2012 Honda Civic: official details, photos and specs

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 17, 2011

As expected, Honda revealed today the all-new 2012 Civic, a car previewed by a concept version back in January, which promises to better meet the diverse needs of the compact-vehicle buyer when it launches this spring. The 2012 Civic will be offered in three versions: HF, Hybrid and SI. The 2012 Civic HF is powered by a 1.8-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine delivering 140 hp and mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.

Honda promises an EPA-estimated Civic HF highway fuel economy: 41 mpg. The 2012 Civic Hybrid comes with a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine delivering 110 hp and mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

The hybrid version of the 2012 Civic will also feature for the first time a lithium-ion battery and promises to offer an EPA-estimated city/highway combined fuel economy of 45 mpg, an improvement of 4 mpg compared to the current Civic Hybrid.

The 2012 Honda Civic HF and Hybrid will also be fitted with the ECO Assist technology, an innovation that can enhance efficient vehicle operation while providing feedback to promote more efficient individual driving styles.

For those who want performance, the 2012 Honda Civic SI is the car for you, as this model is powered by a 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine delivering an impressive 200 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque and mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The 2012 Civic SI delivers an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 31 mpg.

Exterior Design

In addition to having a sweeping roofline and a smooth windshield rake, the 2012 Civic Sedan was also designed to serve as a reinterpretation of the "one-motion" profile observed on the prior generation. Its lines bring to mind an athletic and sophisticated look. Meanwhile the Civic Coupe, despite having a shorter length, carries a distinct style on its front and rear which gives it a dramatic and aggressive styling attitude.

Still, the two vehicles have a wide and low stance which helps add to its already unique visual presence. Further, the A-pillars are thinner, and compared to previous models, extend more to the front portion of the vehicle thereby enhancing the visibility and improving the perception of space on its interior.

The C-pillars meanwhile also extend further to the rear part of the vehicle and thus complete its flowing one-motion appearance. As it continues to make use of a fully independent suspension design, the 2012 Civic remains to be part of Honda’s practice of creating vehicles that are fun to drive. This particular feature is not only exceptional but considered a premium especially in the entry compact segment.

While the MacPherson strut on the front and the multi-link suspensions on its rear have been tuned to ensure a sporty driving fun, it continues to offers a refined ride comfort. The handling and ride have been improved due to the unit-body structure becoming 10% more rigid.

This is due to efforts to improve the structural designs and even increase the amount of high-strength steel used. The new sedan for example is made up of 55% high-strength steel unlike the prior model which only had 50%. As a Honda product, it has a number of safety features equipped as standard.

An example of this is the Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure that improves frontal collision energy management and even vehicle-to-vehicle frontal crash compatibility. ACE manages to do this with the system of load bearing structures being placed on the front part of the vehicle.

Another safety equipment included as standard is the VSA that has been integrated with the Motion Adaptive EPS system. Then there are the multiple-threshold and dual-stage airbags, side airbags, and front side airbags with the occupant position detection system.

Brake Assist is part of the safety equipment fitted and it even has the 4-channel anti-lock braking system with the Electronic Brake Distribution. Finally the hood and the front fenders have been designed to deform if by chance it comes into contact with the head of a pedestrian during a frontal collision.

Interior Design

The interior of the Civic allows for five passengers and shows a delicate mix of function and form. Its use of an intuitive "two-tier" layout means that instruments that are regularly referenced like a speedometer are prioritized and placed high and in the line of sight of the driver.

Meanwhile those that are less frequently referenced are placed lower. There is also the "smart interface" approach which separates the controls into different groupings like air conditioning, audio, and vehicle controls. The buttons and dials are ergonomically shaped with the gear shifter having a tactile feel and that operate with a rather solid precision.

Developed based on the successful packaging of its prior generation, the passenger volume of the 2012 Civic Sedan is 94.7 cubic feet, larger than the Civic LX Sedan by 3.7 cubic feet. Other improvements include the front shoulder room which was increased by at least 2.9 inches while the rear legroom is longer by at least 1.6 inches.

For the Civic LX and higher models, they are fitted with an audio system that range from the 160-watt AM/FM/CD unit to as high as a 360-watt AM/FM/CD unit with the subwoofer. Models that have the 160-watt unit include the Civic LX, EX-L, Ex Sedan, Hybrid, and HF.

The 360-watt meanwhile is equipped in the Civic EX Coupe, Ex-L Coupe, and Si. Audio features include the Speed-Sensitive Volume Control and Radio Data System. It also has an MP3 and WMA audio file capability and even offers a USB audio interface and audio input jack.

Civic EX and higher models meanwhile now have the front tweeters and Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and audio streaming. Also made available are the TFT 6.5-inch color touch display and the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System that has voice activation capability.

It is now also possible to overlay the FM Traffic data on the maps of its navigation system. This free public resource is in fact available in different participating major metropolitan areas especially for construction zones, collisions, and freeway congestion.

Press Release

All-New, More-Refined 2012 Honda Civic Improves with Purposeful Technology for Personalization, Safety and Efficiency

The all-new, ninth-generation 2012 Honda Civic, arriving at dealers nationwide starting on April 20, debuts with a new, sleek style and a fuel-efficient, technologically advanced lineup.

"The all-new Civic builds on the tremendous popularity of the previous generation with a complete technology makeover and a higher level of refinement and style," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Only the Civic provides the most diverse car lineup in the industry to best meet the needs and preferences of individual customers."

The Civic range consists of sedans and coupes powered by conventional gasoline, high-performance, hybrid, and compressed natural gas engine choices. Technology and features new to the Civic include an available "intelligent" Multi-Information Display (i-MID), an available Eco Assist™ system and a new Motion Adaptive Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system that works in conjunction with Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®), included as standard equipment on all models. All Civic models achieve higher EPA fuel economy ratings1 compared to the 2011 models, up by as much as 8 percent on the highway in Civic Sedans and Coupes equipped with automatic transmissions.

For 2012, the Civic Sedan and Coupe continue to be available in trim level choices of Civic DX (basic features), LX (popular features), EX (full features) and EX-L (luxury features). The new i-MID on Civic LX-and-above models provides a convenient platform for integration of vehicle information and compatible personal electronics with a driver-oriented 5-inch color LCD display and intuitive steering wheel controls. All 2012 Civic models, except the Civic Si, receive Eco Assist™ technology, an innovation that can enhance efficient vehicle operation at the touch of a button while also providing visual feedback to promote or confirm an efficient driving style.

With the best city, highway and combined EPA-estimated fuel economy rating1 for any currently available sedan (44 mpg), the Civic Hybrid introduces the latest generation of the fuel-efficient Integrated Motor Assist (IMA®) system – now with a lithium-ion battery for the first time on a Honda hybrid vehicle. Plus, an entirely new model, the Civic HF, debuts as a value-oriented, high fuel-economy sedan with the best highway fuel economy rating1 (41 mpg) for a conventional, gasoline-only powered vehicle with an automatic transmission. The Civic Natural Gas (previously named Civic GX) remains the only manufacturer-built, natural gas-powered car currently available in the United States and is now available with a navigation system that includes public refueling stations for compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. The performance enthusiast-inspired Civic Si Coupe and Civic Si Sedan, each with a larger 2.4-liter engine with 201 horsepower and 22 percent more peak torque than before, debut as the most powerful production Civic Si models ever introduced.

The 2012 Civic represents another important milestone for Honda's best-selling compact vehicle, and reconfirms the company's commitment to excellence with efficient i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine technologies for economy and performance, along with an engaging driving experience and advanced standard safety features. Notable traits include its distinctive "one-motion" aerodynamic exterior styling from front to rear bumper and a functional, spacious interior.

The i-MID provides access to multiple information screens and customizable features. Compatible music players attached through a USB audio interface can display available track information and artwork on the i-MID, with album and track selection possible through steering wheel controls.

Futuristic "One-Motion" Profile

Designed with a sleek windshield rake, a sweeping roofline and a new interpretation of the previous generation's "one-motion" profile, the lines of the 2012 Civic Sedan suggest a sophisticated and athletic appearance. The Civic Coupe with its shorter length and unique front and rear styling result in a more aggressive and dramatic styling demeanor. Both vehicles feature a low and wide stance that contributes to a distinctive visual presence, while thinner A-pillars stretch further toward the front of the vehicle than before to improve visibility and the perception of interior space. The C-pillars also stretch further toward the rear of the vehicle compared to the previous generation to better complete the flowing one-motion appearance.

The 2012 Civic embraces Honda's tradition of making its vehicles fun to drive by continuing to use a fully independent suspension design, a premium and exceptional feature in the entry compact segment. The front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link suspensions are tuned for sporty driving fun, yet provide refined ride comfort. Ride and handling improvements are made possible by a 10-percent more rigid unit-body structure resulting from enhanced structural designs and increased use of high-strength steel (55 percent on the sedan compared to 50 percent on the previous model).

For safety, a wide variety of standard equipment includes Honda's exclusive Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure for enhanced frontal collision energy management and vehicle-to-vehicle frontal crash compatibility. ACE enhances frontal collision energy management through a network of load bearing structures in the front of the vehicle. Standard safety equipment includes VSA that integrates with the new Motion Adaptive EPS system; dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags; front side airbags with occupant position detection system (OPDS); side curtain airbags; and a 4-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. The Civic's hood and front fender areas are designed to deform if contacted by the head of a pedestrian in a frontal collision.

Advanced Interior Design

The Civic's 5-passenger interior is a careful blend of form and function, with an intuitive "two-tier" layout that prioritizes frequently referenced instruments like the speedometer up high in the driver's line of sight with less frequently referenced information positioned down lower. A "smart interface" approach divides the vehicle controls into smartly grouped zones for audio, air conditioning and vehicle controls. Ergonomically shaped dials, buttons and the gear shifter operate with solid precision and have a tactile feel. Building on the successful packaging of the previous generation, the 2012 Civic Sedan passenger volume of 94.7 cubic feet (Civic LX Sedan) increases by 3.7 cubic feet, and gains have also been made in front shoulder room (+2.9 inches) and rear legroom (+1.6 inches).

Civic LX and above models are equipped with audio systems that range from a 160-watt AM/FM/CD unit (Civic LX, EX Sedan, EX-L Sedan, HF and Hybrid) to a 360-watt AM/FM/CD unit with a subwoofer (Civic EX Coupe, EX-L Coupe, Si). Standard audio features include WMA and MP3 audio file capability, Radio Data System (RDS), Speed-Sensitive Volume Control (SVC), an audio input jack and a USB audio interface. The Civic EX and above models add Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® and audio streaming, front tweeters, and the availability of the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with voice activation and a 6.5-inch TFT color touch display. The navigation system can now overlay FM Traffic data on its maps, a free public resource available in participating major metropolitan areas for freeway congestion, collisons and construction zones.

The Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System debuting on the 2012 Civic features 16 GB of flash memory in place of the DVD-based system used previously. Like other Honda navigation systems, this new system allows simple, intuitive operation and has an extensive on-board database. The system features more than 10 million points of interest and the voice activation is capable of recognizing numbers, street names and cities. For ease-of-reference, the i-MID can display turn-by-turn directions in conjunction with the navigation screen.

Civic Sedan and Civic Coupe

The Civic Sedan and Coupe models are designed to provide an optimal balance of comfort, value and performance. The Civic Coupe with its 1.9-inch-shorter wheelbase than the Civic Sedan offers a more sporty character, although both share nearly identical chassis construction. The Civic Sedan and Coupe models are powered by a 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with a 16-valve i-VTEC valvetrain and a dual-stage intake manifold. The engine produces 140 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 128 lb-ft. of torque at 4300 rpm. Both models receive an EPA-estimated city/highway/combined fuel economy rating1 of 28/39/32 miles per gallon when equipped with an automatic transmission (standard on Civic EX Sedan and all EX-L models). A manual transmission is standard on the Civic DX and LX (automatic transmission available).

Civic HF

The Civic HF is a value-conscious "high fuel-economy" sedan positioned between the Civic LX and Civic EX. It is equipped with a 5-speed automatic transmission, exclusive 15-inch lightweight alloy wheels and aerodynamic enhancements under the body and an exclusive rear spoiler. The Civic HF Sedan is EPA rated for 41 miles per gallon2 on the highway – an additional 5 percent above a similarly equipped Civic Sedan's 39 miles per gallon.1

Civic Si

The Civic Si Coupe and Sedan models prioritize handling and performance with a sport-tuned suspension and a 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine. More powerful than the 2.0-liter engine in the previous generation, the new engine produces 201 horsepower @ 7000 rpm and 170 lb-ft. torque @ 4400 rpm, an improvement of 4 peak horsepower and 31 lb-ft. of peak torque compared to the previous model. A sport-minded 6-speed manual transmission with a helical-type limited-slip differential (LSD) is standard. The LSD helps the Civic Si accelerate powerfully when exiting corners as both wheels can deliver more equal torque distribution to the road compared to a conventional open differential. The tall sixth-gear ratio allows for relaxed highway cruising. Unique Civic Si exterior features include fog lights, 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/45R17 tires (summer tires available), a body-color deck lid spoiler with an LED center brake light, and a chrome exhaust finisher. Inside is an exclusive aluminum shift knob with leather, textured aluminum pedals, and firmly bolstered perforated cloth sport seats with suede-like trim and red stitching. The steering wheel is leather-trimmed with red stitching. The i-MID on the Civic Si includes a new Sequential Rev-limit Indicator and Power Monitor.

Civic Hybrid

The 2012 Civic Hybrid uses the latest version of the company's IMA parallel hybrid system to increase efficiency using an electric motor placed inline between the engine and transmission. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard equipment. For 2012, a larger 1.5-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine, up from 1.3 liters in the previous generation, provides a broadened mid-range power band and the switch to lithium ion (Li-Ion) batteries from nickel-metal hydride results in enhanced IMA electrical power assist. The Civic Hybrid achieves an EPA-estimated city/highway/combined fuel economy rating1 of 44/44/44 miles per gallon. Compared to a 2012 Civic Sedan with an automatic transmission, the EPA fuel economy rating represents a city increase of approximately 57 percent and a highway increase of approximately 13 percent.

Combined, the engine and IMA produce 110 horsepower and 127 lb-ft. torque. The Civic Hybrid is available as an Advanced-Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV).

Civic Natural Gas

Available nationally to qualifying Honda dealers, the Civic Natural Gas is powered by a dedicated natural gas variant of the 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder engine similar to the one used in the Civic Sedan and Civic Coupe. The Civic Natural Gas engine produces 110 horsepower and 106 lb-ft. of torque. Compared to the previous generation, torque output below 4000 rpm has been increased for greater drivability. The Civic Natural Gas has an EPA-estimated city/highway/combined fuel economy rating2 of 27/38/31 miles per gallon and is equipped with an automatic transmission as standard equipment. The Civic Natural Gas is the only OEM-built, dedicated CNG passenger car assembled3 in America and the only vehicle certified by the EPA to meet both Federal Tier 2 Bin 2 and Inherently Low Emission Vehicle (ILEV) zero evaporative emission certification standards. The 2012 Civic Natural Gas will become available at the retail level in significantly more states than the current four (California, New York, Nevada and Utah) when it goes on sale in the fall. The increased availability of the Civic Natural Gas helps bring inherently clean-burning natural gas technology to an even broader audience while also supporting diversity in transportation energy resources.

Manufacturing and Warranty

Currently more than 95 percent of all Civics sold in the United States are produced3 and assembled in the United States and Canada using domestic and globally sourced parts. Civic Sedan and all Civic Natural Gas models are produced at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana (HMIN). Additional Civic Sedan and all Civic Coupe and Civic Si models are produced and assembled at the Honda of Canada Manufacturing plant in Alliston, Ontario. The Civic Hybrid is produced in the Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Suzuka, Japan manufacturing facility. The 2012 Honda Civic is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile new car limited warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, and a 5-year/unlimited-mile corrosion limited warranty.

1Based on 2012 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
2Preliminary EPA mileage estimates determined by Honda. Final EPA mileage estimates not available at the time of printing. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
3Of domestic and globally sourced parts.

Topics: honda, honda civic

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