The Honda Civic has been around for what seems like ages, from the first generation in 1973 to the eighth generation which began in 2006, and now Honda’s little star sedan is entering its ninth generation with a couple more variants for the 2012MY.
We first saw this new generation Civic in concept form at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, and now the 2012 Honda Civic is getting an "HF" high fuel economy and a hybrid version for its lineup that will allow the Civic to become one of the most efficient models on the market, with an economy estimated at 40 mpg. The full lineup will includes these two new models, plus the sedan and coupe versions with conventional gasoline engines, two sporty "Si" performance versions, and a natural gas alternative-fuel variant.
"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."
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Honda Civic.
Exterior and Interior
While the first details are mostly focused on the car’s performances, you can easily notice that the 2012 Civic is defined by a cleaner design, with more powerful lines and a more dynamic appearance. The car’s front is distinguished by a more angular fascia, mesh grille, and a tapered rear roofline that flows smoothly into the trunk. The interior gets new improved materials and new technologies.
The standard Civic - sedan, coupe, and the HF - is powered by a 1.8-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine that delivers 140 HP and is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. This engine delivers a fuel economy of 39 mpg on the highway, an improvement of 3 mpg when compared to the current model. The HF version is estimated to deliver a total of 41 mpg on the highway. Both models will also be offered with the Honda ECO Assist technology.
The SI version is powered by a larger, more powerful 2.4-liter engine that delivers a total of 200 HP with 170 ft-lb of torque. But despite the larger displacement and the improved torque, the engine is estimated to achieve an EPA-estimated highway fuel economy of 31 mpg; an increase of 2 mpg when compared to the current model.
And finally, the hybrid version gets a 1.5-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder gasoline engine with an output of 110 HP combined with an electric motor and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The hybrid version is expected to achieve an EPA-estimated city/highway combined fuel economy of 45 mpg, an improvement of 4 mpg compared to the current Civic Hybrid.
The new Honda Civic will go on sale later this year. Prices start at $15,605 for the base Civic DX Coupe and go up to $26,750 for the heavily equipped Civic Hybrid (includes leather trim satellite navigation and XM Radio).
The 2012 Honda Civic has come with changes that improve its overall look, but are these changes enough to make the Civic stand out when compared to the competition? The exterior design is a step in the right direction, but when compared to the new Ford Focus , Kia Forte , and Toyota Corolla , the Civic may not look good enough.
Starting from $13,695, the Kia Forte is powered by a 2.0 Liter DOHC four cylinder engine, producing 156 HP and 144 lb-ft of torque and a fuel economy of 36 mpg (highway). While the fuel economy is not up to par with that if the Civic, the Koup looks much better.
The Toyota Corolla is offered with a choice of two engines: a 1.8-liter engine that produces 132 hp at 6,000 rpm and 128 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm and a 16-valve DOHC engine with an output of 158 hp at 6,000 rpm and 162 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. These options are nowhere near the amount of the Civic and the power isn’t up to par either. The Civic would need to come out with a much higher price tag in order to lose out to the Corolla, especially considering Toyota’s rough patch in the news.
Finally, the new Ford Focus is powered by a fuel efficient 2.0 Liter four cylinder engine that produces 155 HP and 145 lb-ft of torque, made with Ford’s patented Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) and direct injection (DI). For the new Focus, Ford has also announced a fuel economy of 40 mpg, leaving it one of the Civic’s most challenging competitors in terms of fuel efficiency. Power is about the same as the standard Civic model, so that is a moot point.
- Better fuel economy than most of the competitors
- Impressive model line-up
- Improved appearance
- The small aesthetic changes may not be enough
- There isn’t much in terms of options