• Feb 17th 2011 at 4:10PM
  • 31
2012 Honda Civic Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

That's right, this is the 2012 Honda Civic in all its glory. Though it might be difficult to tell with just a casual glance, this Civic is brand-new, sharing practically nothing but its moniker with the previous generation. As much as we may have liked some additional visual flair, it seems Honda is being conservative and aiming right for the heart of the market with five separate and distinct flavors of its compact offering, each of which offers a notable improvement in fuel efficiency.

We'll start with the all-new HF model, which, as you may have guessed, is the most fuel efficient of the non-hybridized Civics that will be available in the United States. Honda expects the HF, with its 1.8-liter i-VTEC engine, to earn EPA-estimated fuel economy of 41 miles per gallon on the highway. The HF will share its aerodynamics package with the returing Civic Hybrid, which manages a combined rating of 45 mpg (a four-mpg improvement over the outgoing Civic Hybrid) thanks to its lithium-ion battery – a Honda-first – and 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine and CVT transmission. There's also a natural gas-powered Civic GX.

While those two models aim for the ultimate in fuel efficiency, we imagine that the standard Sedan and Coupe models will make up the bulk of sales. Buyers will find a 1.8-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine underhood with 140 horsepower that scores an EPA-estimated 39 mpg on the highway (a three-mpg improvement over the last Civic). The Civic soldiers on with a five-speed automatic at a time when most of its competitors are packing six ratios.

And then, of course, there's the sporty Si model. As the Civic that's meant to steal the hearts of performance lovers, it's nice to see a new 2.4-liter powerplant with 200 horsepower mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. Perhaps more importantly, the larger mill pumps out 170 pound-feet of torque, a 22-percent increase over the outgoing twist-starved Si. All that and an additional two mpg on the highway (31 mpg estimated) ought to make for a reasonably fun everyday commuter.

And now to the styling. We'll start off on a positive note: the 2012 Honda Civic is not ugly. Problem is, it's also not hugely attractive. In fact, *yawn* it's not really anything. Both inside and out, this latest Civic is barely distinguishable from the previous generation, and as competitors continue pushing their design envelope forward, well... we really expect more these days. Let's hope the driving dynamics live up to our lofty expectations, and let's also hope that Honda accidentally left the shipping blocks in the cars it used for photography – particularly the Si models – or the new model looks a bit high-riding.

In any case, you don't have to take our word for it. See the 2012 Civic for yourself in our high-res image gallery below and feel free to peruse the full press release after the break.

2012 Honda Civic
  • 2012 Honda Civic
  • 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe front 3/4

  • 2012 Honda Civic
  • 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe rear 3/4

  • 2012 Honda Civic
  • 2012 Honda Civic Si Sedan front 3/4

  • 2012 Honda Civic
  • 2012 Honda Civic Si Sedan rear 3/4

  • 2012 Honda Civic
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid front 3/4

  • 2012 Honda Civic
  • 2012 Honda Civic sedan front 3/4

  • 2012 Honda Civic
  • 2012 Honda Civic coupe front 3/4

  • 2012 Honda Civic
  • 2012 Honda Civic EX-L Sedan with navigation interior

  • 2012 Honda Civic
  • 2012 Honda Civic HF badge

[Source: Honda]
Show full PR text
All-New 2012 Honda Civic Emphasizes Style, Fuel Economy and Performance
Two models offer 40+ mpg

02/17/2011 - TORRANCE, Calif.

Featuring the widest array of engine choices available in its class, the 2012 Civic is designed to even better meet the diverse needs of the compact-vehicle buyer when it launches this spring. The entire redesigned ninth-generation Civic lineup will become more fuel efficient with two models – the all-new Civic HF and the Civic Hybrid – each delivering fuel economy estimates of more than 40 mpg on the highway.

Built on the tradition of Honda fuel efficiency, the economical Civic HF model will be the most fuel-efficient gasoline-only powered Civic in the lineup when it launches this spring. Equipped with a 1.8-liter i-VTEC engine, the Civic HF is targeted to earn EPA-estimated fuel economy1 of 41 mpg on the highway. The 2012 Civic Hybrid, which will be outfitted for the first time with a lithium-ion battery and a larger 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine, is expected to achieve an EPA-estimated city/highway combined fuel economy1 of 45 mpg, an improvement of 4 mpg compared to the current Civic Hybrid. Both the Civic HF and Civic Hybrid models will be equipped with aerodynamic components for improved efficiency and Honda ECO Assist™ technology, an innovation that can enhance efficient vehicle operation while providing feedback to promote more efficient individual driving styles.

"The Civic is the only model in the industry that can deliver on all fronts – fuel economy, sporty performance, smart packaging, alternative fuel and long-term value," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda Motor Co.,Inc. "For the ninth-generation Civic, we are emphasizing improved fuel economy across the board, from the hybrid sedan to the sporty Si model."

In addition to the Civic HF and Civic Hybrid models, the Civic Sedan, Civic Coupe and Civic GX Natural Gas models are also estimated to achieve improved fuel economy compared to the current models. The Civic Sedan and Civic Coupe achieve an EPA-estimated fuel economy2 of 39 mpg on the highway, an improvement of 3 mpg when compared to the current model. The Civic Natural Gas vehicle is anticipated to earn a 7 percent improvement in fuel economy compared to the current model. The Civic Sedan, Civic Coupe and Civic Natural Gas models will all be equipped with the Honda ECO Assist technology.

Along with improved fuel economy, the new Civic lineup also delivers more performance, particularly with the Civic Si. The Civic Si sedan and coupe models will be equipped with a larger, more powerful 2.4-liter engine as well as a new 6-speed manual transmission. The new engine is anticipated to deliver 200 horsepower with 170 ft-lb of torque. Even with the larger engine and a 22 percent increase in torque, Civic Si is targeted to achieve an EPA-estimated highway fuel economy1 of 31 mpg; an increase of 2 mpg when compared to the current model.

The 2012 Civic lineup includes a sedan and a coupe with conventional gasoline models, a new "HF" high fuel economy version, two sporty "Si" performance versions, along with one hybrid and a natural gas alternative-fuel variant.
Additional information on the new 2012 Civic will be announced closer to the on-sale date. For more information on the current Civic and other Honda models, please visit www.hondanews.com.

Civic HF, Sedan, Coupe and Natural Gas Specifications

* 140 horsepower, 1.8-liter i-VTEC™ 4-cylinder engine
* 5-speed automatic transmission
* ECO Assist technology
* EPA-estimated Civic HF highway fuel economy: 41 mpg
* EPA-estimated Civic Sedan and Civic Coupe highway fuel economy: 39 mpg

Civic Hybrid Specifications

* 110 horsepower, 1.5-liter i-VTEC™ 4-cylinder engine (combined gasoline + electric)
* Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
* Lithium-ion battery
* ECO Assist technology
* EPA-estimated Civic Hybrid city/highway combined fuel economy: 45 mpg

Civic Si Specifications

* 200 horsepower and 170 lb-ft, 2.4-liter i-VTEC™ 4-cylinder engine
* 6-speed manual transmission
* EPA-estimated Civic Si highway fuel economy: 31 mpg

1Preliminary EPA mileage estimates determined by Honda. Final EPA mileage estimates not available at the time of printing. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

2Based on 2012 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Baby steps, baby steps....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well let me tell you this is the biggest load of crap ever I build these vehicles in Aliston. I can tell you that they are using far cheaper parts in this model as well as have made no and I mean no change to their engine or mileage. They are going to try and sell this crap for about $3000 more then the previous model and are not changing their warranty's to compete with other manufacturers. Do your self a favor and buy a Hyundai or something instead anyone can beat a Honda warranty, and the Elantra is a very nice car.

      Thank you all for your time,

      A person concerned with Honda screwing people.
      • 4 Years Ago
      http://www.energyjustice.net/lfg If you look up the specifics, it begins to sound more and more like GM is simply looking for cheaper energy for themselves... and trying to pass it off as green. But what do I know? Do the research.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What happened to the 2012 Civic concept at the detroit auto show???


      What kind of automaker makes a good looking concept for absolutely no reason and then just a few weeks later releases the ACTUAL model, looking plain and awful?

      A civic SI has 200 HP and gets 31 MPG highway? WEAK!....a 305 hp mustang gets the same! Hmmmmm.

      The last couple years honda has BLOWN. Even their blown engines blow. I'd like them if they got with the times.
        • 4 Years Ago
        have fun in your MusTANK trying to squeeze out 31mpg coasting down hill with a tail wind.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's interesting.
        in comparisons of the Sonata to the Accord, so far the Accord with it's old recycled antiquated, outdated, left behind engine and transmission...the Accord bested the Sonata's mileage in the test.

        Sorry, I don't fall for the DI hype.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually the main styling elements are exactly the same. They just changed the bumpers a bit and the wheels.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree with you about the Civic SI.
        If only it had a Hyundai Sonata DI engine swap.. it would be pulling 22/35mpg and getting 18ft-lb of torque more at an even lower RPM.

        Honda is no longer tops in engine development. The k24 is a recycled engine. And it may be better than the outgoing k20, but we all know it could be a hell of a lot better.

        Though.. i am sure that the Civic SI has far less relaxed gearing than the Sonata. But still.. Honda can do better if they put their engineering teams to it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      People seem to forget that Honda made the first hybrid that sold for a little more than 20K and got a solid 60 MPG which beats the Prius.

      I really like the styling of the Hondas but have been disappointed since then w/ the MPG.

      This offering looks good IMO.
        • 4 Years Ago
        So you're saying they squandered the opportunity, sounds about right...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, the Insight I was the first hybrid in the US but the JDM NHW10 Prius came first and never made it here. The US got the NHW11.

        Yeah, it really is a shame about Honda's hybrid offerings since the Insight I.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Probably because they stopped making the damn thing.

        They should really bring that car back.
        They could have been taking sales from the Prius this whole time if they really promoted it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I like the original insight as well, but Honda never wanted to sell many, it was more of a Halo car, reportedly the all aluminum bodied little car, cost much more to build than it sold for.
      • 4 Years Ago
      For once in the last 7 years, i am impressed with Honda.

      HF Model = GREAT option for those who can't afford a hybrid, glad they brought back the HF!

      Hybrid = Sounds like it doesn't suck as bad anymore.. um, wow! 1.5L should bring decent acceleration as well, and lithium is a very smart choice. Let us hope the engineering is improved on this one.

      Coupe/Sedan = Hopefully this isn't the same ol' 1.8L with some tweaks, they are going to need dual VVT and/or direct injection to be competitive.

      SI = There is no replacement for displacement. That K24 is going to rock in that car.

      Well, this sucks. I can't hate Honda as much now.
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is the final straw. Honda needs to hire the Kia design studio as Honda has yet to release any new models with impressively attractive styling. The sedan looks like a mild refresh of the previous generation and the coupe looks like the old Acura RSX (not a terrible design but its a bit dated for 2012). The styling is not going to impress anyone at all. The only meaningful improvement was adding the 2.4 engine to the SI (but then again this in no new technology as it is just the same engine used in the TSX and once again the SI will find itself being underpowered when compared to its competition (ie. the WRX, Mazdaspeed, Focus (will have a 240 hp turbo)--all of these cars will have more power and more torque at lower rpms than the SI). All in all, Honda had the chance to produce the class benchmark instead it just produced rather uninspiring carryover of the previous generation Civic. Unlike the 2006 Civic which won COTY this Civic will be hard pressed to be even considered a contender.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry, this new Civic Coupe looks far better than the Kia Kivic Koupe ripoff of the older Civic.

        And the OLD Civic that KIA Kopied looks better than KIAs Kivic Koupe.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Coupe looks ok, but the sedan just looks awful.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow. A Toyota Civic. I thought the Corolla was bad...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I might care if they had a hatchback.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It is self evident how it would be better. It would be cheaper to run.

        The new Focus gets 80HP/L (160 HP/2.0L) and 40mpg highway on regular.

        The Si is getting 83HP/L (200HP/2.4L) and 30 MPG highyay. If it needs premium to do that it is kind of embarrassing. Now if they were getting 240 HP, I might see the need for Premium.

        • 4 Years Ago
        I thought the same thing.. though I would be just as happy to have a Fit HF!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I am glad to see the HF back as well. I wonder if there is a MT version.

        If there was a hatchback, HF with a MT, the Civic would be on my list, but without a hatch, I am simply not interested.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sasparilla, please explain to me how making the Si run on the 87 octane rat piss we pass off as fuel in this country, an improvement?

        Seriously, I'd love to hear your answer on this...all the OEMs would LOVE for the US to get their fuel supply in better order...higher octanes would equate to vehicles that could take advantages of higher octane, which would lead to even higher FE #'s...

        • 4 Years Ago
        When an engine is designed, engineered, and calibrated to use it, higher octanes are always better. They're cleaner and more efficient.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm with you snow dog, I drooled all over the European hatch civic that came out as a counterpart to US civic in 2006.

        It seems about the only time Honda really made a radical design change to its mainstream vehicles (Accord, Civic, Pilot) vehicles was the 2006 Civic which was very edgy (at the time, for them) and they've been running away from that ever since.

        Frankly I'm surprised they didn't throttle back the design some more and eliminate the split instrument panel totally. It looks like they toned the dash down some too, the new one looking rather bland looking (I like the previous gen batter on the dash, this looks like they took the previous dash and gave it a design by committee once over, ugh).

        I wonder if the 2.4 liter on the Si can now drink regular instead of the premium the 2.0 on the existing Si takes? That would be an improvement.

        It is great to see Honda bringing the HF model back and with it within spitting distance of the highway mileage of the Hybrid and probably significantly cheaper would seem to be the better choice.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The 2012 is clearly evolutionary in the broadest sense which means its still one very
      competitive vehicle. Is there room for improvement, sure, a six speed AT or even better, a six or seven speed dual clutch with paddle shifters would give even more fuel efficieny gains by losing all of the associated inefficieny of spooling up a torque converter.
      The Honda R-series Sohc 4 is a good engine but it still needs high pressure direct injection, dohc with hondas next generation i-vtec and HPDI would be perfect. The R18 in the civic is a very smooth, quiet and fuel efficient engine, its practically a "atkinson cycle" engine at idle and under 2000 rpm.

      If I have a gripe with Honda its that they aren't very adventurous, once they develop a engine series they do old school stick and stay and make evolutionary improvements.
      The Honda larger displacement K-series, (K-20 and K-24) are basically a decade old design but Honda has a new next generation more advanced I-vtec for it.
      Its a nice sturdy durable engine, if it sticks around, logically it should get high-pressure
      direct injection for the next revision.
      Personally I wish Honda had taken the 2012 civic back to its 1500cc engine roots of some time ago, with a short stroke R18 variant to scale back displacement to 1.5Litres, I'd have gone with a new DOHC I-vtec design, VVT on both camshafts, and
      high pressure DI with a VNT turbo. 1.5 litres + DI + turbo should equal easily 45 mpg
      epa rating on the highway. specially if a 6/7 spd dual clutch were used.
      It'd easily make 140-150 bhp and more torque than the current naturally-aspirated R18,
      Remember, GM's current 1400cc turbo 4 in the Cruze, despite using indirect port
      injection makes a strong 140 bhp and even stronger 148 ft lbs of torque.
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