The Honda Civic 2012 has been launched as the ninth generation of this hugely successful car. The car has a number of small improvements that add up to a sleek, fuel efficient and technologically advanced car. It will be available in the sedan and coupe styles with a hatchback version not currently announced. The car will be available with a conventional 1.8-liter gasoline engine from which an 8 percent better fuel economy (up to 39 mpg) is achieved with better aerodynamics of the car. Versions with a high performance hybrid engine and a CNG engine are also available.
The technology features include Honda's proprietary Eco Assist system that optimizes engine performance for better fuel efficiency. An Intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) has been included that brings together on a 5-inch display screen the whole range of parameters for the driver that include engine performance, fuel, car comfort, maps and navigation, music, and hands free mobile phone.
The Honda Civic continues to add to its safety features. The new Motion Adaptive Electronic Power Steering works with the Vehicle Stability Assist system that can brake individual wheels and reduce engine power on corners adding to driver’s safety. The smaller wheelbase compared with the previous model improves car handling. The smaller A pillar improves driver visibility. Multistage front airbags and side airbags are standard for all models. The interior space is enlarged with 3-inch wider shoulder room for the front and 1.6 inch more leg room at the back.ed with 3 inch wider shoulder room for the front and 1.6 inch more leg room at the back.
Honda continues to use the 1.8-liter, single overhead camshaft, aluminum alloy i-VTEC engine that was used in its previous models. This engine delivers 140 hp at 6300 rpm and is a clean burning engine that delivers PZEV (Partial Zero Emission Rating) even with normal gasoline. The torque of 128 lb-ft at 4300 rpm is also good for high traction requirements like a steep climb.
Unlike many competitors who have moved to 6-speed transmissions, the transmission here is again the 5-speed automatic or manual shift that has been used in the previous model. The additional feature introduced is a drive-by-wire throttle control where the throttle pedal is linked electronically to the butterfly valve in the intake manifold. This gives a more responsive car when driving in traffic. The improved fuel efficiency of about 8 percent has been achieved by using a flatter under body surface.
The Honda Civic has always positioned itself as a solid family car and many of the additional features of the 2012 model over the 2011 version reinforce appeal to this segment. The additional safety features, the improved fuel efficiency, and the retention of the external styling are all positives. The car delivers improved interior space with 95 cubic feet, which is 4 cubic feet better than the version 8 sedan. Specifically the wider shoulder space will appeal to taller drivers and the improved legroom in the rear reinforces its use as a family car. Honda continues to use a fully independent suspension design with front MacPherson struts and rear multi-link suspensions that make the car exceptionally comfortable to ride.
What's not so good?
The major criticism of the 2012 car has been with respect to its interiors, which do not appear to have received the same attention as the exterior. The use of hard and dull plastic covering on the dashboard and the insides of the doors appear outdated when the norm is to have soft touch faux-leather trims.
The two-tier arrangement of the dashboard controls make the car interior look cluttered and there are as many as 14 buttons on the steering wheel that will take time to be adjusted. The i-MID 5-inch display looks redundant and its functions could have been built into the center console, which houses the audio equipment. Critics point out that the kind of "attention to detail" that was visible on previous models of Honda seems to have gone missing in the 2012 Civic.
The i-MID brings together a number of accessories such as the GPS navigator into a single usable display. The i-MID already features a voice recognition system and even gives turn-by-turn voice instructions to help navigate the car. The FM traffic system, wherever available, gives the driver traffic congestion information to plan his trip. More applications will be launched to enhance the i-MID functions. The music system is compatible with all forms of media and includes a USB port to plug in a portable device like an i-Pod
The remote engine start feature will be welcomed by people living in extreme climates, hot or cold. The wheel lock feature is a useful anti-theft feature. The Moonroof Visor should add to driving pleasure and the first-aid kit is a thoughtful accessory.
The car will be available at a price of $21,955.
Auto Blog says :
The "All-new-yet-as-it-ever-was" judgement of the Honda Civic 2012 is not as much a put down as it may appear as the first Civic 2006 was so far ahead of competition that it does not need to change as much as the competition needed to. However, the impression is one of conservatism.
Autoweek says :
The Honda Civic 2012 does not measure up to its competition.The bottom line
In spite of some perhaps justifiable criticism from people who always expect more from Honda, the Civic 2012 comes out as an outstanding car with its emphasis on fuel efficiency, added safety, and superior ride quality in a technologically modern package. These are the very qualities that the buyer looks for in a family car. The only real criticism is in the interiors finish, a compromise the buyer will be willing to make given the overwhelming positives on all other counts. The Honda Civic looks to emerge as the winner in the family car segment yet again.