Automotive News reports that Honda is itching to release a mid-cycle refresh for the company's 2012 Civic. In response to a harsh criticism from reviewers and the model's first failure to earn a coveted Recommended rating from Consumer Reports in recent memory, the automaker has apparently decided to pull ahead the model's refresh to 2013 instead of 2014. The report quotes John Mendel, American Honda Executive Vice President, as saying that his company is "appropriately energized" by feedback from critics and customers alike. At the same time, the executive stressed that he wasn't sure exactly how much the manufacturer could do or how quickly it could be accomplished.

Critics have specifically found issue with the vehicle's overly soft handling and muddled, plastic-laden dash design, especially as competition in the segment has matured and grown even more compelling. While the 2012 Honda Civic initially saw a spike in consumer interest, shoppers may have trickled off; something that analysts say is highly unusual for any Honda model, let alone this onetime leader of the compact segment.

What will the refresh bring? We can only imagine that Honda will work to cure the ails that Consumer Reports has specifically called out by improving the interior and rolling in additional content.


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  • 161 Comments
      Bill
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just sell the UK version of the civic in the USA. Offer the 50mpg diesel. And hatch back.
        Joe Bo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bill
        Even better - put the same diesel in the Odessey.
          Synthono
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Joe Bo
          Thy Odessey is frigging massive, I'd hope that it'd at least get a diesel six.
        Joe Bo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bill
        + 1million With gas as high as it is, this would sell like crazy. The only other problem that I had with the Civic was the price. $19,425 for the LX (including delivery). On top of that, every Honda dealer in DFW adds on all sorts of overpriced extras. I bought a 2 year old TSX 6 speed instead.
      L1011
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just bring the European Civic here. It's much better looking than the US version!! I loved my '06 Si coupe but Honda ruined the '06-'11 Civic with their '08 (or '09, I don't recall) mid-cycle refresh. It's been all downhill from there. The current Civic is not bad, it's just not good. As a Honda fan for 20+ years I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but I'd rather have a Chevy (Cruze) than a Honda. I NEVER thought I'd say that!!!
      NipponEngine
      • 3 Years Ago
      give us the hatch
        • 3 Years Ago
        @NipponEngine
        [blocked]
          Synthono
          • 3 Years Ago
          Not sure why TahsinZ was downvoted, he's right. The Kia Forte is available in three body styles, and the Honda Civic used to be offered in three styles. There is also a Civic hatch available in Europe. But Sea Urchin does seem to believe Honda makes violent overthrows of government, so maybe he shouldn't be listened to.
          TahsinZ
          • 3 Years Ago
          Doesn't Kia offer the Forte in 3 styles (sedan, hatch, coupe)?
      Dennis Baskov
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very smart move there made by Honda. Lets see if they can make another one by making TL look halfway descent and design a proper NSX successor.
      • 3 Years Ago
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        Renaurd
        • 3 Years Ago
        Baloney, the Civic is outdated and needs a complete overhaul inside and out.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Renaurd
          [blocked]
        tipdrip215
        • 3 Years Ago
        You must have one pathetic life. Troll.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tipdrip215
          [blocked]
        Drew Smith
        • 3 Years Ago
        OH NO!!!! YOU HAVE UPSET A FANBOY!!!! The powers of JPM hell be upon anyone that DARE speak ill of a Honda.
        ctsmith1066
        • 3 Years Ago
        I understand your criticism of American-made cars compared to Japanese cars, but your constant use of "UAW" as a pejorative betrays a considerable prejudice. If American cars suck, it's because of everyone involve, not just (or even dominantly) the factory-workers who build them.
        • 3 Years Ago
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        Brian P
        • 3 Years Ago
        Civic with better driving dynamics than European cars? A VW Golf stomps all over the Civic in this regard (the steering is better, the brakes are better, and the Golf nails the ride/handling compromise right on the money), and the interior is vastly better in every way imaginable. And it's a hatch. Yes, you pay more for it. Haven't driven the new Focus, but they're pretty well regarded, too. And it's a hatch and it's in the same price range and it's competitive on fuel consumption. The new Mazda 3 with the SkyActiv engine is the equal of the Civic on fuel consumption and soundly trounces it on driving dynamics - yep, the Mazda 3 is a bit noisy, but so is the Civic ... I suspect that the only people buying 2012 Civics are fanbois and people who have their blinders on, because just about everything else in its class has it beaten in some way, and many of its competitors beat it in just about *every* way.
      Benjamin Roethig
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm feeling the Japanese manufacturers are where Detroit was 25 years ago, they're so used to having a lead that they've grown complacent.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Benjamin Roethig
        [blocked]
          Krishan Mistry
          • 3 Years Ago
          If you must be a rice JDM troll, please stick to Japanese cars that are actually good, and American/Euro ones that actually suck. The Civic is a letdown in this generation, and has taken a step backwards while the Focus has in fact surpassed it both dynamically and interior quality. And if reliability is the only thing the Civic has left for it, why even bother buying a new one? An old one is cheaper, and is in fact better to drive.
          MyerShift
          • 3 Years Ago
          Funny, because my 23 year old K car runs great. Still.
        bchreng
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Benjamin Roethig
        Thankfully that's not the case. Toyota knows what the general masses like (conservative, comfy appliances with a dash of style) and Honda seemingly wants a slice. For affordable and reliable fun enthusiasts will have to start looking elsewhere. Ford's Focus and Fiesta, the Mazda3, Chevy Sonic and Hyundai Veloster all seem like great places to start.
        recharged95
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Benjamin Roethig
        Hence the LFA is basically the ZR-1 of the 80's. And the ZR-1 was a well-built special edition.
      Tony
      • 3 Years Ago
      A mid-cycle refresh isn't gonna bring back the famous double wishbone suspension that honda was known for and had made civics and other entry level hondas so great in handling. Just one of many areas honda got cheap on.
        Brian P
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Tony
        There is no way double-wishbone can be integrated into the existing bodyshell without affecting crash structures that aren't going to get redesigned in a year. In any case, every one of the Civic's competitors has struts in front, including the ones with a better ride and handling compromise (I'm thinking VW Golf, Ford Focus, Mazda 3 here). Main problem with the 2012 Civic is softish springs and dampers, and over-assisted power steering, all of which are VERY easily addressed. The platform and basic design are OK, but the calibration is out of whack ... unless Honda's objective is to equal the Toyota Corolla, which has got to be the most out-of-date and uncompetitive car in the segment ...
        erik schmidt
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Tony
        I wouldn't be surprised if this "refresh" is closer to a redesign. For the 8th gens, the refresh only brought an updated grill and engine cover (I think). I am sure they are planning more than that.
        Synthono
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Tony
        It actually could, depending on how the chassis is set up. If it's easily modified to accept that suspension setup it's the kind of thing that would be rolled in to the update.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Tony
        [blocked]
      BB79826
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't give a crap about the interior or the fact that it's noisy or that it has a 5 speed auto. Most Hondas are noisy. The fact that the car has lost its steering feel, sharp handling, and strong braking --- THAT'S why it's receiving 95% of its negative press. Honda turned the car into a Corolla. So for them to say they're not sure how "quickly" they can fix those things doesn't give me much hope.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @BB79826
        [blocked]
          Krishan Mistry
          • 3 Years Ago
          DERPITY DERPA HERP HERP HURRR!!1!1!!1! This comment was at least as factual and informed as your post above.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
          Quen47
          • 3 Years Ago
          Just think- if Ford and Chevy are already crushing the Civic and Corolla while their workers are smoking pot and drinking, just think how far ahead they would be sober!
      Johnny Trailerpark
      • 3 Years Ago
      A refresh ain't gonna' cut it on this vehicle. Honda, you've got much larger structural problems that need to be addressed.
      Bryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      If Honda wants to get back on track it needs to do the following things: 1) Fire the CEO..hire an outsider (ala Mullaly) that has a boat of fresh ideas on how the company should move forwards in terms of design, powertrain, infotainment and safety developments. 2) Hire a new chief designer...obviously the incumbent chief has run out of fresh design ideas. 3) Catch up with competition with regards to powertrain and transmission technologies (direct injection, dual clutch, CVVL...etc) When a smaller competitor (Mazda) beats you to the punch with regards to powertrain tech..you are in serious serious trouble.
        Gubbins
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bryan
        That is SO dead on target...you have got to be in this industry... Especially #1--this must be the one green-lighting many of the atrocious designs being conjured by #2. The "old guard" at American Honda would never have allowed this kind of thing to occur. #3 is a real threat too--where is their innovation? Lost to the cost-cutting zombies?
        tipdrip215
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bryan
        Yeah, new CEO. Honda's slide started as soon as Mr. Ito took the CEO position and killed the S2000, V8, and new NSX. Wouldn't hurt to have some vehicles that don't look bean counter influenced too.
        AP1_S2K
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bryan
        "Mr. Ito" (thanks TipDrip), now I have a name to associate to incompetence. "When a smaller competitor (Mazda) beats you to the punch with regards to powertrain tech..you are in serious serious trouble." Not to mention styling wise. I'm not a fan of the freshening of the Mazda 3, but I think overall Mazda is probably the only Japanese company left with some soul to it.
      • 3 Years Ago
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        Smooth
        • 3 Years Ago
        Every time I see a "Sophia" comment, I keep thinking of the Kia "Sephia" for some reason. Don't ask me why....I thought that was their name at first too. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cb/2nd-Kia-Sephia.jpg Ironically, both aren't that significant in the grand scheme of things when you think about it.....
        Scarboy6693
        • 3 Years Ago
        GM Country?? yea right, I've seen more Elantras, Focuses, Mazda 3s, and even Civcs than Cruzes driving around where I live in California. The new civic is underwhelming, but most buyers of that car don't care. They just want something reliable for a commuter car, and lets face it, for most people a Civic LX or EX is good enough.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Scarboy6693
          [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Scarboy6693
          [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Scarboy6693
          [blocked]
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