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
Share this page
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
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 215 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

Great first car!

By on Friday, January 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Features: LaneWatch, push-start, backup cam, wheel"

Cons: "Acceleration, driver's seat, no volume knob"

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

"I got my driver's license a few weeks ago, and I was fortunate enough to be given a new car. I am really enjoying the Civic so far. Though its price and reputation may suggest otherwise, it is actually a pleasure to drive! It's certainly no Corvette or Maserati, but the Civic truly does get the job done. One of my favorite features in the car is the digital, intelligently-placed speedometer. However, the enormous tachometer perplexes me. I still do not understand why Honda decided to make it so large, and why they devoted a huge part of the dash to it. I was very impressed with some of the standard features in my EX model, such as the small sunroof, the "smart key" and push to start button, and the backup and LaneWatch cameras. One major disappointment for me is that I am not averaging the advertised MPG. I drive almost solely in New Jersey suburbs, and anyone who has been here knows that THE CARS DO NOT MOVE. Therefore, I am essentially driving in an environment the EPA would classify as "city". That said, I am not getting the 30 MPG they suggest. I am at least 2 MPG lower. It's not the end of the world, but that was one of the justifications for me getting this car. Likewise, the seat bothers my back on rides long than about 45 minutes. The cloth material is surprisingly high-quality, but the seat lacks much-needed padding. In total, though, the car serves its purpose, and very well. I would recommend it to anyone, and especially to young drivers."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Runs like a champ...

By on Thursday, January 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "dependable, bluetooth, modern dash"

Cons: "not sporty"

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

"This car does not have a lot of get up and go. I have had it for about 32,000 miles. Bought it at about 18,000 from a toyota dealership. I have never had a single problem out of this car. Always gets me where I need to go with great gas mileage."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

handles and drives great,Japanese design A+

By on Wednesday, January 21, 2015

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

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"good car,cheap interior,eco button strains engine and tranny,no difference in mileage,just a gimmick,air leak in drivers door window,but can live with it."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

New 2014 Civic Super happy :)

By on Friday, January 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,100

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: "Great price. Standard backup cam and BTA!"

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

"Had a great experience with the dealership about a month ago. I love the fact that the radio is angled towards the driver and that the info/backup-cam screen is on the dash. It makes it really easy to access these features! I've had a great time driving it and I feel that the ride is smooth and there are not a lot of road sounds audible. I did notice that I got a "Check tire pressure" alert almost immediately though. Otherwise it has been fabulous and I'm very pleased :)"

16 people out of 28 found this review helpful

Honda has delivered big time

By on Saturday, January 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,665

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Zippy, fuel miser, clean lines, great visibility,"

Cons: "Speedo placement, no rear cup holder"

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

"Having had to replace my broken down ride, I went to our local Honda dealer to purchase new car, primarily because of Honda reputation. I knew I would get good mileage and the car would be reliable, but wow this car is amazing. The civic has good pep, drives and rides like a larger vehicle..really comfy. I commute 80 miles each day for work, and can go 1 wek on a tank of gas. The interior is quiet, has decent radio, firm seats, and rather large interior .the outside lines make the car look smaller than it actually is. The only con is placement of speedometer on top of dash, kinda confusing with large tach lit up like airport signals below, but I'll forgive Honda for that design flaw. The car is loaded, an LX model..remote door openers, trunk release, cruise, am,fm,cd,Bluetooth with text reading, digital display. I am surprised by how much I enjoy this car, as it was intended as a "cheap" replacement, however I am assured to keep this ar for a very long time, esp. with upcoming drivers in my family."

30 people out of 55 found this review helpful

Nice economy

By on Thursday, January 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Excellent gas mileage."

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

"Excellent mileage. Excellent reliability. Zippy enough. Kind of hard on the backside on long drives."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Share this page

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?