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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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Step backward..
By Stuka on 2/17/2011 4:54:38 PM , Rating: 5
For the first time ever I would rather have a Kia or a Hyundai than either a Toyota or Honda. The Koreans ante up with extremely tasteful and sexy designs, while the Japs call with increasingly clumsy shapes, Ford raises with European flare, and Chevy folds.

Times they are a'changin.

RE: Step backward..
By therealnickdanger on 2/17/2011 4:58:07 PM , Rating: 2
... but I have to give them credit where it's due. Prius-beating hybrid design that looks like a normal car? Good job, Honda.

RE: Step backward..
By dubldwn on 2/17/2011 5:50:19 PM , Rating: 2
Prius-beating hybrid design

I'm confused. How is this a Prius-beating hybrid design? You mean because you don't think it looks quite as hideous?

RE: Step backward..
By therealnickdanger on 2/17/2011 6:47:21 PM , Rating: 2
Prius-beating hybrid design

It's a hybrid design that beats the gas mileage of the Prius without looking stupid.

RE: Step backward..
By Brandon Hill on 2/17/2011 6:48:01 PM , Rating: 2
No. The Prius gets 50mpg combined.

RE: Step backward..
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 2/18/2011 7:58:50 AM , Rating: 1
Plus the Prius is a mid-size, despite what Ford would have you believe.

RE: Step backward..
By dubldwn on 2/17/2011 6:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
The 2009 Prius got 46mpg combined and the new one gets 50. I mean it's close, but it doesn't beat it.

RE: Step backward..
By Flunk on 2/17/2011 11:34:05 PM , Rating: 3
If this Civic isn't significantly cheaper than a Prius, I'll be very surprised.

RE: Step backward..
By dubldwn on 2/18/2011 12:49:16 AM , Rating: 2
Well, the 2011 Prius starts at $23,050, and the 2011 Civic Hybrid starts at $23,950 sooooo...

RE: Step backward..
By quiksilvr on 2/18/2011 9:10:07 AM , Rating: 1
But keep in mind that Toyota sold over ten times as many hybrids last year as Honda. My guess is this year we will finally see these hybrids teetering close to $20,000 (pretty sure Honda will be cheaper, but only time will tell).

RE: Step backward..
By tallcool1 on 2/18/2011 12:47:51 PM , Rating: 2
I do not see how any of these new hybrid (or non hybrid) economy cars are "impressive", with 40+ MPG.
25 years ago you could have bought cars, such as the Honda CR-X that got 40+ MPG...
CR-X HF Rated: 41MPG CTY / 50MPG HWY

RE: Step backward..
By MadMan007 on 2/20/2011 11:37:38 AM , Rating: 2
The MPG ratings aren't comparable between a 25 year old car a nd a new one. Within the last few years the EPA ratings test changed to be 'more realisitc' (and it seems to be based on my vehicle) and it's likely there were additioanl changes within the last 25 years.

RE: Step backward..
By headbox on 2/17/2011 5:09:43 PM , Rating: 5
Don't judge based solely on mpg and your personal taste for design. Road tests always put Honda out front. If they aren't #1 in HP, they are #1 on the road & track tests. Build quality is always top-notch too.

Also, the resale value of Korean cars are so terrible, they try to sell you additional insurance to cover the gap. My friend with an '08 Honda lost only $1,400 to depreciation over 3 years when buying a '11.

I'm glad competition is increasing, because there wasn't any a few years ago.

RE: Step backward..
By Nutzo on 2/18/2011 10:52:29 AM , Rating: 3
Resale value doesn't matter too much if you keep the car for a long time. After 9+ years they are all withing a $1000 of each other.

My only concern with resell value is if my car gets totaled in a accident around years 3-6. Poor resell value means poor bluebook value, which means you not going to get much with your insurance claim.

RE: Step backward..
By headbox on 2/18/2011 11:44:49 AM , Rating: 1
If we're going to talk 9+ years, only the Honda/Toyota will still be running. Cost of ownership is the other issue. Jap cars are known to get 200k miles without any trouble. My '89 Civic lasted until '06, being passed around the family, before needing a new clutch and a starter. My in-laws have an '05 Hyundai that is literally falling apart inside and out after easy highway driving.

RE: Step backward..
By cmdrdredd on 2/17/2011 7:00:54 PM , Rating: 2
yep Hyundai and kia have cars that are appealing, inexpensive compared to direct competitors, and come loaded. Of course it helps that the new Genesis Coupe should be fitted with a new 5.0 liter V8 in the next year or two. Camaro who?

RE: Step backward..
By Brandon Hill on 2/17/2011 7:49:57 PM , Rating: 2
V8 doesn't fit. Likely powertrain options for the mid-cycle refresh:

274hp 2.0T from the Sonata Turbo
333hp DI 3.8 from the '12 Genesis

RE: Step backward..
By GulWestfale on 2/18/2011 10:26:14 AM , Rating: 2
the V8 does fit, as the genesis coupe uses the same chassis as the sedan, albeit shortened. however, Hyundai have said that only the second generation coupe might get a V8, and not the current one.

RE: Step backward..
By Brandon Hill on 2/18/2011 12:34:48 PM , Rating: 2
It uses the same platform, but the coupe also has a lower hood and can't fit the V8 -- I've seen this reported by more than a few auto rags.

RE: Step backward..
By Spuke on 2/18/2011 2:07:00 PM , Rating: 2
If Hyundai puts a 5.0L in their next gen Coupe AND they manage to beat the Mustang around a road course, I'll be at the dealer with check in hand.

RE: Step backward..
By GulWestfale on 2/18/2011 10:23:08 PM , Rating: 2
you're right brandon, i was wrong.
one of my friends has a V6 coupe btw (in white), and it's awesome.

RE: Step backward..
By Hiawa23 on 2/17/2011 8:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
I got a 1997 Honda Civic DX that still gets get over 30mpg with 225, 000 miles on it. Back in 2006 I was looking for a new car but I did not like the new body style of the Civic, plus I wanted a litlle more horsepower, so I settled for the Mitsu Lancer Ralliart 2.4L, love it but it's cool to see Honda Civic looking more attractive now. The Prius is one the ugliest cars I have ever seen. Really nothing you can do to that to make the body style look better. Good to see Ford, Chevy now Honda has hybrids that also look good. I could never see getting a Prius in it's current body style form.

RE: Step backward..
By GulWestfale on 2/17/2011 11:18:31 PM , Rating: 1
agreed. the koreans have stopped copying the japanese (and who the hell copies the masters of copying?, right?) so now there's nothing to hold them back anymore. honda, on the other hand... this new civic looks like a mix between a facelifted 2011 model and the rear lights of a decade-old mercedes c-class coupe, combined with a slice of ugly accord.
i guess this will mean even more teens/tweens driving a mazda3 rather than a civic, and maybe they will take a look at fortes and elantras as well.

RE: Step backward..
By Flunk on 2/17/2011 11:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
Tweens can't drive, at least not legally in the US... or most countries.

RE: Step backward..
By GulWestfale on 2/18/2011 10:26:59 AM , Rating: 2
lol, yes... i meant 20-somethings. :)

RE: Step backward..
By Logica on 2/20/2011 7:25:59 PM , Rating: 2
Ok... it's 17 in the UK.

RE: Step backward..
By jharper12 on 2/17/2011 11:50:52 PM , Rating: 2
So... the Cruze is Chevy folding? I think it looks like a 3-series, and it's been well received. Looks like it's the Canadian car of the year, guess we'll see how it does in the US this year, as it just came out in November. Anywho, the Eco model, which starts under $19k get's 42 on the highway gas only... it's not even a hybrid. Meanwhile the hybrid Civic gets 45 and starts at $23,950. That basically means you could buy a Cruze LTZ fully loaded for less than a base hybrid Civic. I guarantee you a Cruze LTZ looks better than a base Civic, inside and out. Chevy's won a ton of design awards in recent history. Everyone pretty much unanimously loves the Equinox. Maybe you should actually look at all of the car companies and their models before passing judgement... you know, a fair comparison. That would be a step forward.

Speaking of European flare, the Sonic coming 2012 (subcompact) has a top trim engine that's a 1.4 turbo, and it can only be paired with a six speed manual. It's a hatchback... having lived in Europe for a year... that's about as European as it gets.

RE: Step backward..
By Stuka on 2/18/2011 10:47:49 AM , Rating: 1
The Cruze is a frump wagon on par with the Nissan Sentra, current Ford Focus, and Dodge Avenger. The Jetta was "dumbed down" for American buyers, and the Cruze is it's brother from a different mother. Both might be good, but no "wow" factor. Chevy has made leaps and bounds in recent years, but they just seem a little lost when it comes to forwarding their designs. Saturn was setting the pace with it's Opel based lineup, but that is gone now. Chevy may turn around, but you can't deny that Chevy's core demographic is the "good 'ol boys" and "average Joes" across America, so they can't make any sudden moves or else they might alienate customers.

The Sonic is definitely progress. It looks badass.. as far as Chevy's go. :p But, It lacks the sex appeal of coming lineups from Kia, Hyundai, and Ford.

RE: Step backward..
By thejerk on 2/18/2011 11:00:27 AM , Rating: 2
the cruise is also almost $27,000 fully loaded.

RE: Step backward..
By GulWestfale on 2/18/2011 10:59:43 AM , Rating: 2
sonic= daewoo aveo. not much chevy in there, besides the bow tie.

RE: Step backward..
By GulWestfale on 2/18/2011 11:01:10 AM , Rating: 2
and the cruze is a daewoo lacetti, available in other markets since 2008. why doesn't chevy do what saturn did and sell german opels here instead of this crap?

RE: Step backward..
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 2/18/2011 11:35:19 AM , Rating: 2
They do. They're called Buick Regals.

RE: Step backward..
By GulWestfale on 2/18/2011 11:49:49 AM , Rating: 2
death before buick!

RE: Step backward..
By ElFenix on 2/23/2011 2:15:21 AM , Rating: 2
the cruze's platform is delta ii, engineered by opel in germany. so they're selling a korean-german opel-daewoo.

I still don't see the point...
By silverblue on 2/18/2011 4:43:49 AM , Rating: 2 hybrids for anything other than city driving. Even then, you could get a small petrol city car for a fraction of the price and still get about the same fuel consumption. In the UK, you may not even need to pay any tax on such a car due to the fact its emissions are so low. A hybrid isn't suited for economic highway driving due to the fact it's running on a relatively small petrol engine; in the case of the Civic, we're talking a 1.4l 8-value engine.

Hybrids are a great idea for city driving, but they're far too expensive for a lot of people, at least until a) they become more efficient, and b) the price drops. Let's not forget the whole issue with batteries, either. ;)

RE: I still don't see the point...
By Pirks on 2/18/2011 7:33:01 AM , Rating: 2
A hybrid isn't suited for economic highway driving due to the fact it's running on a relatively small petrol engine
Are you saying those small displacement engines like in Yaris are not good for highway fuel economy wise? Why? I always thought the smaller engines are always more economical, and you saying that I should get LARGER engine to get better economy on a highway? How come? Is there any research posted online about this stuff?

RE: I still don't see the point...
By silverblue on 2/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: I still don't see the point...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 2/18/2011 11:39:18 AM , Rating: 2
My Prius has a 1.8L engine, and does quite well on the highway, where it spends most of its time (cruising about 70-80, and getting 50+ mpg.) Maybe not the kind of car you were thinking of. My Camry hybrid had a 2.4L and would do 80 all day at about 48 mpg.

By silverblue on 2/18/2011 11:58:06 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I was thinking of the Civic... just can't get over that 1.4l engine in a 1.4 ton car.

By silverblue on 2/18/2011 12:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
For some reason, I got it in my head that most hybrids have relatively small engines... :O

By Deathtwinkie on 2/17/2011 5:49:50 PM , Rating: 3
I get 56-63mpg in my 2010 Honda Insight. It doesn't look as cool as the newest Prius, but looks better than all the other generations of Prius, and it's 3-4k cheaper. Not bad. It's a good car, no complaints about it

RE: hmm
By athlonotaku on 2/17/11, Rating: 0
RE: hmm
By Flunk on 2/17/2011 11:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
The 2010 Insight is a compact, there are two entire classes of cars smaller than that (city cars and sub-compacts). What do you drive, a 1/2 ton pickup?

You might be surprised to know that some large vehicles have worse survivability than smaller vehicles. It doesn't really matter if the car doesn't get that banged up if you end up splattered against the windscreen.

RE: hmm
By piroroadkill on 2/18/2011 4:51:33 AM , Rating: 2
You're probably thinking of the original insight. That was a GOOD car. The new insight is nothing special, but it's certainly not tiny.

RE: hmm
By griffynz on 2/17/2011 10:58:54 PM , Rating: 2
My Japanese imported Type S Integra 2001 gets 5.1 l/100km @100km/h on open road driving with 120,000 km on the clock.
I believe factory was 5 litres per 100km open road which is almost 50 miles to the gal.
Around town is 7.8 litres per 100km
0-60 with mod exhuast is 7.2 sec too

sorry we live in a metric world/country :)

Would the REAL Honda Motor Company please standup
By hinchesk on 2/17/2011 11:57:10 PM , Rating: 2
Honda's lost it's vision. They've been playing it safe and following the leader lately and it sucks.

- NSX is on again off again depending on how the LFA and Skyline are doing.
- Civic is basically unchanged except for some minor fuel efficiency gains... they're terrified any real change will hurt sales.
- No Civic hatch in NA despite the success of the Fit, Golf, Mazda3, Matrix, and likely the new Focus. Instead NA gets the Crosstour, Insight, CR-Z, TSX wagon. High volumes there.
- They ditch the Element due to poor sales rather than try to fix it. Copy some of the Scion/Soul proportions, stick a capital H on it and it'll sell.

I can't believe I'm considering buying a VW, Ford or Hyundai... jeez.

By Omega215D on 2/18/2011 4:51:50 AM , Rating: 3
If only their auto division would team up with their motorcycle division as their bikes are usually fresh (well maybe not this time as the Kawasaki ZX-10R changed the playing field).

By YashBudini on 2/28/2011 9:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the Acura TL is still running around on a 5 speed auto trans, the 6 speed comes out in 2012.

At least they don't fall apart.

VW Uber Alles
By Complinitor on 2/18/2011 6:19:11 AM , Rating: 2
5 years ago, I considered the Civic. I bought a GTI instead. I get 35 MPG on the way to work, which combines twisties with open road and stop and go traffic. Good combo number, if you ask me. I couldn't get past the cheap Dodge-like plastic and that stupid double dashboard. The seats were like tiny lawn chairs. I hope they improved those qualities, or this one will seem more like a 1985 Cavalier.

RE: VW Uber Alles
By Emma on 2/19/2011 7:09:52 AM , Rating: 2
The difference in ergonomics and visibility between the Golf and Civic are massive. The view out of a Civic is similar to piloting a ship. And the Civic engine has poor torque down low, where it's needed for a good drive.

Don't get fooled by Honda
By SpaceJumper on 2/18/2011 9:54:15 AM , Rating: 2
I own a Civic Hybrid and found out that Honda updated the software and make the IMA less effective so the battery will last longer. My vehicle used to be 58mpg before the software update, and now 41mpg after the software update.

By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 2/18/2011 11:42:02 AM , Rating: 2
The batteries chronically die in those, so they changed the software so the batteries would last a bit longer and die outside of warranty. Get ready for that wallet hit.

By vision33r on 2/18/2011 10:09:12 AM , Rating: 2
We accept that the Prius looks like a pitbull but the good looking Civic from 2009 just got the new nosejob and now it's worse than the Prius.

45MPG is joke, in 2011 there are cars hitting 40MPG without hybrid tech.

It should hit 50MPG atleast to be deemed worthy.

RE: Hideous
By Deathtwinkie on 2/18/2011 1:22:53 PM , Rating: 2
I do get that and more. 56-63mpg depending on elevation, stop lights. One time I even went from house to QT (like 7-11 but nicer) and then back to house. Hit a couple lights, was on streets, pretty flat, total distance about 12 miles roundtrip.....75mpg average that short trip. 2010 Insight. You people need to stop looking at the EPA numbers and calling that gospel. Your driving habits have a WAAAAY bigger impact on MPG than some of you realize.

Problem is that most people just don't care. I don't drive like a grandma to get these numbers, but I do generally go the speed limit and don't accelerate hard off the line. Everyone else seems to have the need to go Mach 18 when the light turns green.

Prius supposedly gets even better mileage, wonder what I could get outta that :)

Completely pointless article?
By Logica on 2/20/2011 7:32:13 PM , Rating: 2
This is why hybrids in their current form are pretty much overpriced and pointless.

The current VW Bluemotions can do 70+ mpg on a very efficient desiel engine. So why use a hybrid if mpg is your overiding concern?

You Amercians need to wake up a bit and see how far fuel efficiency has really come.

By Philippine Mango on 2/24/2011 12:21:36 AM , Rating: 2
Hybrids don't make sense if you do lots of highway driving (00-06 Insight 5-spd the exception), the benefit of a hybrid is for CITY driving. That 70mpg diesel vehicle will get 0mpg if it's stuck in city traffic. I don't like the Prius because of the automatic transmission but if I lived in a city, I'd definitely get one because it's really the only logical vehicle choice. Prius may be rated at 50mpg combined (45% highway) but when I test drove the '09 Prius in strictly city driving, I was able to attain between 70-84mpg depending on the ambient temperature. No way you could get that with a non hybrid. Best I could get on the highway with the Prius was an unexciting 63mpg which is why I emphasize that if you do lots of city driving, over 60%, Prius just makes sense. The '10 Prius is suppose to be even better than the one I drove.

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