas pedal to pass, so give yourself a little extra passing room. Gas mileage is terrific, even in the city. There is a rather large "blind spot" right at the front windshield and door interface/meeting and one needs to be extra careful of that. Sometimes I wish the paint didn't ding or scratch as easily, but I realistically can't compare it to other cars, since I've leased nothing but Civics since about 1995. They've gotten consistently better and better over the years, not only in metal thickness and safety, but also in the power of the engine. Great car! In fact, hubby now also owns one and he loves it as well!"

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Great car!

By on Sunday, March 08, 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
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

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

"Overall fantastic little car. Pros great handling and economy, cons hard seats, inadequate a/c and defrosting, fake carpet."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

best gas milage for coupe

By on Wednesday, March 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,900

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: "sporty look with great gas milage and easy to driv"

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

"I am a first time Honda owner and have been very pleased with my Civic coupe. It's a great looking car with excellent gas mileage. I was also pleased with the price and the friendly customer service provided by Kevin McWithey."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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."

16 people out of 30 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."

10 people out of 17 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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