Thursday, October 18, 2012
2012 Honda Civic's Changes Give It A Sportier Flair
The venerable Honda Civic continues its run as one of the most popular small cars, and for the 2012, the Civic gets a redesign.
The Civic is still recognizable next to its predecessor, but is a bit sportier, thanks to the front fascia's mesh grille and changes to the headlights and taillights.
The Civic Coupe, which we have not yet tested, also picks up the changes that give it an especially sporty look compared with the past version.
If you drive the Si performance version, you'll notice the rear spoiler and front air dam, which enhance that model's sportiness.
No changes were made to the regular Civic's power plant, however, as the 1.8-liter four cylinder that makes 140 horsepower remains. There is a five-speed manual or automatic transmission.
But fuel economy grows because Honda installed fully electric power steering and better aerodynamics. So now, the Civic with the automatic tranny gets 28 mpg city, 39 highway, 3 mpg better than before.
The Si, the performance model, does receive a larger engine - a 2.4-liter four-banger that makes 201 horsepower.
Honda says it also has introduced a trim called the HF, that aims for even better fuel economy through aerodynamics and specially designed wheels. It gets 29 and 41.
On the inside, the biggest change is how the center console skews more toward the driver now and is a bit larger.
It shows speed of the car and Honda's i-MID information system (on LX models and above), which gives you audio information, Bluetooth and turn-by-turn navigation directions. It can be controlled by steering-wheel mounted buttons.
If you want to further monitor fuel economy, look at the Eco Assist feature, which shows bars changing from blue to green on either side of the speedometer as you drive more fuel economically. And you can depress the "Econ" button to alter the acceleration response and aid fuel efficiency.
Honda's list of safety features for the Civic is solid, such as antilock brakes and an electronic stability system with traction control.
The Civic is still priced affordably, starting at a little over $16,000 and ranging to around $27,000.
With its good fuel economy,sportier looks and nice technology touches, the venerable Civic remains a big fish in the small car pond.