Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Hybrid Cars Under $30,000
  • The 40 MPG Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Class of 2015: New Vehicles Ready to Roll
Go

2012 Best
Resale Value
Award Winner
Learn more

2012 Honda Civic

Overview
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

Buying this car?

2012 Honda Civic Review

By

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

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

Buying this car?

2012 Honda Civic Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 185 Ratings for the 2012 - 2014 models.

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

Great car for commute and trips under four hours.

By on Thursday, September 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

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
9/10

Pros: "great price, fun to drive, popular car !"

Cons: "no heated mirrors on the LX"

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

"Top value in it's class in my opinion. Yes Subaru is a great car but AWD not needed all the time in my driving, and I prefer not to suffer on the MPG due to it. Two plus MPG better than my 13 Focus, but Focus handles better. I am mature and hope to never need that extra handling edge. This car has better road vision for me than the Focus. I had immediately eliminated several other models due to reliability concerns and previous RECALL dodges. I must say I was not happy about the drop in value of the Focus and feel confident that the Civic will hold better resale. That is important even if you don't trade frequently."

7 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Good dependable car

By on Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "I averaged 33 mpg"

Cons: "Road noise"

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

"The civic is a good and dependable car, especially if maintenance is kept up. Just like other cars in this category, lots of road noise."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

grear little car

By on Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great fuel efficency. easy to handle"

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

"i own a 2014 civic and have had it aproximently 7 months and have 8000 mi on it theres so many features on this car it is so great. i own a ex model and i can do so much to my options and for $60+tax i can buy a navigation app on my phone and use it on my car for life. handles great i treat my car like i do my pick up and it holds up great and i get over 30 mpg city driving."

12 people out of 25 found this review helpful

3 one in a row like all three

By on Thursday, September 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,900

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "good MPG"

Cons: "DARK BACK UP CAMERA ON SUNNY DAYS"

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

"The only thing I noticed was the backup camera on the 2014 is very dark on bright days here in Florida. The 2013 was awesome on bright sunny days, overcast or at night. I wish the 2013 camera was in the 2014 model! Please fix the 2014 civic cameras on the basic model!"

16 people out of 31 found this review helpful

had this car 2.5 years , good pickup

By on Wednesday, September 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great driving car"

Cons: "front hood disappears and makes it hard parking"

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

"I had this car for 2.5 years and so far it gives a nice ride, when the econ buttno is off gives has good pickup. the front hood disappears and makes it difficult to park at times otherwise the car is fine."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

My (Civi) Honda

By on Saturday, August 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Newer models have powered seats & back up camera"

Cons: "Does not have navigation"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

My car (Civi) has done well in all weather!

"I do love my Honda because it is stylish but not too fancy. The interior is very roommy but the front bucket seats are oddly shaped. Also, they are not powered seats so it is hard to get adjusted from time to time. I wish I would have asked for chrome accessories at the time I purchased it just to dress it up. I never had any mechanical problems with my 2012 Honda Civic and that's why I love to drive it."

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

My car (Civi) has done well in all weather!

Advertisement

Why ads?
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

Buying this car?