The varied model and trim choices for the 2012 Honda Civic may cause confusion among some overwhelmed folks. Apart from the usual gas-powered sedan and coupe, the redesigned, ninth-generation compact is available as an electric-gas hybrid, the all-new HF (high fuel economy) and the upcoming Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
But there is no need to panic. We will focus on our test-drive model, the lively coupe, which is fitted with a 1.8-liter inline-4 cylinder engine offering 140 horsepower @ 6500 rpm. Mated to a 5-speed stick, the aggressive-looking coupe starts at $15,605, and for just $800 extra, you can get a 5-speed automatic. Base-priced at $21,955, our mid-level EX-L trim is impressive at sipping gas with 28 city and 39 mpg highway figures. Of course, high-performance enthusiasts will pounce on the potent 2.4-liter (up from 2.0 in the previous version) inline-4 cylinder engine in the 6-speed Si that blasts off 201 hp (up from 197) @ 7000 rpm. This sporty model tops at $23,905 with navigation, satellite radio and summer tires.
An all-new Multi-Information Display (i-MID) includes a 5-inch LCD screen that shows readings for audio, trip computer, fuel economy and navigation. However, the Civic retains its familiar two-tier instrument panel of a digital speedometer and analog tachometer. Excluding the Si, the coupe gets an Eco Assist display to show the driver's fuel efficiency habits via vertical bars on the instrument panel. Also, press the ECON button for more gasoline savings.
If in the market for a compact car, this one is a no-brainer. It's fuel efficient, affordable, durable and dependable. All these and an aggressive-styled stance make a strong case for parking the revamped Civic in your garage.
CIVIC COUPE EX-L
Wheelbase: 103.2 inches
Length: 175.5 inches
Weight: 2,756 pounds
Suspension: MacPherson strut front; multilink rear
Steering: Motion-adaptive electric power
Fuel capacity: 13.2 gallons