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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 208 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Nice riding car. Great mileage. Great car

By on Sunday, December 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,922

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Mileage, great handling"

Cons: "back seats don't fold flat"

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

"Recent trip with 3 people, dog, luggage, fully loaded car. Round trip 950 miles with 40.1 mpg. Can't beat that! Handled well on highway and country roads, as well as in traffic. Terrific car!"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Awesome car. Highly recommended *****

By on Thursday, December 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good Price"

Cons: "Don't like the side view but is ok for me."

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

"After a while looking around and trying some competitors I decided on the 2015 Civic LX. I had a limited budget and getting the Civic was the perfect decision(had a good deal). Have to say I was impressed with the LX model cause it comes with more features than I thought. The screens are beautiful, completely eletronic. Love the experience behind the wheel. I also love the sport mode. Over 80mph you push the pedal and feel the difference, it's awesome!!! The seats in the back are so spacious (tried some other compacts and couldn't be comfortable in the back). It's such an amazing car. I'm happy, my family is happy, and my pocket is also happy because of the gas. I ihink the Civic is a complete car. I think it has everything a compact vehicle needs to have."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Reliable. Limited space, especially in back seat.

By on Tuesday, December 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,880

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Roomy trunk and front seats."

Cons: "Limited space in the backseat."

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

"I like this car overall, but it just doesn't have the space that I need as a mom. I have a 4 month old and obviously she rides in the backseat in her carseat but its just a huge pain to get the carseat in and out of the backseat. The roof is so low in the back and the seats sit so high that its really crammed back there for anyone. The trunk has a lot of space and the front seats are pretty spacious. But for me, I'm wishing I would have purchased an Accord instead. If you don't have more than one other person in the car with you most of the time then this car should be perfect for you."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Replaced my BMW 3 Series

By on Monday, December 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Efficient, high tech, luxurious & retains value."

Cons: "Not as powerful as the BMW it replaced"

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

Modern Steel w/ gray leather.

"I was getting tired of high repair costs on my well worn but loved BMW 3 series. I leased a new Civic Sedan, EXL w/ Nav. for about half the lease of a well equipped new 3 series. The quality on the Civic is excellent. I'm averaging 29 MPG in all city driving, and I can use regular gas instead of premium. Best of all, with the 3 year bumper to bumper warranty, I don't anticipate spending much on maintenance for the duration of the lease. Last year, maintenance on my fully owned BMW was higher than a year of lease payments on the new Civic. I also won't get hit with the higher depreciation of a new 3 series over a 3 year term. No problems so far after 3 months of ownership. I really love all of the high tech features of the EXL, and the navigation has come in handy too. Though it isn't as powerful and the handling is not quite as crisp as the BMW, it is still nimble and surprisingly peppy for a 4 cylinder. It has comparable rear passenger legroom. I was also favorably impressed with the CVT."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Modern Steel w/ gray leather.

Great uphill power for a 3-cylinder hybrid.

By on Tuesday, December 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,600

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
8/10

Pros: "Zippier than it looks; great on gas."

Cons: "100% computerized; always needs a service warranty"

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

"Good maneuverability and control; don't like that it needs to go to the garage when there is tire damage. Reliable and great gas mileage. Sorry I can't use the carpool lane however."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great great value

By on Tuesday, December 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,750

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfy to drive & has all the features you need"

Cons: "LX needs to come with alloy wheels"

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

"2014 Civic Coupe LX CVT Overall best value out there. Some manufacturers will try to lure you in with overly fancy equipment but the Civic provides you with exactly what you need. Incredibly high quality design with the standard features that you want/need rather than what you want/don't need. Mileage has been as advertised, but not sure if the "eco" button really makes a noticeable difference in mileage compared to the lowered engine performance when the eco mode is turned on. Drove from Florida to S Carolina and the drive was comfortable and incredibly easy. Only complaint I have is that in the coupe, I wish the driver's side seat had a memory function so when a rear passenger entered/exited on the driver's side, the seat would return back to where the driver last had it instead of having to readjust every time it's moved. The split-dash is a little quirky at first but it's amazing how convenient it is when you go back to driving a car with traditional gauges. The speedometer read-out is right where you need it to be to minimize distractions. Bluetooth works flawlessly. I have the Dyno Blue color and 100% of people who've commented on the car can't believe how sexy/good it looks. Honda really did a great job in the design of the car overall."

2 people out of 3 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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