Car Review 2012 Honda Civic Once Again the Best Compact Mobile Geek com

20 Май 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Car Review 2012 Honda Civic Once Again the Best Compact Mobile Geek com отключены
Honda Civic Electric Cars

Deal of the Day

The just-out 2012 Honda Civic is the best compact car ever. The new Civic combines the right amount of technology with a very nice cockpit, dazzling instrument panel, roomy back seat, and excellent fuel economy. Because it s more fun to drive, the Civic edges out the second-best compact ever, the current Hyundai Elantra.

The Civic is not without flaws, particularly the failure to offer Bluetooth on the majority of Civics, and a timid price drop of navigation systems. Regardless: Once again, the line forms behind Honda.

Five Models, Four Trim Lines for 2012 Honda Civic

Honda s ninth generation of Civics comprises five models: gasoline sedan and coupe in four trim lines (Civic DX, LX, EX, EX-L); a mpg-optimized sedan (Civic HF); sport coupe and sport sedan that are truly sporty (Civic Si), 44 mpg city-and-highway hybrid (Civic Hybrid), and natural gas sedan (Civic Natural Gas). All arrive this spring, except the Civic Natural Gas in the fall. There is no Civic station wagon; instead, you re supposed to go buy a Honda CR-V mini-SUV.

Good Civics Don t Come Cheap

One knock on Honda is that they leave the good stuff off the cheaper models. That s the case here. Somewhere in the U.S. there s a dealer offering the stripper Honda Civic DX for the Civic s base price, $16,555 including freight.

It comes with manual transmission, no radio and no air-conditioning, but the windows do roll up and down. The real Civics ones you d consider buying start with the Civic LX sedan at $18,605 and LX automatic at $19,405.

The truly interesting Civics, interesting in terms of forward-thinking technology, start at $21,155 with the Civic EX. Among Civics, only with the EX and EX-L sedans ($22,705) do you get Bluetooth (see story ) and only with the EX and EX-L can you get a navigation package that adds $1,500. So the 2012 Civics starting at $15,805 without freight quickly turn into $22,000 Civics.

Honda i-MID: Affordable Head-Up Display in the Car

The most impressive feature of the 2012 Honda Civic is the intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) on most models (the Civic DX doesn t count). Honda Civics have a two-tier instrument panel. In addition to the usual instrument panel you see through the spokes of the steering wheel, there s also a secondary tier of instruments at the base of the windshield comprising a digital speedometer and the i-MID, a color LCD display.

The i-MID replicates much of the information from the center stack: audio information including artist, song, and album information from your music player, simplified navigation arrows, along with nag screens (door ajar, keys in ignition). Others have done similar things such as Ford with its of 4-inch LCD screens in the main instrument panel. Honda with the 5-inch i-MID panel is a step above.

Effectively, it s a head-up display (HUD) inside the car.

Why In-Car HUD Helps Both Civic Buyer Sets

With the Honda Civic, two buyers are on Honda s radar, Millenials and Baby Boomers. For the younger demographic, i-MID brings you in closer touch to your inner iPod. (A USB jack is standard.) For boomers, the first of whom just turned 65 and all of whom are in desperate need of reading glasses, the distance to the digital speedometer and the i-MID means you can sort-of focus on what the displays say even if you re not wearing reading glasses. And for everyone, it s easier to look down slightly than it is to look over and down at the center stack info.

It s easier still to look at a true HUD that floats the information just above the base of hood, but a) HUDs cost $1,000 plus and b) they only show speed and simplified navigation instructions, not which track you re hearing from Katy Perry or Cool the Gang.

New Navigation, Disappointing Low Price

At the press intro, Honda burned our ears mentioning the revised navigation system would come with a new, lower price and then didn t release pricing until hours before the car s launch at the New York International Auto Show today. So, here it is: $1,500. That s nice but, sorry, Honda, it s nothing special. At $1,000, on-board navigation would be news.

Navigation in the old Civic was adequate at best and this is a step up. The 6.5-inch TFT color display is adequate, too; 8 inches would have been nicer. Navigation now includes subscription-free FM radio traffic data map overlays. Honda puts its navigation system on a 16-GB flash memory chip (embedded) rather than a DVD drive or hard disk, which helped drive the cost down.


Other Good Stuff in the New Civic

Fuel Economy Up As Much As 8%

Honda tweaked the engine and transmissions to improve fuel economy by up to 8% on the Civic Sedans with automatics. The most common model, the Civic LX sedan with a five-speed automatic gets 28 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, 32 mpg combined. Other sedans models including Civics with the five-speed manual are at most 1 mpg different.

The sporty Civic Si with a six-speed manual (only) is rated at 22/31/25.

Honda Civic HF: 41 MPG Highway, Few Options

For drivers looking to eke the most mileage out of a non-hybrid, Honda offers the Civic HF sedan for $20,205 including $750 freight and slots it between the Civic LX at $19,405 and Civic EX at $21,255. It s rated at 29 mpg city, 41 mpg highway, 33 mpg combined. Whether it s worth an extra $805 to get aero wheelcovers and 2 mpg more on highway trips is up to you.

Ford and Chevrolet have eco models with $2,000 upcharges; in comparison, every Hyundai Elantra gets 40 mpg highway and there s no extra-cost eco model. The Civic EX also makes you do without navigation or Bluetooth.

Civic Hybrid: 44 MPG All the Time

Honda will sell a true Civic Hybrid for $24,800, $26,300 for the model with navigation. It gets 44 mpg city, 44 mpg highway, and not unsurprisingly, 44 mpg combined. Honda notes that s the best fuel economy of any vehicle in its class (meaning a Toyota Prius is a different size car). Honda boosted the size of the gasoline engine for a bit more power.

Most impressively, Honda switched to lithium-ion batteries that are both more powerful and far more compact. You lose some trunk room but it may be acceptable, and the fold-down rear seats are reduced to a pass-through. For Honda, this may be the model that finally gives the Prius some competition.

Apart from the hybrid, there ll be a Civic Natural Gas offered this fall. Price hasn t been set. It burns cleanly but won t have the range of gasoline-powered models.

Home refueling will be possible.

Honda Civic Electric Cars

Honda Civic Si: A True Performance Car

I briefly drove the Honda Civic Si on an autocross and that was enough to convince me this is a true sporting vehicle, not just one more car with rallye strips and pretensions. It is quick, corners with little body roll, and is a hoot to drive. You can get it in sedan or coupe models, with a six-speed manual only. The Si models run $23,155 to $24,655.

And you still get 25 mpg overall, 31 mpg on the highway. A tall sixth gear ratio means the engine can turn low rpm s with highway driving.

On the Road: Great Car to Drive

In a day of driving in and around Washington, I was impressed by the Civic s all-round excellence. It s quiet, comfortable, responsive if not lightning-fast, the infotainment systems work well, and rear seat room is excellent. Fit and finish is impressive.

I can t imagine a better car than the 2012 Honda Civic, although the Hyundai Elantra comes close.

You will be excused for not noticing if you re driving a 2012 Civic. Honda says the one-motion styling of the 2006-2011 Civic was so popular (their words) it was carried over more or less intact (my words).

Should You Buy? Yes, If You Go EX or Better

There are a lot of good compact cars available. With availability of the 2012 Honda Civic, there s a new king, dethroning the short-term champion Hyundai Elantra. Both have great cockpits and roomy back seats.

The Honda handles better and has more model choices. Both come with USB jacks standard. Honda leaves Bluetooth off the majority of Civics it sells; Hyundai leaves it off the base Elantra but there it s in a common options package.

If you want a a Honda, you really have to go for the EX or EX-L models that include Bluetooth.

The new Ford Focus is also a worthy competitor and should be considered, especially for the excellence of Sync and MyFord Touch. Also look at the VW Golf (even sportier), Subaru Impreza, Mazda3 (less back seat room), and Nissan Sentra.

The Civic Hybrid is good enought that it could chip away at some Prius sales.

2012 Honda Civic

Pros: All-round excellence, many models (gas, eco, hybrid, natural gas), USB standard, better fuel economy, cheaper navigation system, good handling, roomy cockpit for a compact, i-MID LCD display at base of windshield.

Cons: No Bluetooth available on most Civics. $1,500 navigation isn t the breakthrough Honda trumpets. Six-speed automatic might have pushed Civics past 40 mpg highway.

Bottom line: A stunning 2012 Civic (that looks pretty much like the 2006-2011 Civic) gets better in almost every way. The best Civics start at $21,000, not $17,000. The i-MID poor man s HUD belongs on every car.

Honda Civic Electric Cars
Honda Civic Electric Cars
Honda Civic Electric Cars
Honda Civic Electric Cars
Honda Civic Electric Cars
Honda Civic Electric Cars
Honda Civic Electric Cars

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