Nuts & Bolts: 2012 Honda Civic LX
Bottom line: Anyone looking for a foolproof small car would be wise to shop Honda Civic offerings.
Ride, acceleration and handling: The 2012 Honda Civic LX sedan gets “very good” marks in all three.
Head-turning quotient: The styling is conservative — ordinary-people. It blends in, or disappears into, practically everything.
Body style: The Honda Civic is a compact, front-engine, front-wheel-drive car sold as a coupe or a sedan. There are six trim levels: base DX, the more popularly equipped LX and EX, the high-fuel-efficiency HF, and the gasoline-electric Hybrid. Also available is a CNG Civic, which is engineered to run on compressed natural gas and could be ideal for fixed-route/depot-based commercial customers.
Engine/transmissions: The LX comes with a 1.8-liter, 16-valve in-line four-cylinder gasoline engine with variable valve timing (140 horsepower, 128 foot-pounds of torque). A five-speed manual transmission is standard. A five-speed automatic is optional.
Capacities: Seats five people (real-world comfortable seating for four, especially on trips in excess of 50 miles). Cargo volume is 12.5 cubic feet. The 13.2-gallon fuel tank takes regular gasoline.
Real-world mileage: I got 35 miles per gallon in mostly highway driving with three occupants and light loads (100 pounds or less of cargo).
Safety: Standard equipment includes ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes, four-wheel anti-lock brake protection, electronic brake-force distribution, emergency braking assistance, electronic stability and traction control, and side and head air bags.
Price: The 2012 Honda Civic LX sedan starts at $18,005 with manual transmission and $18,805 with a five-speed automatic. The respective dealer invoice prices on those models are $16,744 and $17,485. Add a $790 destination fee.
Hint: Times have changed. Increased competition means that many Honda dealers are willing to bargain. Keep in mind that used Honda Civics remain among the best bargains out there.
Warren Brown review: 2012 Honda Civic LX is just plain good