2012 Honda Civic debuts at Detroit Auto Show

I don’t often show pre-production vehicles, but the “concept” label on the upcoming Honda Civic is a title for titles’ sake.  In reality, the car shown here will be released as-is to consumers in the Spring of this year.  Replacing the 2006-2011 model, the new Civic has a lot to work for.  Between its release and today, the current generation Civic has a lot more, and a lot better, competition.  Cars like the new Ford Focus, Hyundai’s Elantra and Chevrolet’s Cruze all bring more to the table.  Click past the jump to see my first impressions, pictures and the press release.

The current-generation car is a forward-looking, safe, efficient car.  I owned a 2008 Civic Sedan, which I put almost 15,000 miles on.  In that time, I was consistently impressed with the fit and finish, build quality and overall efficiency of the car, as well as its interior design, seat comfort, and driving dynamics.  While it was no “corner carver,” it held its own on the road, and returned phenomenal fuel mileage no matter the situation.

The new car is an evolution of this, with a more fuel-efficient engine, additional safety equipment, and more technology.  While official EPA numbers are not yet available, I’d expect the manual transmission-equipped Civic sedan to achieve 29/38 city/highway MPGs, with automatics getting 27/37 MPGs.  Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) will be standard, which will help mitigate errant driving maneuvers.  Honda hasn’t said what specifically will be available technology-wise, but given the current model’s available navigation and radio options, expect Bluetooth, iPod/MP3 player connectivity and other infotainment features.

Viewing the concept car, the car very closely resembles the current-generation car, but gives a much sportier presentation, even in non-Si trim.  While the wheel choices may change and the tinted taillights will probably be more clear, the rest looks production-ready.  Less drab slabs of metal adorn the sides of the car, and the front and rear bumpers show more character as well.  Overall, a more swoopy appearance is visible from the concept photos.

The new Civic goes on sale sometime this coming Spring, so look back for pricing information closer to its official release.

Show Press Release

by John Suit

Source: Honda

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