Wednesday, July 20, 2011
2012 Honda Civic EX
At $21,255, the 2012 Honda Civic 4-door EX is slightly more expensive than the Hyundai Elantra, which runs MSRP from $17,445 to $20,445. These two cars are being compared more as shoppers start to shed their notions about Hyundai being a cheap car. The Elantra is moving fast off the showroom floor, it's residual values are up and it did outsell the Civic in May and June of this year.
The enthusiasts are unhappy with the new Civic. They don't like the styling, feel that the interior has been cheapened both in materials, fit and finish. Some don't like the two-tiered instrument panel. I don't think the two-tiered instrument panel is the most elegant solution for an IP, but I do like the fact that I can check gas and mileage and keep my eyes closer to the road. Other welcome eyes-on-the-road features are the large knobs to operate the AC and heat. Also I didn't find operating the audio system daunting and distracting.
Critics feel that the ride and handling is bland compared to previous generation Civics (this vehicle is in its ninth iteration!), which were driven and driven and then turned over to young tuner guys and gals who added their favorite after market parts and made that Civic baby famous as a tuner car. I'm not one to measure every 100th of a second it takes from 0-60, but I love to drive. I had a fun, sporty, spirited ride on the Taconic Parkway twisties. I like this ride. The wheelbase is shorter than the previous gen and that helps with responsive handling.
We got decent gas mileage--averaging about 35.5. EPA estimates for the Civic are 28 city/39 highway, which is pretty close to the Elantra that is rated at 40. These improvements in mileage come from aerodynamic improvements and reductions in rolling resistance.
The Civic has a 1.8 liter, 4-cylinder engine that puts out 140 horsepower and 128 lb.-ft. of torque. My vehicle had a six-speed automatic.
Plenty of room--leg, body and cargo in this vehicle.
Everyone's complaining about the hard plastics and yes, Honda, they have to go.
According to Kelley Blue Book, one of the top websites where buyers do their research on cars they are thinking about buying, the Honda Civic is the number one researched sedan. But guess who's number 2? The Hyundai Elantra.
If you don't know what Hyundai is up to, you are so far behind. They are marching toward the top and you do want to look at their cars. Honda also faces some other stiff competition--the new Chevy Cruze, which is hotcakes right now, the Ford Focus and the Volkswagen GTI. I'd be nervous if I was in a race with these guys.
Still, this Civic be on my shopping list. Definitely.