2012 Honda Civic EX-L sedan
2012 Honda Civic EX-L sedan. Click image to enlarge
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By Paul Williams; photos courtesy Honda

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2012 Honda Civic

The next generation 2012 Honda Civic is finally here, and those who don’t like change will be very happy indeed. Not that there isn’t anything new about the new Civics, but from a visual standpoint, consumers will be hard-pressed to tell the outgoing 2011 model from the incoming 2012.

The big news about the 2012 Civic is not so much about appearance; it’s more about the pricing, which has dropped substantially. A base Civic DX can now be bought for $14,990, which is $2,000 lower than the price one-year ago.

Granted, not many sedan-only DX models will be ordered (likely because they’re not available with an automatic transmission), but the popular LX and EX models are also boasting smaller MSRPs, a trend among all manufacturers now that the Korean makers Hyundai and Kia have entered the market with bright new products at bargain-basement prices. As well, there are impressive new compact cars from Ford (Focus), Chevrolet (Cruze) and Volkswagen (Jetta) with which to compete.

2012 Honda Civic EX-L sedan
2012 Honda Civic EX-L sedan
2012 Honda Civic EX-L sedan. Click image to enlarge

But the Civic has been and continues to be Canada’s top-selling car, so the company’s response to the new competition is likely a wise one: don’t mess with success, but make the Civic more affordable.

All the Civic models have been re-priced — Sedan, Coupe, Si and Hybrid — with the LX Sedan starting at $17,490 (down $2,090), the EX starting at $19,490 (down $2,290), the top-line EX-L entering at $24,390 (down $490), the LX Coupe starting at $17,990 (down $2,090) and the sporty Si a more Gen-Y-friendly $25,990 (Coupe and Sedan). Hybrid pricing has not yet been announced.

Although the new Civics look much the same as the generation that debuted in 2006, there are subtle exterior and interior changes and, depending on the model, more significant changes under the skin.
For the Sedans and Coupes, the rear of the car is obviously different, with a smoother look and revised lights, while the front also receives new lights and bumper treatment. Honda says 90 per cent of the sheetmetal is replaced and that all Civics are more aerodynamic.

The A-pillars are 12 per cent thinner, and an extra window has been inserted at its base to improve outward visibility. From the driver’s seat, that’s very noticeable and appreciated. Interior space in the Sedan is increased by 105 litres, with more front shoulder room and additional front and rear hip room, although exterior dimensions remain unchanged from the previous model. Trunk space is also up 4.2 per cent to 352 litres. Civic Coupe owners will enjoy 30 mm more front shoulder room.

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