2012 Honda Civic

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Pros: Lots of models to choose from; Reliability; Fuel economy, spacious and comfortable

Cons: Bland styling; Hybrid start/stop is jerky; Non-Si versions could use more power, Cheap interior materials

Overview
The Honda Civic was first introduced as a small, inexpensive hatchback that has grown in size throughout its lifetime. Now in its ninth generation, the only buyers who are likely to see a difference between todays Civic and its predecessors are current Civic owners.

An increase in size is a welcome change for 2012, however it looks are notably similar to the last generation- moderately dull, but I doubt loyal Civic fans will care. Its current model lineup consists of sedans, coupes, a hybrid and a sporty Si with each mainstream version offering a number of trim levels to suit just about every budget.

Body Styles, Trims & Options
The 2012 Honda Civic is available in a sedan and coupe body style. A VTEC® 1.8L 4-cylinder is the standard engine of choice in both the sedan and the coupe which produces 140-hp and achieves an EPA rating of 28mpg city and 39mpg highway. If you yearn for more power, the sportier Si sedan and coupe both offer a 2.4L VTEC®, 201-hp engine that loves to rev while delivering impressive fuel economy with 22city/31highway. Every Civic features an innovative ECON button that allows the vehicle to adjust its functions to maximize fuel efficiency when selected. The ECON button, coupled with the standard ECO Assist™ fuel economy gauge also helps you squeeze every mile out of a single tank of gas.

The Civic HF offers the same fuel efficient 1.8L 4-cylinder engine as the rest of the line-up but receives an aerodynamic spoiler, unique alloy wheels with low rolling resistance tires and a lower ride with exclusive wind-cheating underbody panels. These subtle differences allow the HF to achieve a higher fuel economy rating of 29city/41highway.

Hybrid models offer an even higher fuel economy rating topping out at 44city/44highway via a 1.5L VTEC® engine coupled with a high-output electric motor. The Hybrid also now features a lithium-ion battery in lieu of a nickel-metal hydride battery. The Natural Gas model offers a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine that delivers 27city/38highway, but it can only be refueled at a natural-gas station. You can visit the US Department of Energy or CNPrices.com for a listing of natural-gas locations.

In lieu of offering traditional options or option packages, Honda marks upgrades in equipment with a different model designation resulting in 26 different models or trim levels available. The Hybrid, HF, and Natural Gas models list of standard features are similar to that of the regular sedan or coupe, depending on chosen trim level within that models category. A navigation system with voice activated controls and a satellite radio with real-time traffic updates are available on all models except for the DX and LX. Every Civic even allows you to add your own personal touch with customizable wallpaper images on the multi-information display.

Standard equipment found on DX models includes 15-inch alloy wheels, power windows, auto-off head lamps and a one-piece fold-down rear seat. The midrange LX model offers more amenities such as body-color door handles, power mirrors and door locks, keyless entry, AC, cruise, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a four-speaker audio system with single disc CD player and auxiliary/USB input jacks. Stepping up to the EX will add a standard power moonroof, Bluetooth®, a 60/40 split rear seat, a 6-speaker sounds system, outside temperature gauge and 16-inch alloy wheels. The top of the line EX-L adds heated outside mirrors, auto on/off headlamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather trimmed interior seating with heated front seats.

The Si sedan and coupe both offer standard 17-inch alloy wheels, a limited-slip front differential, a sport tuned suspension, fog lights, front and rear spoilers and a chrome exhaust tip. Interior features are similar to that of the EX model and also adds front sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an aluminum shift knob, red backlit gauges and a power monitor display.

Safety:
Standard Vehicle Stability Assist™ senses oversteer and understeer and then adjusts brake pressure at each wheel and/or engine power in order to help restore driver control of the vehicle. Other standard features include 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, a tire pressure monitoring system, frontal air bags and front and side-curtain airbags. Its unique body structure also utilizes a network of connected structural elements that distribute frontal crash energy more evenly throughout the front of the vehicle in the event of a frontal collision.

Warranty Information:
Every new Honda Civic is covered by a 3 year/36,000 mile New Vehicle Limited warranty; 5 year/60,000 mile Limited Powertrain warranty; Accessory Limited Warranty for 3 years/36,000 miles; Replacement Parts warranty for 1 year; a 5 year/Unlimited mile Limited Corrosion warranty; and a 15-year/150,000 mile emissions warranty. All Hybrid models have a limited Battery-Pack Warranty which may vary.

MSRP:

Trim MSRP
DX Sedan $15,805
LX Sedan $17,855
EX Sedan $20,505
EX-L Sedan $21,955
EX Sedan with Honda Satellite Linked Nav. $22,005
EX-L Sedan with Honda Satellite Linked Nav. $23,455
DX Coupe $15,605
LX Coupe $17,655
EX Coupe $19,705
EX-L Coupe $21,955
EX Coupe with Honda Satellite Linked Nav. $22,005
EX-L Coupe with Honda Satellite Linked Nav. $23,455
Si Sedan $22,405
Si Sedan with Summer Tires $22,605
Si Sedan with Honda Satellite Linked Nav. $23,905
Si Coupe $22,205
Si Coupe with Summer Tires $22,405
Si Coupe with Honda Satellite Linked Nav. $23,705
Si Coupe with Honda Satellite Linked Nav. & Summer Tires $23,905
HF $19,455
Hybrid $24,050
Hybrid with Leather $25,250
Hybrid with Honda Satellite Linked Nav. $25,550
Hybrid with Leather & Honda Satellite Linked Nav. $26,750
Natural Gas $26,155
Natural Gas with Honda Satellite Linked Nav. $27,655

Christine is a Contributing Editor at DriverPulse, a provider of online automotive editorial reviews and news. She is also an Account Manager and Head of Client Services for Nusani Media. She drinks a lot of coffee, loves to drive (manual, of course) and enjoys the company of her dog. She spends her free time exploring the great outdoors, painting and volunteering at her local animal shelter. Her passion for cars started at an early age. While most little girls were playing with dolls, she was playing with matchbox cars and watching her grandfather work on his prized Fords. She believes a vehicle should not only give you goosebumps while speeding around the circuit, its design should be purpose focused and elicit a pure emotional response. Her dream car, the Porsche Carrara GT, may not be easy to control however it is the perfect definition of form following function; mind blowing performance and beauty.

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