U.S. consumers have increasingly grown to consider value for their money as well as fuel economy. Honda hopes to gain from this change and has introduced six versions of a frugal, redesigned Civic that Honda hopes will maintain its stature as the best-selling compact car among retail consumers. In particular, Honda has prepared base and Si powertrains for coupe and sedan models.
There’s also a hybrid version of the sedan as well as an HF fuel-efficient model. Honda has boosted the fuel economy rating of the base engine -- a carryover 1.8-liter mill.
The Si engine is a modified and slightly powered up version of the 2.4-liter Accord engine, delivering 201hp and more than 30 pounds-feet of torque to 170 when compared to the old Si model's 2.0-liter engine. The standard Civic is available with a five-speed manual or automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the Si model is only available with a six-speed manual.
The 2012 Civic's overall length and width are unchanged but the wheelbase is shorter by 1.2 inches. Honda asserts that its shoulder room and rear-seat legroom have become bigger. Nonetheless, the suspension is the same MacPherson strut front and multilink rear that came from the previous generation.
The multilink rear is not the elegant double-wishbone setup of the '90s-era Civics but it’s still better than the torsion beam suspension of numerous competitors. The Si model comes with stiffer suspension settings and a limited-slip differential. The styling is not swoopy like the Elantra or angular like the Focus. All the models will receive a two-tiered instrument cluster.
The cluster on the top will get a 5-inch color LCD information screen, with audio, fuel economy and clock readouts. Navigation instructions are displayed on the screen if the model has an optional NAV system in the center stack and it records incoming-call data if the car comes with Bluetooth.
Honda raised the Civic's ratio of high-strength steel from 50 to 55%. It also reduced the car's weight by 44 pounds. Honda is hoping that this car will get five-star crash ratings.