Author Topic: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP  (Read 3510 times)

Offline Autos_Editor

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Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« on: November 15, 2012, 06:05:49 am »


The Civic Si HFP performs better than the base car, with no loss in day-to-day comfort, says Mike Schlee.

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Offline JohnnyMac

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Re: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012, 07:20:27 am »
In a world where you can get a BRZ, FRS, Genesis Coupe, V6 Mustang, and all the competitors listed at the end of the article (most notable the GTI and Focus ST), why in the world would you buy this Civic?  We live in a great time for sports/sporty car buying so take advantage of it and get something that you'll love.  Personally I would be looking at the BRZ or the Focus ST (if I really felt that I needed a FWD vehicle).  I don't think I would even consider this Civic and I practically test drive everything before making a purchase.

Offline redman

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Re: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 08:33:18 am »
In a world where you can get a BRZ, FRS, Genesis Coupe, V6 Mustang, and all the competitors listed at the end of the article (most notable the GTI and Focus ST), why in the world would you buy this Civic?  We live in a great time for sports/sporty car buying so take advantage of it and get something that you'll love.  Personally I would be looking at the BRZ or the Focus ST (if I really felt that I needed a FWD vehicle).  I don't think I would even consider this Civic and I practically test drive everything before making a purchase.

I agree. This vehicle is simply at the wrong price point considering the list of vehicles it's going up against, especially the game changer for me RWD BRX-FRS. Not a bad vehicles but no way worth the asking when compared to it's stable mates.
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Offline Erik

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Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 08:50:31 am »
As an only car, I'd take the Si. Much more practical and usable than the BRZ. Plus great reliability of a Honda, excellent resale value, decent fuel economy, etc.
"The car is the closest thing we will ever create to something that is alive." - Sir William Lyons

Offline Mike

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Re: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2012, 08:58:40 am »
As an only car, I'd take the Si. Much more practical and usable than the BRZ. Plus great reliability of a Honda, excellent resale value, decent fuel economy, etc.

I'd say usability (i.e. cargo room, seats, etc) are close to a wash as is fuel economy.  But proven reliability and guaranteed reslae value are strong points for the Civic Si.

Offline OliverD

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Re: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2012, 09:07:07 am »
I'd say usability (i.e. cargo room, seats, etc) are close to a wash as is fuel economy.  But proven reliability and guaranteed reslae value are strong points for the Civic Si.

Based on the track record that Subaru and Toyota have when it comes to resale values I don't think that the Civic has a strong advantage in that department.

Offline Erik

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Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 09:11:46 am »
But folks up here are not gonna be buying tons of sub 3000 lb, rwd cars. Just ain't gonna happen.

I bet the SI will outsell the BRZ 5 to 1. The BRZ will be a great second car, but the SI will be a great only car. The BRZ will end up being just like the diesel, 5 speed wagons, that everyone here raves about, but no one a actually buys.

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Re: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 09:21:29 am »
This Civic isn't any more practical than the BR-Z though. Two doors, trunk, barely useable rear seat. It's a tough sell against the GTi or ST with their 4 doors and hatchbacks.
But it'll probably sell well enough. There's a built in market for anything with "Civic" and "SI" on the trunk lid.
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Offline Erik

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Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 09:31:25 am »
Fwd makes it immensely more practical. We have a generation of drivers now who have never driven a rwd car on the snow, and are not gonna be interested in learning the necessary car control skills to handle it. Drivers know what a FWD car will do in a snow storm. Rwd ain't the same.

Offline opg210

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Re: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 10:20:51 am »
Fwd makes it immensely more practical. We have a generation of drivers now who have never driven a rwd car on the snow, and are not gonna be interested in learning the necessary car control skills to handle it. Drivers know what a FWD car will do in a snow storm. Rwd ain't the same.
Hate to agree with Erik, being the owner of a manual diesel wagon and all, but I think all rounded-ness of the Civic will appeal to far more buyers here in Canada (though I'd take the BRZ in a heartbeat) and the resale angle is for real. A friend of mine, not a particularly good driver, had 4 fairly minor accidents in his Civic Si over a 3 year period, each requiring some body work. Come sale time after ~3 years, he sold it for probably ~75%of what he paid for it and had tons of interest. I couldn't believe it. It had low mileage but still. Hard to say what the BRZ/Toyota will be like for resale but the Civic's is built on a long, long reputation.

Offline Solstice2006

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Re: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2012, 10:21:15 am »
But folks up here are not gonna be buying tons of sub 3000 lb, rwd cars. Just ain't gonna happen.

I bet the SI will outsell the BRZ 5 to 1. The BRZ will be a great second car, but the SI will be a great only car. The BRZ will end up being just like the diesel, 5 speed wagons, that everyone here raves about, but no one a actually buys.

Are you kidding?  The BRZ and FRS may not sell like the Civic SI, because its RWD.  But they will sell great, and hit their target volume for a long time, just like the Genesis.  Also remember that Canada sales are relatively small when compared to the US, where it is warmer, so I can see more BRZ and FRS getting sold their.

Also, to make the level more even, don't even count the BRZ and FRS, as they are RWD, and in a different class.  So with the Mazda,Focus, and GTI offering hatchback, they are a more useful daily driver.  Each have its strenghts and weakness, but where the resale and reliability come in for the Honda, the GTI strengths are the quality in materials, practicality of a hatchback, and fun to drive factor over the Honda, with the only weakness being not as reliable, but in this category, enthusiasts don't put that as a top priority. 



Offline redman

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Re: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2012, 10:29:46 am »
Fwd makes it immensely more practical. We have a generation of drivers now who have never driven a rwd car on the snow, and are not gonna be interested in learning the necessary car control skills to handle it. Drivers know what a FWD car will do in a snow storm. Rwd ain't the same.

Your kidding right !!. There's a good reason why Volvo a cold climate car was RWD. It's only marketing that has pushed for more manufacturers to adopt a form of AWD and not FWD. Any northerner with any driving inclination understands that massive under steer and loss of front wheel traction is actually worse in a snowy condition than proper taught RWD control. Give me RWD with snows over FWD with snows anytime in winter.

Offline OliverD

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Re: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2012, 10:31:22 am »
Fwd makes it immensely more practical. We have a generation of drivers now who have never driven a rwd car on the snow, and are not gonna be interested in learning the necessary car control skills to handle it. Drivers know what a FWD car will do in a snow storm. Rwd ain't the same.

Your kidding right !!. There's a good reason why Volvo a cold climate car was RWD. It's only marketing that has pushed for more manufacturers to adopt a form of AWD and not FWD. Any northerner with any driving inclination understands that massive under steer and loss of front wheel traction is actually worse in a snowy condition than proper taught RWD control. Give me RWD with snows over FWD with snows anytime in winter.

That doesn't change the fact that a lot of people today have never driven a RWD car in the snow and thus would not know how to properly control it.

Offline whaddaiknow

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Re: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2012, 10:33:23 am »
But folks up here are not gonna be buying tons of sub 3000 lb, rwd cars. Just ain't gonna happen.

I bet the SI will outsell the BRZ 5 to 1. The BRZ will be a great second car, but the SI will be a great only car. The BRZ will end up being just like the diesel, 5 speed wagons, that everyone here raves about, but no one a actually buys.

Agree with Erik.
Great review, Mike.
Unfortunately or otherwise, a lot of people who shop for Honda will not even look elsewhere regardless how good the BRZ or ST may or may not be. And as Mike said the upgrade is well worth the extra $3,000.
Not my car, but I like seeing it on the road.

And for those who like to drive hard, Si is a known for its reliability - it can scream all day and then ask for more. ST I wouldn't be so sure simply because it's new.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 10:43:00 am by whaddaiknow »

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Re: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2012, 10:35:30 am »
Fwd makes it immensely more practical. We have a generation of drivers now who have never driven a rwd car on the snow, and are not gonna be interested in learning the necessary car control skills to handle it. Drivers know what a FWD car will do in a snow storm. Rwd ain't the same.

Your kidding right !!. There's a good reason why Volvo a cold climate car was RWD. It's only marketing that has pushed for more manufacturers to adopt a form of AWD and not FWD. Any northerner with any driving inclination understands that massive under steer and loss of front wheel traction is actually worse in a snowy condition than proper taught RWD control. Give me RWD with snows over FWD with snows anytime in winter.

You are absolutely correct. But how many drivers in Canada actually know this?

Offline Mike

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Re: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2012, 10:37:07 am »
Fwd makes it immensely more practical. We have a generation of drivers now who have never driven a rwd car on the snow, and are not gonna be interested in learning the necessary car control skills to handle it. Drivers know what a FWD car will do in a snow storm. Rwd ain't the same.

Your kidding right !!. There's a good reason why Volvo a cold climate car was RWD. It's only marketing that has pushed for more manufacturers to adopt a form of AWD and not FWD. Any northerner with any driving inclination understands that massive under steer and loss of front wheel traction is actually worse in a snowy condition than proper taught RWD control. Give me RWD with snows over FWD with snows anytime in winter.

You are absolutely correct. But how many drivers in Canada actually know this?

If the percentage was in the double digits I'd be shocked.  I am thankful I grew up driving my parents GMC Safari van with all-seasons during the winter.  Taught me a lot about car control.

Offline Erik

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Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2012, 11:03:19 am »
But folks up here are not gonna be buying tons of sub 3000 lb, rwd cars. Just ain't gonna happen.

I bet the SI will outsell the BRZ 5 to 1. The BRZ will be a great second car, but the SI will be a great only car. The BRZ will end up being just like the diesel, 5 speed wagons, that everyone here raves about, but no one a actually buys.

Are you kidding?  The BRZ and FRS may not sell like the Civic SI, because its RWD.  But they will sell great, and hit their target volume for a long time, just like the Genesis.  Also remember that Canada sales are relatively small when compared to the US, where it is warmer, so I can see more BRZ and FRS getting sold their.

Also, to make the level more even, don't even count the BRZ and FRS, as they are RWD, and in a different class.  So with the Mazda,Focus, and GTI offering hatchback, they are a more useful daily driver.  Each have its strenghts and weakness, but where the resale and reliability come in for the Honda, the GTI strengths are the quality in materials, practicality of a hatchback, and fun to drive factor over the Honda, with the only weakness being not as reliable, but in this category, enthusiasts don't put that as a top priority.

Where did you get that the Genesis hit its sales targets? Only rear wheel drive coupes doing well are the Camaro and Mustang.

Offline opg210

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Re: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2012, 11:04:59 am »
Fwd makes it immensely more practical. We have a generation of drivers now who have never driven a rwd car on the snow, and are not gonna be interested in learning the necessary car control skills to handle it. Drivers know what a FWD car will do in a snow storm. Rwd ain't the same.

Your kidding right !!. There's a good reason why Volvo a cold climate car was RWD. It's only marketing that has pushed for more manufacturers to adopt a form of AWD and not FWD. Any northerner with any driving inclination understands that massive under steer and loss of front wheel traction is actually worse in a snowy condition than proper taught RWD control. Give me RWD with snows over FWD with snows anytime in winter.

You are absolutely correct. But how many drivers in Canada actually know this?

If the percentage was in the double digits I'd be shocked.  I am thankful I grew up driving my parents GMC Safari van with all-seasons during the winter.  Taught me a lot about car control.
I think adding winter tires equalizes things, but without them - and a lot of people don't have them - I can't see how you'd ever say that RWD is superior in winter conditions.
I grew up driving RWD North American cars on two lane and often gravelled roads in central Sask. I've had a big American RWD car snap sideways on the highway at >50 mph due to glare ice and some crosswind. I had a BMW do the same thing on Crowchild here in Calgary when the back wheels lost traction (an older model without traction control. That doesn't happen with FWD, at least never has in my experience. Obviously snow tires alleviate a lot of that problem, but for the general population FWD is just better without having grown up with RWD. You mention massive understeer? How do you get to that in snowy conditions without driving in an inappropriate manner? If you're driving like you should on snowy/icy roads, you'd never get to that stage. And in loose snow, FWD is generally superior depending on the vehicle, with the weight right over the tires. I'm sure some RWD vehicles are balanced well enough to do that job, but I've driven many that aren't. And FWD has gotten me through many surprisingly snowy streets that RWD wouldn't.

Offline hemusbull

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Re: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2012, 11:11:49 am »
Civic is the only long time proven everyday's used and service friendly of the whole bunch here...Plus it's the only car which appears to female public as well! The sales of Civic coupe through the years is the best credential itself! On top of this is the fact there are various Civic coupes for different budgets. Claiming the new Euro Civic R-type gona be the quickest front wheeler on Nurnburgring makes Civic the ultimate coupe for masses!

Offline Fobroader

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Re: Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2012, 11:24:03 am »
Fwd makes it immensely more practical. We have a generation of drivers now who have never driven a rwd car on the snow, and are not gonna be interested in learning the necessary car control skills to handle it. Drivers know what a FWD car will do in a snow storm. Rwd ain't the same.

Your kidding right !!. There's a good reason why Volvo a cold climate car was RWD. It's only marketing that has pushed for more manufacturers to adopt a form of AWD and not FWD. Any northerner with any driving inclination understands that massive under steer and loss of front wheel traction is actually worse in a snowy condition than proper taught RWD control. Give me RWD with snows over FWD with snows anytime in winter.

You are absolutely correct. But how many drivers in Canada actually know this?

If the percentage was in the double digits I'd be shocked.  I am thankful I grew up driving my parents GMC Safari van with all-seasons during the winter.  Taught me a lot about car control.

My dads Aerostar with all seasons turned me into a backroad Tommi Makkinen  ;D The Civic Si will always have a fanboy base that the other cars havent achieved, some guys have been driving them since high school and will continue doing so. Its a sad fact that rwd hoonery is a lost art with all these FWD, traction/stability controlled cars. Most youngins today wont know the joy of holding a car in an impossible angle in an empty parking lot.....sad really.
Keep the change you filthy animal.