Civic Coupe

Civic Hybrid

Civic Si Sedan

Civic interior
Honda plays it safe with Civic redesign

With stiff competition coming from the likes of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, 2012 Ford Focus, and 2011 Hyundai Elantra, Honda has to deliver quite an impressive package to keep on its toes against the reinvigorated competition. 

Thankfully, on the powertrain side, Honda has responded quite well with the new Civic. The standard Civic coupe and sedan models achieve 39 mpg on the highway (3 mpg higher than the 2010 model). For those looking for even greater fuel economy, a Civic HF will be offered (it shares its bodywork with the Civic Hybrid) and get an impressive 41 mpg on the highway.

As before, those looking to get the best fuel economy out of Honda's compact will have to step up to the Civic Hybrid. This model now achieves an EPA combined rating of 45 mpg and uses a lithium-ion battery pack that replaces the previous NiMH unit.

For the "boy racers" out there, the Civic Si coupe and sedan are back, this time with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder instead of the previous 2.0-liter engine. Horsepower remains the same at 200, but torque has increased to a still meager 170 lb-ft. Despite the larger engine, EPA highway ratings have increased by two to 31 mpg. 

Interestingly, Honda has not released EPA city ratings for any of the new Civics. Also of note is the fact that Civic models with an automatic transmission are still stuck with five gears when most of the competition has already moved to 6-speed automatics. However, with the fuel economy numbers that the 2012 Civic is putting out, this is a tiny knock against the vehicle.

"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 VP of sales for American Honda Motor Company. "For the ninth-generation Civic, we are emphasizing improved fuel economy across the board, from the hybrid sedan to the sporty Si model." 

But while the fuel economy numbers for the new Civic look promising, the vehicle looks like a warmed over 2011 model on the outside and even moreso on the inside. The interior also looks rather bland and dated in comparison to its fresh competition. 

Honda hasn't released pricing for the new 2012 Civic yet, but we're sure to learn more in the coming weeks.

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