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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 261 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

Rubber Band Engine, CVT is terrible

By on Monday, July 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Not much to say in the possitive"

Cons: "engine is terrible, transmission is terrible, cup"

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

"After driving the Civic for a while I have gotten the feel of just how terrible the new style of CVT transmission is. It winds like a rubber band and is excessively loud and obnoxious. It is nice the base model comes with bluetooth and back up camera, but I can hardly say i could not back up efficiently without it. The Lane Watch feature is just a gimmick, really who needs a second picture of the same thing your passenger mirror shows. It takes focus off of the road more often than it helps."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best Vehicle Ever!

By on Sunday, July 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25

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): 1

"I love this car!! Safest car in its class, this car is also fun to drive! I have test-driven every other car in its class, and this is the best. The quality is superior, and Honda engineers have created a masterpiece of a car. This is the safest compact car, and also fun to drive. Thank you Honda."

great for an entry level car

By on Sunday, July 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 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
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "quiet, good radio and fun Hondalink, it's a Honda!"

Cons: "Seats have no lumbar support, a bit slow"

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

"Once upon a time the Civic was an entry level econobox. While it still has leisurely acceleration and not the greatest seats, everything else is fantastic. It's quiet, and in the EX version well equipped. the level of trim is what you could expect in a luxury car not too long ago. What it does lack is power seats, privacy curtains, leather....but it does have everything else! Power windows and door locks, auto AC etc. The Hondalink allows you to pair your phone via bluetooth and play internet radio over your phone cell data. It lets you communicate with Honda directly for emergencies and book dealer appointments as well as look for points of interest, gas stations with prices of gas etc. It comes with a rear view camera and a blind spot camera for right turns. It's not going to make you forget your BMW but it's going to get over 30 mpg in quiet with Honda reliability. The handling feels a little over boosted to me. Some people like the Mazda better. I rented one and while it drove OK the steering wheel controls were the cheap tabs you remember from cars in the 80s while Honda uses round circular buttons. Minor to most people but after a few hours you realize pushing a tab hurts your fingers. Other people like the Fords. I don't think I would trust their resale or reliability though. One definite drawback is the Civic is the second most stolen car in the country-so your insurance is going to take a hit."

13 people out of 27 found this review helpful

So reliable

By on Friday, July 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

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: "always reliable"

Cons: "a new model comes out every year and I want it."

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

"I had the 2002 civic then the 2012 loved it till I saw the back up camera and traded for the 2014. I had only Honda accords before the civic. I really love this car and always appreciate the reliability and it's fun to drive."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Great Small Coupe!

By on Thursday, July 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 180,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Gas Mileage, digital spedometer, fun"

Cons: "Small Back Seat/Storage"

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

"I have owned a 2006 for the past 10 years and it has been great to me. Fun and sporty to drive. I prefer driving this to my wife's 2007 Toyota Corolla. Only once had to deal with a semi-serious repair; at 150,000ish mi. the power steering went out (about a $900 repair). Other than that it just has required routine maintenance. The CD player has been broken for about 5 years as well. Haven't cared to fix it because I use the AUX to hookup my iPhone. At 180,000 I am deciding to part ways and upgrade to an SUV for a more versatile vehicle. I will miss this car and the excellent gas mileage!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

this is NOT a family vehicle at all!!!

By on Monday, July 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,214

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
5/10
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
6/10
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "none"

Cons: "all!!!!!"

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

"my son's carseat will not fit in the back of this car at all!! my 9 year old daughter is squished with no leg room also, the stereo is plain and lame do not turn it up or the speakers will blow. the dash reminds me of my 95 Saturn boring and ugly.Assoon as we drove this off the lot it dropped 3,000 in value!!!!!!! seriously dissapointed!!!!!!!!"

30 people out of 62 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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