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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 New for 2012

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
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 286 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.4/10

Honda has lessened the quality of the Civic!

By on Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,800

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great mileage"

Cons: "See complete review"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Too much plastic; too much digital; low-quality carpet; no split seat, which makes hauling stuff more difficult; fabric quality on seats needs improvement; dashboard is too deep, which makes cleaning of the inside of the front windshield quite challenging."

Great, Reliable Compact Sedan

By on Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

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
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price, excellent steering, low depreciation"

Cons: "backup camera pretty small, exterior a bit bland"

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

"I purchased a used 2013 Honda Civic LX around 30,000 miles and have driven it another 5000 and I am extremely impressed. I am only 19 years old, so I am pretty picky and wanted a car more sporty (such as a Mazda 3), but I am very content with the Honda. It has great value for the money, drives well (although doesn't accelerate as quick as I would like) and gets excellent gas mileage. The interior and exterior are fine, but do nothing to blow me away and I find myself comparing it to better looking interior and exterior of cars such as the Mazda 3. Overall it has driven excellent so far, and I have had no problems. I would recommend this car to anyone looking for a compact Sedan"

11 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Favorite car I've ever had.

By on Friday, May 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,400

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: "Smooth ride, fun to drive, looks great."

Cons: "No rear view camera."

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

"Great car. It doesn't have the pickup that my Accord had, but overall I love it. Perfect for my needs - some road trips, mostly around town. Mileage is FABULOUS. Trunk is enormous."

11 people out of 31 found this review helpful

Lovin' the Car!

By on Saturday, April 30, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,240

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, relablity, distances are nothing"

Cons: "Nothing I can think of"

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

"I brought this car over a year ago (the end of 2014) for many reasons with one being that Christmas was coming up and I had a terrible Nissan Altima that had too many repair costs (it was a used car with over 100,000 miles on it and was just breaking down--I regretted getting that car. Big time.). So, I decided to seek Honda because my aunt owns an Accord (she always drove Honda Accords) and it had always been the most reliable car for her. I went for a Civic because I wanted something a bit smaller for convenience and I didn't feel like driving a big car anymore. So, I honed on the Civic, test drove it, and loved the smooth drive. Oh my God, I should have gotten this car after my accident. I was a dummy for not. Thank you to my dealership for making this possible. Holy Mac! I love it!"

12 people out of 27 found this review helpful

surprisingly small

By on Monday, April 25, 2016

I owned and sold this car
Reason: too small

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "quality of a Honda"

Cons: "too small trunk and back seat area"

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

"I purchased this car because of the name Honda. My last Honda civic was a 2003 model which I loved. I know Honda's are quality cars and I wanted something that would last a long time. I have been very disappointed with this vehicle. I was real surprised when my mom's rolling stroller did not fit. I work with disabled individuals for as a career. In my last Honda, I had no problems in fitting wheelchairs in the trunk and/or the backseat. I bought an extended warranty on this vehicle which raised the price slightly higher for the resale. I ended up taking a loss in the resale. I learned a valuable lesson. I am at a loss at what to do now. In order to buy another Honda, I will have to go to a larger priced model which I won't be able to afford the monthly payments."

9 people out of 26 found this review helpful

Honda Civic Si - Great performance and value

By on Sunday, April 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great features, sharp design, strong powertrain"

Cons: "lackluster infotainment system"

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

"I purchased my 2015 Honda Civic Si in May of 2015 and have put nearly 13,000 miles on it. When I began looking for new vehicles, I almost overlooked the Civic Si. I had been looking at the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen GTI. I felt these two models were a little out of my price range, being I am still a student. I believe the Si offers the best bang for the buck, as it includes many features which typically cost extra. The Si trim package includes an upgraded sound system with a 7-inch touch screen display and a power moonroof. Unlike other trim packages within the Civic lineup, the Si comes standard with a 2.4 liter, 4-cylinder engine paired with a six speed manual transmission as the only offered powertrain. The engine provides quick acceleration, with 0-60 times around the six second range. Based on my experience with this car, the engine performs best around 5000 RPMs. I have noticed occasional grinding when shifting quickly into third gear. It seems that this has become less of a problem as I have put more miles on my car. I was extremely impressed with the interior build quality of my Civic. Honda included many premium padded materials and fabric. The use of cheap feeling plastics is kept to a minimum. However, compared to the front driver and passenger doors, the rear doors contain less padding and utilize more plastic. As I mentioned above, this Si trim has an upgraded sound system with a 7-inch touch screen display. Honda originally promised Apple CarPlay support to all 2015 Civics, but later announced this would come standard starting in 2016. The HondaLink system works best for iPhone users, as I haven’t been able to play music from an Android phone connected through USB. Otherwise, Android phones are still able to play music through Bluetooth connectivity with minor audio quality loss. Overall, my only complaint with the exterior of this vehicle is the paint seems to have been applied too thin. After a few days of owning my car, I noticed the paint was beginning to chip around the edges of the bumper where it meets with the rear fenders. My local dealership quickly repainted the affected area and realigned the bumper. I believe the Civic Si is a great choice for anyone looking for a higher performing vehicle without paying a hefty price. There are plenty of aftermarket parts available for anyone who is looking for higher performance including turbo and supercharger kits."

16 people out of 32 found this review helpful

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