Two models offering 40-plus mpg; easy and responsive handling; available high-performance Si coupe.
Cheap interior; lackluster exterior design; incremental power gains over predecessor.
Has it been almost 40 years? Hard to believe, but the 2012 Honda Civic marks the model's ninth generation of production in the United States. From the pint-size hatchback that first showed up amid a historic oil crisis to a lineup full of sedans, coupes and hybrids, the new Civic has always covered the bases: excellent fuel economy, alert handling and solid value.
The 2012 Civic remains one of the most agile compacts around, and the new version now also delivers 41 mpg in fuel-economy (HF) sedan form and 44 mpg as a hybrid. But with the onset of the Civic's middle age, an evolutionary malaise has set in, both inside and out. The hard, dull panels that cover the dash, consoles and doors are better suited to an outdoor adventure vehicle, not a passenger car for city streets or expressways. The 1.8-liter engine delivers 140 horsepower, no more than before. And its exterior skin, while not exactly a liability — after all, BMW 3 Series designs also evolve pretty subtly — distinguishes the Civic neither from its history nor its competition.
The 2012 Honda Civic carries over its powertrain and chassis from the last generation largely unchanged. The output of 140 hp and 128 pound-feet of torque from the 1.8-liter inline-4 engine remains the same, propelling the Civic to 60 mph from a standstill in an underwhelming 9.2 seconds during Edmunds performance testing.
Honda has found better fuel economy with science, including refined aerodynamics and less rolling resistance. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on lower model trims, and it's a slick, hassle-free gearbox to use. Enthusiastic drivers may find it a little too whispery light in its action, but rush-hour commuters will appreciate its light-effort clutch pedal and short, easy shift throws.
Quick electric-assist steering, a civilized degree of body rigidity and a shorter wheelbase make the coupe and sedan sharp handlers. A front strut and multilink rear suspension carry over with only minor enhancements. Drivers seeking maximum thrills will find them in the Civic Si, which uses a larger 2.4-liter engine and six-speed manual to deliver 201 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque — the latter a 22 percent increase. The additional thrust comes on lower in the power band and helps the Si leap out of a corner, yet still poised for the next one. The engine still exhibits its traditional high-revving character, though the broader spread of power improves drivability.
The 10.3-inch front disc brakes combine with 10.2-inch rear discs on the higher coupe and sedan trims, and they prove competent, though they deliver less stopping power than the competition (the lower DX and LX trim levels replace the rear discs with cheaper drum brakes). In Edmunds testing, a 2012 Honda Civic EX-L sedan stopped in 131 feet, a below-average result for this class.
On the other side of the spectrum is the Civic HF, a Honda designation for fuel-economy trim last seen in the U.S. two decades ago. Essentially an LX sedan with the five-speed automatic, the HF gets 41 highway mpg through aerodynamic improvements like a smooth underbody and streamlined wheels.
Hypermilers looking for comfier digs get nudged into the Civic Hybrid, which offers options like leather and navigation. New lithium-ion batteries trim about 20 pounds compared to the old chassis, and in tandem with a continuously variable transmission the Hybrid delivers 44 mpg. Though the suspension shows typical Honda reflexes, the hybrid's leisurely acceleration and grabby brakes don't inspire much driving fervor.
Front and rear passengers benefit from additional leg- and shoulder room in the 2012 Honda Civic. Taller drivers and front passengers will appreciate the 3 inches of additional shoulder room, a wider berth that gives arms and elbows a little more room to roam. Honda's familiar controls that fall easily to hand are unchanged. The Si in particular offers seats bolstered with stiff thigh and torso support.
But the 2012 Civic also carries over another common family trait: noise. Civics have never been particularly quiet, and the new model doesn't deviate from this pattern. Road noise is still accepted by buyers as the price of doing business in the compact market segment, but with competitive models now offering quieter passenger compartments — the Cruze comes to mind — the Civic stands out for its complacent acceptance of this flaw.
A steeply raked windshield creates a massive cowl atop the dashboard that's made of dull industrial-grade plastic and it also wraps around the door panels and flows down the center stack and console. Even the air vents are unusually large. It's a curious selection of interior materials that doesn't fit with the rest of the car's competency — especially in light of competitors offering faux-leather and soft-touch stuff as standard equipment.
Set deep in that asymmetrical cowl is a two-tier dash and driver interface, which now includes a 5-inch color display — intelligent Multi Information Display, or i-MID. This monitors audio, Bluetooth and vehicle information, all controlled through steering wheel buttons and keypads. Opt for a navigation system and you'll have four information zones competing for your attention: digital speedo and i-MID in the top tier and closer to the windshield, and tachometer and nav display below.
Skip the navigation and instead you get an awkward, oversize radio and button array. It's a busy presentation, and the two-tier configuration has never felt quite user-friendly since its introduction on the previous Civic model. The steering wheel keypads and menu buttons navigate through the i-MID, cruise control and hands-free phone functions, and it's easy enough to operate for anyone familiar with smartphone compass controls. But first you'll have to grapple with the 14 buttons and directional commands on the steering wheel alone.
Design/Fit and Finish
The 2012 Honda Civic plays its exterior design close to its predecessor. It's a little more windswept, with a steeper windshield angle, tighter taper to its roof line and pronounced character lines along its sides and flanks. The front fascia is tightened up a bit with a smaller grille and a slightly angrier kink in the headlights. Honda designers say principles of yoga inspired the form.
Who should consider this vehicle
The launch of a new Civic is always an important event. This car is still important to Honda, of course; it's the automaker's second-best-selling car. With an affordable full-featured hybrid (even offering leather upholstery) and a 40-plus mpg sedan, Honda offers two models for those who prioritize fuel efficiency. For those seeking full-tilt compact performance, the Si still squeals with the best.
But the 2012 Honda Civic seemingly has ceded leadership in its class to its rivals. Both the sedan and coupe are still fine cars and worthy selections, of course. Even so, not only has the competition caught up fast, but it is rewriting the class standards.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2012 Honda Civic listings and inventory: Shop Edmunds' used car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million pre-owned vehicles to find a cheap used and certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Honda Civics for sale near Ashburn VA. There are currently 1,792 used and CPO 2012 Civics listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as 5,995 and mileage as low as 0. Simply research the type of used car, SUV, or truck you're interested in and then select a vehicle from our massive database to find cheap pre-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the used 2012 Honda Civic. Then select Edmunds' special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to 450 on a used or CPO 2012 Civic available from one of 2,630 dealerships in your area.
What's a good price on a used 2012 Honda Civic ?
Save up to $300 on one of 125 used 2012 Honda Civics for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, Virginia with prices as low as $6300 as of Apr 26, 2018, based on data from 18 dealers and 114 consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from 1.3 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for used 2012 Honda Civic trim styles:
The used 2012 Honda Civic LX is priced around $10880 with average odometer reading of 74034 miles.
The used 2012 Honda Civic EX-L is priced around $11988 with average odometer reading of 75595 miles.
The used 2012 Honda Civic Si is priced around $13336 with average odometer reading of 68069 miles.
The used 2012 Honda Civic EX is priced around $10558 with average odometer reading of 71173 miles.
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What options are available on the 2012 Honda Civic?
Available Honda Civic 2012 Submodel Types: Hatchback, Sedan, Coupe, Si, Type R Touring, Si w/Navigation, Hybrid, Natural Gas, Si w/Summer Tires
Available Honda Civic 2012 Trims: EX-T, Sport, EX w/Honda Sensing, Sport Touring, Touring, SE, LX, LX-P, EX-L w/Navigation, LX w/Honda Sensing, EX, EX-T w/Honda Sensing, EX-L w/Navigation and Honda Sensing, LX-S, Value Package, Si, EX-L, Si w/Summer Tires, Type R Touring, DX-VP, Si w/Navigation, DX, EX-L w/Honda Sensing, Hybrid, HF, Hybrid w/Leather, Hybrid w/Leather and Navigation, EX Special Edition, GX, HX, Hybrid w/Navigation, Natural Gas, VP
Exterior Colors: Modern Steel Metallic, Aegean Blue Metallic, Lunar Silver Metallic, White Orchid Pearl, Cosmic Blue Metallic, Burgundy Night Pearl, Sonic Gray Pearl, Royal Blue Pearl, Atomic Blue Metallic, Nighthawk Black Pearl, Galaxy Gray Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Kona Coffee Metallic, Tango Red Pearl, Alabaster Silver Metallic, Dyno Blue Pearl, Satin Silver Metallic, Urban Titanium Metallic, Eternal Blue Pearl, Polished Metal Metallic, Satin Silver, Opal Silver Blue Metallic, Rallye Red, Energy Green Pearl, Orange Fire Pearl, Cool Mist Metallic, Magnesium Metallic, Championship White, Shoreline Mist Metallic, Taffeta White, Vogue Silver Metallic, Borrego Beige Metallic, Clover Green, Cypress Green Pearl Metallic, Fiji Blue Pearl, Flamenco Black Pearl, Radiant Ruby Pearl, Clover Green Pearl, Crimson Pearl, Adriatic Blue Pearl Metallic, Flint Gray Metallic, Frost White, Habanero Red Pearl, Magnetic Pearl, Milano Red, Sunburst Orange Pearl, Titanium Metallic, Woodland Green Pearl Metallic
Interior Colors: Black cloth, Black leather, Ivory cloth, Black/Gray cloth, Black/Ivory cloth, Gray cloth, Black/Red premium cloth, Gray, Black/Gray leather, Black/Ivory leather, Ivory leather, Beige leather, Ivory, Beige cloth, Black, Black premium cloth, Stone cloth, Blue cloth, Red/Black Suede-Effect Fabric suede/cloth, Gray leather, Beige
Popular Features: Back-up camera, Keyless Entry/Start, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Remote Start, Blind Spot Monitoring, Post-collision safety system, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-collision safety system, Power Driver Seat, Upgraded Headlights, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Tire Pressure Warning, Trip Computer, Alarm, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Aux Audio Inputs, USB Inputs, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Sunroof/Moonroof, Bluetooth, Heated seats, Leather Seats, Navigation, Auto Climate Control
The used 2012 Honda Civic is offered in the following submodels: Hybrid, Natural Gas, Sedan, Si, Coupe. Available styles include LX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A), EX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A), and LX 2dr Coupe (1.8L 4cyl 5A). Pre-owned Civic models are available with a 0-liter gas engine, with output up to 0 hp, depending on engine type. The used 2012 Civic comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic.