Review: 2012 Honda Civic EX

Posted on 02. May, 2011 by in Auto News

Honda has never paid too much attention as other automakers things. In the past led to many successful innovations. Today … well we have today, the ninth-generation Civic, which recently launched as an early 2012 model to life.

The eight-generation Civic was the stylish to date. While not everyone was a fan, I personally liked the car tight proportions and flowing corners. Still do. At the time, I thought the 2006 Civic signaled a new emphasis on innovative and tasteful design of Honda. The years since have not get me wrong. For the 2012 Civic, Honda has received similar dimensions (though, reversing a decades-long trend is the wheelbase 1.2 inches shorter). Some folds and angles of the sedan have been added to make it, in the words of the press release, "the most aerodynamically and aggressively styled models. In the model's history" The side windows are twisted vertically and horizontally extended outward to the increased expression of the interior space. The window lettering at the door, the door will be moved so that a black plastic triangle, where they are used. Hofmeister kink at the rear edge of the side window one running roughly has been added. Overall, the new design is busier, less graceful and just a lot less attractive.

Honda claims that the revised interior "delivers more style and convenience than any other vehicle in this segment." Yes, style is very subjective. The instrument panel is a bi-level affair, with the tachometer visible in the small steering wheel rim and the other instruments, including a new five-inch information display (you can upload your own background!), Visible above. The layout I was least like aspect of the 2006, and I have yet to warm up (although some owners have told me they like it). Other car manufacturers used Hondas copy innovations. None of them have copied this layout. This could serve as an indication.

One thing that I like: The center console is now aggressively inclined towards the driver, classic BMW style, so you can easily see and reach the audio and HVAC. With one exception, the audio switches, the keys are quite large. So while I can not see touted style, I can see the claimed convenience. But that does not justify the interiors chunky styling, poor panel fit, and materials. Vie with those in the 2011 VW Jetta for worst-in-class honors The door panels are four different hard plastics. I could not decide which of them is the worst. Probably the rocky stuff on the armrest. The armrest is pleasantly comfortable, but it sparked a "crunch" when pressed. Even in the uplevel Civic EX, the tissue appears chintzy. Honda needs a lot more attention to what did GM, Ford and Hyundai have-the interior of the Cruze, Focus pay, and (to a lesser, but still largely) Elantra are all far ahead. You might also consider Chrysler to lead and banish from the interior light gray color palette.

Once upon a time, the instrument panels in Hondas were compact and shockingly low. The rest of the industry examined their cars to see how they had done it. Well, the bi-level monstrosity in the 2012 Civic so great that I can accommodate up to a few clicks to easily see over them had crank. The front seats are better than those in smaller Hondas because the head restraints must not protrude quite as far to the front. They also offer more lateral support than you will ever need, given the nature of the car. In the back, the cushion is comfortable, high above the ground, but (in the sunroof-equipped EX), there is only enough room for those who are up to 5-10. Both the pillow and hallway are both nearly flat, to improve comfort for a center passenger. It's a little more rear legroom than before, but the seat remains rel that. From a compact sedan

Even in EX trim, the Civic tips the scales at 2,765 pounds, light for a compact sedan these days. The powertrain, a 1.8-liter four-cylinder is good for 140 hp hitched to five-speed automatic transmission (a manual is no longer offered in the EX, has a six-speed automatic or arrive). Even if you do not have to engage "Eco" mode, the drive train of the answers slowly and performs adequately best. The transmission upshifts quickly and sometimes seems indecisive. As in the Elantra and some other competitors, trying a "smart" alternator to do most of its load during braking, and de-couplings much of the rest of the time. Partly because of this attempt to increase fuel efficiency, the brakes feel more than a little like a hybrid.

In fact, the entire driving experience is oddly similar to that in a Prius. Optimize oriented in other fuel, the steering power assist motor at all now Civics and not only the Si and hybrid. The new system feels artificial as far as it feels like nothing at all. Stability control, previously reserved for the EX-L and Si is now standard across the line. But it should rarely come into play. The new Civic handling is predictable, stable and secure. What it is not: fun. There's quite a bit of lean when the wheel is turned. Even a Prius has a direct feel connected. Perhaps this should not be used as a surprise, but also the weakest, spartan Civics to fun cars.

The new Civic usually rides smoothly, but feels a little confused about some surfaces and never feels muffled exactly like a Ford Focus or Mazda3 does. In times of the rear suspension feels and sounds like it's bottoming out with minimal force, even without the back seat. Noise level lower than in the past. But even with its improved smoothness and quietness, the Civic lacks the premium sound and feel of the Cruze and Focus.

The big payoff of all thrill killing tweaks: The EPA ratings are from 25/36 to 28/39-edging from the Ford Focus of 28/38, which is almost the Hyundai Elantra is 29/40. (For out-eco the Elantra, a Civic HF with 29/41 reviews is also available.) To help you these numbers, a pair of thick beams flank the digital speedometer color change from green to blue when you are behaving. There is also a prominently placed instantaneous mpg display. The average fuel consumption readout within the new information display is a bit disturbing, though. You need the odometer, to reset it, and to do this you must dig through three menu levels to steering wheel buttons, and then you dig your way out again. "Keep it simple" is not so.

The 2012 Honda Civic EX lists for $ 21,255 to $ 100 from the 2011th despite the addition of a few features, including stability control But even though the 2012 is a better value than the 2011, you can get a superior and better-equipped car for the same or less for a number of other manufacturers. The aggressively priced: a Hyundai Elantra Limited, with heated leather seats, lists for $ 20,700 (in both series!). A 2012 Ford Focus SE lists about the same as the Honda when equipped with sunroof and alloy wheels, but makes driving more fun and feels like a much more expensive cars.

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, the Honda Civic was so far ahead of its main competitors, responsiveness, handling, use, and reliability features, the owner has become evangelists for the brand. The 1984 car was a design milestone, whose influence continues 28 years later. Through the 1990s and into the 2000s, the Civic was so much fun to drive, that an entire tuning industry arose around him.

It's hard to see how the 2012 car could have inspired any of this passion. It's a little roomier, and its fuel economy is. The best even for a run-of-the-mill Civic (though not best-in-class) But the design is clunky, the materials are cut-rate and the driving experience is so dreadfully boring that even a Toyota Prius is an explosion in comparison. Over the last few years, Honda has repeatedly claimed about what it was great, and return to those roots. While they're at it, they might pay more attention to what you want, what GM, Ford and Hyundai have been paid. Perhaps this is being done, just not quite fast enough to help the new Civic. If so, we will be able to look at the 2012 model year as a low point, after which the cars better.

Mike Ulrey at Honda Bloomfield (MI) provided the car. An extremely helpful sales consultant, he can be reached at 248-333-3200.

Michael Karesh operates True Delta, an online source of automotive pricing and reliability data.