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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 276 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

love the car! great mileage. decent stereo....

By on Saturday, November 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,900

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "good looking car"

Cons: "a little too small"

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

"love the wheels and tires. decent stereo, but needs an amp.....dependable....nice looking car...have had lots of compliments........drives well. love the sun/moonroof....i've had many compliments on beauty of vehicle....i wish i would have gotten the two door...."

23 people out of 54 found this review helpful

value too low

By on Monday, November 09, 2015

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

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

Cons: "dvd player for children riding in the car"

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

"i feel this car is a lot more valuable than your rating it cause if you think about it the car has more options on it than even the expensive american cars. only honda puts 2 cameras on the cars and makes them with 2 screens and so many techinal features."

27 people out of 41 found this review helpful

Best bang for the buck SI edition

By on Thursday, September 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 213

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fast car, Manual only, Great stock sound sysytem"

Cons: "countless add ons"

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

"I purchased this car a few days ago and it has been nothing short of fantastic for the price. I'm 6'1" and i fit in this car comfortably(sedan version). Which is quite a surprise for being a race car. every other car i could find was small or ugly interior wise. they pulled out all the stops for this car. only thing i could ask for is options like mud flaps and rear cupholders to be standard. but that's only because i purchased a white car(bad decision lol)"

26 people out of 54 found this review helpful

good, not great had civics i liked much better

By on Saturday, August 29, 2015

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

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "reliable"

Cons: "transmision"

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

"what i really do not like about this car is the cvt transmision. would much prefer a six speed automatic. otherwise typical civic reliable and dependable"

6 people out of 18 found this review helpful

SMOOTH LIKE BUTTER

By on Friday, August 21, 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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Smoothest Ride Ever"

Cons: "what cons?"

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

"This car is SMOOTH to drive! There is no road noise. Drives like a luxury car. Instrument panel is lit up blue, modern like a spaceship with a digital speedometer--keeps my eye on the road, and oh-so-modern! I will never get stopped for speeding, the speedometer tells me EXACTLY my speed without looking down at an analog dial. This car senses every move, and responds perfectly. One mistake and a light or sound goes on to warn you. The car is intuitive. Engineered amazingly. Just can't believe it--you will be thrilled beyond belief."

23 people out of 26 found this review helpful

Car Pool Lane Sticker and Spending Less Per Fill-u

By on Friday, August 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "It's Natural Gas!"

Cons: "No umph when the car is in Eco mode"

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

"You cannot complain when you live in Southern California and every time you fill-up, you are only spending $17 dollars at most! AND you get the Car Pool lane sticker. Which will be valid until 2019!"

10 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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