2012 Honda Civic LX Sedan 1.8 VTEC 4 cylinder from North America


Good, cheap and basic transportation


Exhaust seems to have a low pitched drone or rumble around 1500 RPM, especially when the engine is still cold.

No major problems, haven't had the car very long.

General Comments:

I bought this car to have a cheap commuter, I don't drive much and was looking for something to replace my aging 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis. The Mercury was an exceptional car for what it was, but it would have needed a lot of maintenance approaching 100000 miles (I like to be proactive vs drive it till it breaks like most people these days), so I made the decision to trade the car.

There are a lot of things I miss about my old car, but comparing the two is like apples to oranges.

The Civic is a basic LX 4-door with a hard to find 5 speed manual, and only 28000 miles. I prefer the manual, as I have heard "iffy" things about Honda automatic transmissions, and shifting is fun.

Although it is already 7 years old, the car is still a baby in my opinion with that low of miles. Shifts are relatively short throw and buttery smooth. My one complaint about the transmission is the reverse seems to be geared incredibly high, I either have to keep engaging/disengaging the clutch to go slow or it will try to take off too fast like a jackrabbit.

Handling and steering is surprisingly numb and boring compared to older Hondas I have driven. The handling and ride is also somewhat "wallowy" on grooved concrete at higher speeds... part of that may be the new budget off brand Walmart tires that the dealer installed. Ride is still firm, but noticeably softer (in a good way) than older Civics. Only the roughest bumps seem to really upset the car. I have already had the car on snow covered and slippery roads; it did well with new tires.

The instruments and controls are logical and well laid out, though the split digital speedo and analog tach are kind of ridiculous and unnecessary in my opinion. It looks a lot better from the driver's seat than viewed from a distance... but I prefer the layout of the Accord and older Civics.

Acceleration is adequate for normal driving, and acceptable if you really wind it out for some spirited performance. Don't plan on winning many races, but for normal driving it is fine.

Some people complain about the seats in this generation of Civic. I find them very firm but comfortable and supportive. I don't have any problems with them, though they may get a little stiff and uncomfortable on a really long drive. Putting four adults in this car would be a bit cramped but still livable.

Two full tanks so far in a 40/60 mix of city and highway driving in cold Minnesota weather, and I have averaged close to 33 MPG.

So far I am pleased with the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th December, 2018

16th Dec 2018, 04:28

Good review.

Good point about transmissions.

The automatics can be problematic. The manuals are fairly solid, as long a you're good at using them.

This involves going easy on (for example) downshifting instead of using your brakes.

2012 Honda Civic Hybrid 1.5 IMA Li-Ion battery from North America


Well built and under-valued, makes a great deal


Mud shields fell off when it hydroplaned at 80MPH; no other damage.

Broke the negative battery terminal sensor while trying to pound it on with a hammer. Battery light came on. The sensor on the negative battery terminal is used to tell the alternator to turn on and off for more efficiency, but the car will still run and charge just fine. I bought a 2017 terminal because it looked like a better design with same connectors. It was not compatible :-(. Got the same year terminal for $50 off eBay.

Tune up, fluids changed after purchase.

Some info about the car:

2012 was the first year they started using Li-Ion Batteries instead of the old NiCad. The battery was moved from the trunk to the back seat. Li-Ions supposedly last longer. These cars also had a software update in 2014 to help with longevity/efficiency.

The 1.5L engine has a timing chain instead of belt :-), no need to change until ~200k miles - Source, Honda dealership.

The engine takes 8 spark plugs, I replaced with Autozone spark plugs in a pinch, but Denso and NGK plugs are recommended.

Takes 0w20 synthetic oil, I change it every ~10k miles.

Takes regular green anti freeze.

Takes regular Dot3 brake fluid; it has a big secondary reservoir, not sure why.

Has electric power steering, no fluid needed.

I changed the trans fluid with dealership ATF; I hear if you change it more often the CVT will drive and catch better. Might switch brands.

General Comments:

There isn't much online info on forums to find on these late hybrids, but it has been rock solid since I bought it. I got it for $5500, the seller bought it for $2000 because it was previously stolen and keyed, and the keys were lost. So they flipped it to me.

There is a dent in the drive door which can leak air at high speeds.

The car handles well on the highway and in the snow in Colorado.

The dashboard looks great and and is driver centric.

Climate control isn't perfect, like most.

The main pet peeve I have with this is the drive train; the CVT transmission is too smooth; I'm used to the clunky automatics and manuals, and I'm starting to miss that. The CVT can take be sloppy when engaging, say when I start it in the morning and put in reverse, the car doesn't start rolling, until I give it some gas, and if you rev it up too high, it will jerk and catch. But learning how to treat the CVT hasn't been that bad.

As for the engine, I think it's well designed; the IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) is simple and not overly dependent; if the electric motor or battery fail then the car will still run (unlike a Prius). The low end torque it gives is nice when you're accelerating, until you hit 5000 RPM, and hear the little engine giving its all. Same with most CVT cars i.e.: 2012 Subaru Outback. But you can set the shifter to S mode and zip around cities all day with comfort and economy. A benefit of this is you can drive with a lead foot all day and still get gas mileage above 36MPG. It was built to encourage you to drive efficiently, but you don't have to. I get 41MPG when the car is full with weight and a heavy foot, and 45MPG when it's empty with a light foot on the gas.

I think this car fits anyone that wants dependability and economy. It's not exciting though. The double edged sword is value; so many hybrids are cheap to buy used, because they seem more problematic to most buyers. I disagree, I think these hybrids will go as long as other vehicles, and batteries are only getting cheaper. So if you bought a new hybrid, it's best not to sell, because the depreciation is steep. But if you're looking to buy a used hybrid, then you're getting an amazing deal, along with the gas savings; you're going to hit a breakeven point on gas even sooner. For example my GF bought a 2012 Outback for $20k, 28MPG, pays $300 loan/$100 insurance. I got my 2012 Civic 44MPG for $5.5k and pay $120 loan & $100 insurance. And spend $20 in gas every 2.5 weeks. If I were to trade it in, I would get a Chevy Volt (also undervalued), because it will save even more, but I'd rather have the quality of Honda.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th March, 2018