2012 Honda Civic
Few other compact cars have delivered economy and value for almost 40 years like the Honda Civic. Even in the fifth year of production of the current car, sales topped 260,000 in the U.S. So, with the new ninth generation, 2012 Civic, the design mantra was, "if it's not broke, don't fix it." Styling is very familiar, but also more with expression and flair, covering six sedan and coupe models, one for everyone in their Gen-Y target market.
The most expressive is the now 201-horsepower, 2.4-liter Civic Si in two or four doors. A new 6-speed, short throw manual is a very welcomed addition. Still, it's Civic gas-sippers that will attract the most buyers. They include the high-volume Civic sedan and coupe, whose 1.8-liter I-4 now manages 39 miles per gallon on the highway, despite having only a 5-speed automatic. The Civic HF adds aerodynamic touches and low rolling-resistance tires for a highway rating of 41.
And the latest Civic Hybrid, which adds an advanced lithium-ion battery, larger electric motor, and a larger 1.5-liter i-VTEC gasoline engine, scores 44 mile per gallon city and highway ratings.
Most Civics are equipped with Honda's ECO Assist system, which alters powertrain response for maximum fuel economy. The Civic Natural Gas will once again be offered, but availability will be expanded to nationwide.
The new Civic is the same size outside, but roomier inside, with a redesigned two-tier dashboard. It includes a 5-inch iMid data screen for fuel, stereo, and more, easily accessed with steering wheel controls. All Civic models also include electronic stability control with adaptive electric power steering.
The 2012 Honda Civic is once again a front runner in ride, handling, and fuel economy among compact sedans. Even when you hear the tires squeal, it remains stable and fully under control. Ride also remains compliant, but it's quieter than before. Overall, it's a solid, if not revolutionary, redesign. The 2012 Honda Civic is arriving now with prices starting under $16,000.
Engine: 2.4-liter Civic Si
Price: Starting under $16,000