2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan front 3/4 view

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  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan front 3/4 view

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  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
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  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
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  • 2012 Honda Civic EX Sedan
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There have been few remodels in the compact car segment that have been more eagerly anticipated than the 2012 Honda Civic. And why not? The Civic has been the standard-bearer in the segment for decades, and hopes were high for the new model.

We tested the Civic last month and discovered that while it still offered good fuel economy numbers and the promise of robust reliability and resale value, the 2012 evolution is something of a step back compared to the outgoing model. The interior isn't quite as good, it certainly isn't as much fun to drive as it used to be, and this Honda probably won't turn as many heads as it once did. All while the competition has evolved at a rapid pace.

Consumer Reports was even less kind in expressing its feelings about the 2012 Civic. The consumer advocacy institute removed the Civic from its list of Recommended rides, and Senior Director David Champion went on to say that the refreshed Honda "now ranks near the bottom of its category."

Losing the Recommended tag will likely sting Honda quite a bit, but just because CR is hating on the Civic doesn't mean that everyone feels compelled to follow suit. For instance, Cars.com continues to stand by the Civic, citing "its terrific mileage, comfortable cabin, top safety scores, high resale value and a long track record of reliability." Further, Cars.com adds that the Civic beat out entries like the Ford Focus and Kia Forte in one of its recent comparison tests, and at the same time, the Honda earned a "Top Safety Pick" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

So is the 2012 Civic the star performer Cars.com seems to think it is, or is it closer to the disappointment described by Consumer Reports? The answer to that question will come down to personal choice. That said, for our money, we'd be happier if Honda stuck to the recipe that made the Civic great while leaving more mundane choices to its other competitors.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 97 Comments
      1701J
      • 3 Years Ago
      Everyone is entitled to thier opinion, but I never used Consumer Reports opinions or Cars.com's opinions to help me decide which car to buy.. what matters to me is that the car runs, without me having to make numerous trips to the dealership for repairs, fuel economy, and safety.. Honda does have a solid rep for reliability, even if come lately some of thier designs aren't so ground breaking. They did stick to the tried and true design, and its a gamble.. I will admit to some disappointment to this "redesign" it merely looks like they refreshed it and didn't try too hard.. where I can live with the looks.. I'm not in love with the dash, I think the previous generation looked better. I see where people may be disappointed in that. but the point is.. opinions are like a--holes.. everyone has one.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        nardvark
        • 3 Years Ago
        This is what I tell people when they ask what cars to look at. It's pretty hard to buy a new car that flat out stinks.
      usa1
      • 3 Years Ago
      People like to forget the sixth generation Civic (2001 to 2005) was a generic, boring mess too. It was the model that started the whole dumbing down of Hondas with the loss of the twin wishbone suspension, etc. and could not have looked worse. It sold well and I expect there are plenty of mindless drones that will autopilot to the Honda dealership for the new Civic. The Corolla is worse by every metrics and continues to find buyers.
      trans-am phoenix
      • 3 Years Ago
      I dont care any more but it seems like every one of these reviewers are in some companies pocket. If you want a real review go talk to your family mechanic or local repair shop and talk with them, they will tell you the truth. Sure there will be some preferences but its better than these rigged reviewers. Why does it seem that the motor trend award bounces around the big three in the trucks category. (even though they are still better than the tundra or titan but they are catching up)
        • 3 Years Ago
        @trans-am phoenix
        [blocked]
          SCOTTM
          • 3 Years Ago
          As well Camrys, Corollas and Ford F150's.
      Devonblue4u
      • 3 Years Ago
      On the one hand the Jetta & Passat de-contented and came out winners in the sales race. Could it be that people want size at a reasonable price? And even that's no guarantee for continued sales. The Civic didn't grow any, and it didn't vary much both inside and out. The Focus did the same, not changing much for 12 years. And look what happened to it's sales and reputation until the 2012 model arrived.
      rej085
      • 3 Years Ago
      The 2012 Honda Civic is by no means a bad car. I think people just expected more in terms of styling than what we got. I went and test drove the EX-L version with a sunroof. The car did exactly what you expected it to do. It wasn't overly flashy like the Elantra or the Focus in the styling department, but I actually preferred the Civic's ride. I'm not a Honda fanatic but I do own a 2007 Accord Coupe, and it's a great car. I was waiting to use the redesigned Civic for my next ride, but with all the hype to the Elantra and the Focus, I drove them first. I liked them, but so far still prefer the 2012 Civic. The Corolla was so underwhelming that it is disingenious for CR to say that is the better car. Next up, I'm test driving the Mazda 3 and the Cruze before I make my final decision. I can understand the disappointment with the Civic being more evolutionary than revolutionary, but they did go through and fix many of the things I didn't like about the ride of the previous generation. I don't even mind the 5spd transmission because it just works and is very predictable for a current Honda owner. I wouldn't go so far as to not recommend the 2012 Civic as Consumer Reports did, but I'd say it gets an ovation just not a standing ovation. I think that Consumer Reports is misleading people when they say the Civic is not a good buy. After cross shopping much of the competition, it's closer to the top of the class in my opinion.
        Gorgenapper
        • 3 Years Ago
        @rej085
        Evolution? More like how a sloth evolved from its more agile, stronger, smarter and highly alert ancestors to become the useless piece of excrement it is today. Necessity usually drives evolution, but sometimes a LACK of necessity is the driving force. The sloth evolved because its food was literally all around it - it only had to reach out and take it. This Civic is like a sloth that has had its environment invaded by sloth-eating predators.
        stclair5211
        • 3 Years Ago
        @rej085
        People were expecting a home run from Honda considering how far the competition has come. Instead they only got a base hit and the others are definitely still in the game.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @rej085
        [blocked]
      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      In other news.. Cars.com announces major new advertising deal struck with Honda. Details to follow....
      toldtubes
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like our 2012 Civic, it's quiet, handles well and suits me better than the TDi Jetta it replaced. Sorry it doesn't suit some folks. If I want more character or handling I'll buy another Formula Ford or D Sports racer. In about two years the Korean styling - across the board - will look VERY dated and I suspect their resale value will be less than glamorous as well. Now all of you armchair gripers can go back to thinking how great your cars with fenders are.
        AJ
        • 3 Years Ago
        @toldtubes
        Some logic... Is it a crime that I want the car I will spend 90% of my living time in to be something more then a beige box? You;d think Honda would step their game up even more after everyone else threw out their wares. This just proves that the Japanese never really made good cars, they were just better then the **** from everyone else. Not that all the other automakers are flexing their design and money you get what we have today, cars from others that make the new Civic look like a waste of money. Resale value? I'm sorry, that's a lame excuse and a worthless statistic. I don't buy my cars based on the expectation of selling them 5 years down the line because I don't give a damn about selling them to someone else. I'm buying for me so I'll pick the best for my money. That is not the Civic.
          NightFlight
          • 3 Years Ago
          @AJ
          @ AJ Regarding your comment on resale value, and how it doesn't matter to you... "....because I don't give a damn about selling them to someone else" That might be one of the dumbest comment I've read on this site. Resale value, or the amount of money that YOU would receive for selling YOUR vehicle doesn't mean anything to you? Are you made out of money? That comment makes no sense whatsoever, and neither does your comment about how the Japanese "never really made good cars, they were just better then the **** from everyone else." No, the Japanese made fantastic cars for a while, and that wasn't just because of the garbage that others were pumping out.
      EChid
      • 3 Years Ago
      I do think that perhaps CR went overboard with their rating. I mean, they have previously recommended such cars as the Volvo S60 and SAAB 9-5. The 9-5 especially was guilty of worse materials, horrible build quality, iffy reliability and expensive repairs, none of which the Civic has. Also, this car worse than a Carolla? Sentra? I think not. The fact is, yes, it isn't the most advanced. But you can bet it is going to be damn reliable, solid and in general pleasant driving cars for 99% of the population. CR is really misleading people when it tells something like the Carolla is a better buy.
        SCOTTM
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EChid
        If I could give you another star, I would because you are right.
      Paul
      • 3 Years Ago
      Humm...Car.com - for profit = will not alienate Honda CR - Not for profit = reports on its findings without forethought of negative response Bottomline, CARs.com carries no weight.
        g2k
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Paul
        How is CR not for profit? They have millions of paying subscribers. Either way, I'd prefer car opinions from a car website over a magazine that also reviews blenders and baby strollers
          gnvlscdt23f
          • 3 Years Ago
          @g2k
          Geez, do I really have to explain? There are no shareholders in Consumer's Union to get a return on those paying subscribers. All the money goes back into testing more products. Any money in excess of expenses that Cars.com makes goes back to the ultimate stockholder-owned partners: A. H. Belo, Gannett Company, Inc., The McClatchy Company, Tribune Company and The Washington Post Company. Also, CR buys their own cars. Cars.com typically depends on manufacturers to give them press cars. And it's not like it's the same people testing blenders and cars. Auto test has its own staff, many of whom are former auto engineers.
          Spies1
          • 3 Years Ago
          @g2k
          Yeah, clearly FIRED auto engineers.
          David
          • 3 Years Ago
          @g2k
          +1 gnvlscdt23f.
      vwfails
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Cars.com still recommending Honda Civic, doesn't care what CR says" And nobody cares what cars.com has to say either. NEXT
      DC
      • 3 Years Ago
      If the 2012 Civic was the first Civic ever made, it would have ranked higher. The problem lies in the previous generation, which looks better, has a better interior, and IMPROVED greatly over the generation before it. I feel I have a qualified opinion, seeing as I currently own a 2010 Civic, and I have tested the 2012. The interior of the 2012 is a huge failure in my opinion. The soft-touch doors and dash of my 2010 are gone, and are now replaced by a sea of plastics with varying textures. The radio...good lord THE RADIO in the 2012 is atrocious visually...I haven't seen anything worse since a mid-90's GM product. For a paltry $2000 or so, the navigation screen fixes this problem, but then it adds some redundancy for the i-Mid screen. The padding on the now-fixed armrest is thin, and the sliding cup holder cover is gone. The headliner is mouse-fur again, but I don't spend much time staring straight up, so that is a wash. If you own or have experience with the 8th gen Civic, it is very hard to be impressed by the 9th.
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