Redesign: 2012 Honda Civic

2012 Honda Civic Hybrid

The current-generation Honda Civic has been on sale since 2005 as a 2006 model.  That’s a long time for any car to go without a full redesign, the 2009 visual changes not withstanding.  For 2009, the main changes were the front and rear bumpers, as well as a new wheel design.  For the 2012 model, it was expected that Honda would release a fully new design.  Based on the pictures, Honda is playing it safe with their new bread-and-butter commuter car.  Read on for more details, pictures and the full press release from Honda.

2012 Honda Civic Si Sedan

Instead of a new design, the 2012 Civic is more evolutionary than revolutionary, keeping a lot of the same aerodynamic sheet metal the current car is known for.  The new car has some more sculpting from front to rear, making for a less drab appearance all around.  From the front view, the bulbous rear taillamps have a Toyota Corolla-esque appearance, which detracts from the overall design.

 

2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe

Those same taillamps, when actually viewed from the back, looks like a cross between a Honda CRX and a Scion tC, which gives the car a large rear.

Meanwhile, the extra scalloping on the doors adds a lot of visual appeal over the outgoing model.  Overall, I give the design a thumbs up, but it fails to really capture my attention.  The America-only Coupe, however, benefits the most from the new design.

 

2012 Honda Civic EX-L Sedan with navigation interior

Inside, the new Civic shows quite a bit of focus, mostly on the driver.  The driver-oriented cockpit angles the instruments and navigation display towards the driver, which reminds me a lot of the early-90s Mercury Cougar, albeit with 21st-century technology.

 

The two-level digital dashboard grows up, with more detailed instruments and what appears to be a secondary display between the speedometer and navigation display.  Hopefully we’ll see more information about this secondary display as the Civic gets closer to launch.

2012 Honda Civic EX Coupe

Along with the sheetmetal and interior changes, the new Civic gets new fuel economy numbers.  For base and HF models, the highway fuel economy is supposed to be 41 and 39 mpg, respectively.  The sporty Si model gets a new (for it) 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, which is the same one out of the base Accord, achieving 200 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque.  While the horsepower hasn’t increased, the torque has, by 22 percent, while still sipping fuel to the tune of 31 mpg on the highway.  This last number isn’t all that impressive, especially considering the 2011 Ford Mustang V6 is EPA-rated at 31 mpg on the highway, when equipped with its automatic transmission.

 

Finally, a new Civic has bowed.  Whether or not it continues its great success is still to be seen, with ever more competitive rivals from Ford, GM, Hyundai and Kia.  At least Honda is continuing the base, HF, Si, and Hybrid models, with coupe versions of the base and Si.

Show Press Release

by John Suit

Source: Honda

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6 Responses to “Redesign: 2012 Honda Civic”


  • Overall apperance is pretty good, but that digital speedo (same as in the older models) makes me very hesitant to buy this vehicle.It just looks ugly and causes a distraction while driving.

  • You’d be surprised … the upper-level speedometer keeps your eyes on the road more, since you don’t have to glance down to see how fast you’re going. In addition, it’s more accurate than analog speedometers. I would test drive it before dismissing the Civic altogether.

    -John

  • I actually like the the two tier dash with the digital speedometer (only real drawback is the cars next to you can actually see your speed at nite). While, I still think the old Civic was a pretty good car–I’m a bit underwhelmed as with the delay in the introduction and the fact that Honda has had 6 years to work on this car it really is nothing revolutionary both styling wise and engineering wise (other than the eco-tech) there really is nothing new here with same old dated, uncompetitive 5 speed auto, the same old 1.8 v-tech with no new tecnology.Honda really needs to spend more money on its R &D and get new design studios as it no longer produces the bench mark cars that it at one time produced. If Honda continues to plod along Hyundai/Kia possibly even Ford will eventually have the class benchmarks.

  • I test drove a new Elantra which I rented for one day from Budget rentals. It was one of my choices and I’m darn glad that I was able to find this at a rental outlet. The Elantra had 6000km (3600m.) and that car crashed the bumps and broken pavement like a toy. The front seats were unbearably uncomfortable and the ride and handling was rather poor. I drove it to a local Honda dealer to test drive the 2012 Civic which I purchased on-the-spot. There is no comparison here, Honda is #1

  • @carlover

    Sure you will probably find keyless entry, bigger engines, cvt transmissions on kia or hyndias but they are not nearly as reliable or efficient. None of the features that are mentioned are necessary or useful on cars. Only the cvt transmission is helpful for hybrids. But Honda will continue to lead the way by creating the most reliable car on the road.

  • I actually like the two tier dash as well but the exterior styling looks horrible IMO. I hope the 2013-2014 Si looks much better than this.

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