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Honda Civic

Tried and true.

HYBRID

Honda’s 2012 Civic might not have wowed the critics, but it did continue the car’s legacy of simple, easy-to-use motoring with plenty of comfort and economy, and buyers snatched it up in droves. It has been rumored that Honda is rushing a midcycle update in 2013, but the company is mum on details. Until such a car arrives, it appears the Civic will soldier on in 2012 spec. Which isn’t to say that’s a bad thing. The Civic is available with a smooth 140-hp, 1.8-liter in-line four and a vocal 201-hp, 2.4-liter four, and it still returns up to 41 mpg high-way in HF sedan form. Full-on greenies will want to opt for the Hybrid (44 mpg combined), or the Natural Gas version. The Civic uses a multilink rear suspension that is more planted and comfortable than the torsion-beam arrangements used by its competitors from Chevrolet, Hyundai, and Toyota, making the Civic one of the better-driving small cars. Inside, the Civic and its cheap-feeling plastics have lost some ground to its competitors, but the cabin feels spacious, and a 60/40-split rear seat means that even coupe models can carry large items. The Civic might no longer be the clear choice in its segment in design or functionality, but its competent road manners, reliability, and stellar resale values make it a solid choice.

COMPETITORS

Chevrolet Cruze

Ford Focus

Hyundai Elantra

Toyota Corolla

new for 2013

The Civic is unchanged for the 2013 model year.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard, as are traction and stability control, ABS, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

High Mileage

MPG

CITY 22–44

HWY 31–44

PRO

Stellar reliability

Competent handling

Lots of models to choose from

CON

Lackluster interior

Dull but predictable steering feel

Base Price Range: $17,000–$28,900 (est.)

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: DX, LX, HF, EX, EX-L, Si, Hybrid, Natural Gas

BODY STYLES: Sedan, coupe, 5-passenger

ENGINES: 1.5L I-4/electric hybrid, 110 hp, 127 lb-ft

1.8L I-4/natural gas, 110 hp, 106 lb-ft

1.8L I-4, 140 hp, 128 lb-ft

2.4L I-4, 201 hp, 170 lb-ft

TRANSMISSIONS: 5- or 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic, continuously variable

PASSENGER VOLUME: (sedan/coupe) 92.1–94.6/82.6–83.2 cu ft

CARGO SPACE: (Hybrid/coupe/sedan) 10.7/11.7/12.5 cu ft

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