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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 202 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

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

Would buy again

By on Friday, November 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,900

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: "just great"

Cons: "none"

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

"for sure would buy again, Traded a 2014 Altima for this after owning the Altima for weeks and have been happy every day since I got the new Honda. Would for sure suggest this car if the size works."

My third Civic, not my last.

By on Thursday, November 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,580

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great fuel economy, nice looking, great A/C"

Cons: "ugly upholstery, missing some "extras""

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

"I love Hondas. This is my third Civic, and they have all been great cars for me. My first was a 1998 HX, purchased new, then I bought a used 2001 EX, and now this 2012. I love the car very much. Negatives: the steering is not nearly as tight as it was in my 2001 Civic. There is quite a bit of play in it. The stereo controls on the steering wheel are not conveniently placed. They are on the front of the wheel, so you have to take your hand off the wheel- exactly what they are designed to avoid. I have heard a lot of complaints about road noise and cheap looking interior plastic, but I have no complaints about either. I don't like the look of the upholstery much, though. It is missing some little extras I feel it should include, such as a cover for the cup holder in the front and a holder for sunglasses (my husband's Accord has both, and I feel the Civic EX should also. How much could those things possibly cost the company to include?) It has some pretty bad blind spots. Also, the trunk is MUCH smaller than in either of my previous two Civics. These are all very minor, though, and really don't detract from my enjoyment of the car. The positives: The fuel economy is great, and the display tells me what my exact mpg is at the moment, as well as an overall reading. I love the way this car looks. It is a coupe, and is sleek and sporty, with nice lines. It is also very small, which I like. I never have passengers in the back seat, so interior room is not an issue. It has a very tight turn radius, and the climate control is fantastic. The AC works really well even with the Econ feature on, so I just leave the fuel-saving Econ feature on all the time. I love driving this car, and I think it is beautiful."

Best Compact by Far

By on Friday, November 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

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: "Technology, Handling, Overall Quality"

Cons: "None"

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

"Recently bought the 2014 Honda Civic EX Sedan. Have owned many Honda Vehicles. This one is among the best. The technology is fantastic. From the back up camera, lane watch, Honda link. Just fabulous. The car handles well. Just enough sportiness to keep it fun, yet very comfortable. Test drove the Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla, and Kia Forte. No comparison, Honda so much better. Would highly recommend."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Not Happy

By on Friday, November 07, 2014

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

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "No fun in winter, tires cause vibration"

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

"Like the car but the Tires they use are junk. I think fleet tires.. 3 or 4 different brands on the same model. Nylon in tires make them vibrate at high speeds in cold weather till they warm up. Honda is cutting conners. Will not buy another one. Glad i leased it because they can have it back and i don't have to suffer at 70 mph. Vibrates in the steering wheel."

5 people out of 12 found this review helpful

2014 Honda Civic is OK but the Nav.is horrible

By on Thursday, November 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,800

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good gas milage"

Cons: "Navigation is real bad and poor interior quality."

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

"I purchased the Civic because everyone said it gets good gas millage. This is true but the Navigation is terrible. I asked the salesperson about the Nav. and he assured me it works better than all other cars. That was a LIE the navigation STINKS...Do not buy the Civic with Navigation. The handheld Garmin works much better"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Reliable , AMAZING GAS MILAGE but very boring :(

By on Wednesday, November 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,300

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "AMAZING MPG , great options on a base model"

Cons: "slow , boring , feel like a kid in this car"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Amazing MPG got up to 40.2 mpg which was amazing coming from a 16mpg SUV . Great commuter vehicle . I drive 50 miles each way to work so this was perfect for me . It is a 4 cylinder so its pretty slow when merging on to the highway . Its a Honda so its reliable and easy to take care of ."

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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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