Used 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas

2012 Honda Civic
List price range
2012 Honda Civic

Pros

  • Wide variety of powertrains
  • comfortable and composed ride
  • good fuel economy
  • spacious interior
  • available coupe body style.

Cons

  • Excessive wind noise
  • cheap interior plastics
  • busy-looking dash with navigation
  • small trunks in Hybrid and Natural Gas models.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The all-new 2012 Honda Civic remains a strong contender in the compact car category, but other new models now effectively match the Civic and threaten its traditional dominance in the marketplace.

vehicle overview

For a new compact car to stand out in an increasingly competitive category, you'd think it should offer more than just a few subtle improvements. So we find ourselves in a rather unfamiliar position with the redesigned 2012 Honda Civic.

For years, the lineup of Civic models has been so much better than the competition that it has been a no-brainer to recommend one of these cars. But in the last few years, competing automakers have introduced some very impressive small cars. So while the ninth-generation Honda Civic is a very good and likable automobile, we have to wonder if the subtle changes to its design and engineering features will be enough to sustain its class supremacy. These days, even the least expensive models from competitive brands offer reliable powertrains, advanced safety features, top-quality interior materials and high-tech options.

To Honda's credit, the changes to the new Civic are welcome, even if they don't exactly leap out at you. Fuel economy remains pretty much the same as before for most Civic models, but there's a new Civic HF variant that's rated for 41 mpg highway. Fuel efficiency and power are improved for the Civic hybrid model as well, while the Civic Natural Gas remains the only factory-made car to be so fueled. As for the sporty Civic Si, it gets a new 2.4-liter engine that produces a welcome boost in torque compared to last year's 2.0-liter.

In terms of features, stability control is now standard throughout the model lineup. Other upgrades for 2012 include more interior room (3 inches of additional shoulder room up front and another 1.6 inches of rear legroom), and a few new technology features such as a 5-inch information display, the increased availability of iPod connectivity and an economy mode designed to help deliver maximum mpg.

Considering these improvements, the 2012 Honda Civic is still a solid pick with which buyers of compact cars will be pleased. But it's no longer the only game in town. We'd recommend test-driving this new Civic back to back with new competing models like the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze, 2012 Ford Focus and 2012 Hyundai Elantra. All three provide excellent fuel economy, and each holds selective advantages over the Civic in terms of interior design, feature content and value. The Civic Hybrid is pretty much in a class by itself, though you could also consider the equally frugal 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI. Meanwhile, gearheads lusting for some sport should also test the 2012 Mazdaspeed 3, 2012 Mini Cooper S and 2012 Volkswagen GTI.

2012 Honda Civic configurations

The 2012 Honda Civic is a compact car offered in both coupe and sedan body styles. Mainstream models are offered in four trim levels, ranging from the base DX, to the midrange LX and EX and the top-of-the-line EX-L.

Entry-level DX models come equipped with 15-inch steel wheels, auto-off headlights, intermittent windshield wipers, a rear window defroster, power windows, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a one-piece fold-down rear seatback. Stepping up to the LX model gets you more features that buyers expect, including body-color door handles, power mirrors and door locks, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, floor mats, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary/USB audio inputs.

A new fuel-efficient HF sedan starts out with standard features similar to those of the LX sedan, then adds a few upgrades designed to deliver maximum mpg. These include low-rolling-resistance tires and aerodynamic cast-aluminum wheels, wind-cheating underbody panels and a rear spoiler.

Besides its different fuel, the Civic Natural Gas adds to the LX equipment 15-inch alloy wheels, variable intermittent windshield wipers and Bluetooth. The EX model adds or supplants those extras with 16-inch alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, auto-on/off headlights, a sunroof, 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks, an outside temperature display and a premium seven-speaker sound system. The EX-L model adds leather upholstery, heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The Civic Hybrid sedan is available in two trim levels. The base model's list of standard features is similar to the mainstream EX sedan, with the addition of 15-inch alloy wheels and low-rolling-resistance tires, outside mirrors with built-in turn signals, LED taillights, a rear spoiler and a 160-watt, six-speaker stereo. The top-of-the-line "Leather" trim level adds extras found on the regular EX-L including heated mirrors, leather upholstery and heated front seats.

The sporty Si coupe and sedan come in a single trim level that includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a bigger engine, a limited-slip front differential, a sport-tuned suspension, foglights, front and rear spoilers and a chrome exhaust tip. Inside upgrades include most of the items from the EX model's standard features list plus front sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an aluminum shift knob, red backlit gauges, a special Power Monitor display.

A navigation system with voice controls, satellite radio and real-time traffic updates is optional on all but the DX and LX.

2012 Highlights

The 2012 Honda Civic has been fully redesigned. Highlights include mild styling updates, improved fuel economy and more power for the Si model.

Performance & mpg

The front-wheel-drive 2012 Honda Civic is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 140 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual and an available five-speed automatic (HF and EX models get the automatic as standard equipment). This combination returns EPA fuel economy estimates ranging from a low of 28 mpg city/36 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined in mainstream versions equipped with a manual transmission to a high of 29/41/33 in the HF model. In Edmunds performance testing, a Civic EX-L went from zero to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds -- an average time for this segment.

The Civic Natural Gas features a version of the same 1.8-liter engine powered by, as its name suggests, natural gas. It produces only 110 hp and 106 lb-ft of torque, however. A five-speed automatic is standard. EPA-estimated fuel economy is the gasoline equivalent of 27/38/31 mpg.

The Civic Hybrid gets a larger 1.5-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine and a more powerful electric motor for 2012, a combination that's good for 110 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard. In Edmunds testing, it hit 60 mph in 10.1 seconds -- on par with most economy hybrids. Not surprisingly, this powertrain is the most fuel-efficient of the bunch, with EPA numbers of 44/44/44, an increase of 3 mpg over the outgoing model.

The Civic Si's engine also grows in displacement to 2.4 liters, which bumps output to 201 hp and 170 lb-ft. A six-speed manual is the only transmission offered. Despite this increased punch, EPA fuel economy estimates are still quite decent at 22/31/25. In Edmunds testing, an Si coupe hit 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which is on par with the Mini Cooper S and VW GTI but slower than the Mazdaspeed 3 and Subaru WRX.

Safety

The 2012 Honda Civic comes with standard safety features that include stability control, antilock brakes (four-wheel discs with the EX and Si), front-seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the Civic EX-L came to a stop from 60 mph in a longish 131 feet, with prevalent brake fade. The Hybrid was a bit better with a stop of 124 feet, while the Si's brakes performed much better, with a stop of 120 feet and much less fade.

In government crash testing, the Civic sedan received a perfect five stars in the overall, frontal and side crash categories. The Civic coupe received four stars in each. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Civic sedan the highest possible rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.

Driving

Although the changes to the 2012 Honda Civic aren't radical, this is still one of the better-driving cars in its class. Both the coupe and sedan use shorter wheelbases than their predecessors and feel well-balanced and light on their feet. Power from the 1.8-liter engine is certainly adequate when fueled by gasoline; the Natural Gas is very slow. However, the automatic transmission's propensity to upshift early can be annoying. Wind noise is also a problem with the Civic, as it's noticeably louder than its competitors. This makes the Civic seem less refined on lengthy highway trips, despite one of the most comfortable and composed rides in the class.

The 2012 Honda Civic Si is still a fun car to drive. Refined suspension tuning, improved electric-assist power steering and additional torque at lower rpm give it a sharp attitude in and out of corners. But from a performance standpoint, it continues to be outclassed by the more muscular Mazdaspeed 3.

Interior

Interior changes are very minor for the 2012 Honda Civic. The two-tier dash display carries over but now includes a 5-inch monitor that displays information for audio, hands-free phone use and various vehicle systems. The cabin has picked up a tad more passenger room, and it's most noticeable for front seat sedan passengers who have more shoulder and elbow room, and seat adjustability. The trunk has also grown, offering a total of 11.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity in the coupe and 12.5 cubic feet in the sedan. The hybrid models sacrifice trunk space to the battery pack, leaving 10.7 cubic feet. The large fuel tank needed for the Natural Gas model curtails trunk space even further.

Most controls are well-placed, and the keypads and menu buttons on the steering wheel are intuitive enough for anyone who's spent time with a smartphone. But it's an overload of input sources; there can be up to 14 buttons and directional commands on the steering wheel alone, and the dash design that features the navigation system looks quite busy. Also the extensive use of low-budget hard plastics makes the cabin feel cheap, especially compared to competitors that have invested in upgraded materials for their interiors.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2012 Honda Civic.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

great car so far for first 5 weeks
yarruhs,11/18/2012
I thoroughly enjoy this car. The fuel economy is far better than i expected. I have gotten as high as 40 mpg , and with each gallon of natural gas costing $2.05 , this has translated into an mpg equivalent of gasoline of 80 mpg ((when gas is at $4.00 for unleaded gas). I am waiting for the diamond lane sticker which will save me at least 10 minutes each way to and from work. One thing to note is in California there are many natural gas stations. The lowest price stations are the actual gas companies at 2.05 per gallon. Others will charge as high as $2.99 which is 33% more
Well built, reliable, stellar mpg.
genegenre,07/06/2015
2012 Civic NG bought new for 21k fall 2013 (dealer left over), sold for 6k end of 2015 with 229,000 miles. Used as a courier delivery vehicle on 3-700 mile per day routes. Hwy mileage through hilly western PA driving 60-80mph averaged 45mpg annually (mind you this is long range hwy driving). Mixed 50/50 city hwy around 35, city low 20's. Best was hypermiling round trip through flat Ohio in summer, 58mph, no AC; dash read 61mpge but actual trip miles divided by gge at station (same pump similar psi) was over 63mpge. That's 63 miles on $1.90 worth of fuel! Total maintenance and repair history for the nearly quarter million miles entails; Full synth oil/filter changes every 25k miles. (oil analysis three times by Black Stone Labs indicated oil was nearing end of life at 25k). I try to change both fuel filters at 40k. Rear easy, front used breaker bar and housing bent rather than loosened. Cost to replace the housing part only was over $600!!! It was essentially a glorified canister not very robust either. F U Honda! Manual says change rear every 30k and front every 15k is factually inaccurate. I did a drain on rear every 15, change rear at 30 and front every 60k and both filters were nearing end of life. Dealer charges $80 labor for front and my local guy charges $15 because it takes 10 minutes. Drivers side wheel bearing started to go bad at 60k miles likely because of tires kept at 44psi. Wheel bearing changed at 103k, tires deflated to 34psi and no further issues... Timing and plugs at dealer at 125k miles. Vehicle began idling poorly and mpg drops 10%. Took to local mechanic and had timing again and solved problem. Transmission changed every 100k miles, coolant never changed. Both low beams and one high beam replaced at some point towards the end. Sold car at 229,xxx miles with no other issues. If I had taken to local mechanic for front fuel filter change and kept tires at normal levels, I'm guessing there wouldn't have been any issues. The interior is a little cheap but is comfy and controls are intuitive. Seat comfort is middling although not nearly as bad as the 2016 I bought afterward which I had to sell after ten months because I was in such pain driving it. The engine really struggles up hills and jerky down shifts to maintain speed but the flip side is impressive fuel economy even for a Civic. Overall this is a great car if you have adequate filling stations around you. The 8gge tank realistically holds 7-7.5gge and as little as 6.5 gallons if temps are sub freezing or your station happens to not work correctly which happens relatively often. I have been stranded more than once because cold weather or lack of maintenance at stations. Hope this helps!
Lowest cost per mile.
genegenre,06/11/2013
The car is quiet, comfortable, lots of leg and rear seat leg room. Trunk is shallow but tall and will fit two small suit cases. Very areodynamic and does well in strong cross winds, is light weight (2848lbs. for the CNG) yet steering is a little heavy but not that bad! Few minor quirks; the radio volume isn't loud enough to hear clearly (on max) when playing classical music, miles 'til zero range indicator fluctuates and settles esp the first half tank, trunk squeaks, car sputters when you first start it and hesitates when initially pressing the gas. As well it frequently acts like it's in neutral when you come to a stop so will roll backwards slightly on a hill. No coolant temp guage! Update. I sold this car at 230k miles (used as a courier delivery vehicle) and I only had to do basic maintenance fluids filters, tires, I did have it timed at 125k. Original brake pads with 30% life left... 230,000 miles! I bought a 2016 Civic and it's not nearly as soft a ride. Firm suspension while a thrill to drive (and the car is much better generally than the previous generation), it's killing my back and I'll be selling for something softer. The 2012 isn't a looker, it isn't interesting or special to drive. It's just an honest, efficient well built car that needs next to nothing for hundreds of thousands of miles. I'm sad that Honda stopped making the Natural Gas version of the Civic after 2015. With a larger tank in the larger trunk for the 2016 model, I would have likely bought the cng version.
Clean, smooth running car!
jstbnreal,01/02/2014
I've been driving this natural gas car for over a year now and it has turned out to be one of the best investments ever. I have two CNG stations by my home and my tank fills up with $12 and I get anywhere from 200-240 miles per tank. The only bad thing I have notice and have taken my car back to dealer for was the sputtering when you first start the car in the morning. It did hesitate in the morning sometimes, but the dealer did some adjustments and it's all good now. Overall a great comfortable car with great steering/handling. The navigation and stereo is GREAT!! The carpool stickers in rush hour is the BEST part!!! Love this car.
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Features & Specs

MPG
27 city / 38 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
Natural gas (cng)
110 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
27 city / 38 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
Natural gas (cng)
110 hp @ 6500 rpm
See all Used 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat4 / 5
    Back Seat4 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover11.8%

More about the 2012 Honda Civic
More About This Model

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.

And competition in this segment moves fast. The redesigned 2012 Ford Focus and the 2011 Hyundai Elantra offer comparable fuel economy, more power and a better interior. The Chevrolet Cruze is quieter, while the Mazda 3 can match the Civic's responsive handling curve-for-curve. The high-performance Civic Si is still a thrill, but the Mazdaspeed 3 and Volkswagen GTI are both worthy rivals.

Used 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas Overview

The Used 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas is offered in the following styles: Natural Gas 4dr Sedan w/Nav (1.8L 4cyl 5A), and Natural Gas 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas?

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Which used 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gases are available in my area?

Used 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO 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 Natural Gas.

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Should I lease or buy a 2012 Honda Civic?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Honda lease specials
Check out Honda Civic lease specials