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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 235 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

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

Terrible handling at highway speeds

By on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "OK looking, good on gas"

Cons: "Terrible handling"

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

"I’ve only put 200 miles on this car and I wish I could send it back. It is nice to look at, the interior is comfortable. The handling is the pits. The electronic steering is so soft that you lose all feel of the road at highway speeds. I am used to driving VWs, and traded in a 15 year old Jetta that handled 1000x better than this Civic. I’m extremely disappointed and praying I get used to it or it’s going to be a VERY long three years (lease). I test drove it, it’s ok below 55 mph, but once I took it home on the highway it was all over the place. This car is not for anyone who appreciates handling."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Honda Family

By on Monday, May 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

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

Pros: "Fun, sporty, reliable, great mileage"

Cons: "none"

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

"I love my 2 yr old Civic EX more than any car I've owned and I am giving it to my college bound son and replacing it with a new model EX-L. It's whisper quiet, I do not understand the other comment about noise. It handles like a dream and gets terrific gas mileage. I am a habitual speeder and I get 35 mpg average - mostly freeway. My 20 year old daughter loves her Honda FIT Sport for similar reasons."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

This car is everything I wanted.

By on Friday, April 24, 2015

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

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

"I have no complaints about the car in any category.The only reason I may get rid of it is to get a newer version."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Very Good Gas Mileage - not very good performace

By on Friday, April 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage"

Cons: "Slow pick-up; loud road noise; poor technology"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"First the pro's: A solid 35 mpg and I drive it like a dog! The controls are set up nicely. The radio, CD Player, Cruise can all be controlled from the steering or from the dash. The dash controls are slanted toward the driver, which is handy. Heated seats and sun roof are nice. The cons: It's SLOW. I nicknamed mine the slug. Pickup is painfully slow especially trying to get up to speed on the freeway ramp to merge into traffic. The road noise is LOUD. Really loud and the ride isn't very comfortable. The bluetooth phone connection is lousy. I just keep it turned off. The usb port to connect the i-pod worked for about a year and suddenly quit. In general, I love the gas mileage. It's very cheap to drive. I've had no mechanical problems what so ever but the vehicle is slow, loud, and the technology is poor. I keep reminding myself that I purchased the car to save money and gas. That was my main objective and I've accomplished that."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Good for the money

By on Monday, April 20, 2015

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

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Good price"

Cons: "Too small"

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

"I bought my Honda Civic EX after totaling my last car in an accident. I wasn't totally sold on the Civic due to the "space ship" look that this car has but I needed a car immediately without paying a fortune. My payments are fairly low but it's definitely not my idea of a dream car. I recommend this car for commuting because it's great on gas and it's fairly reliable."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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."

29 people out of 50 found this review helpful

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