By on March 13, 2012

Pop quiz; what do increased production, lots of cash on the hood and high gas prices mean for Honda dealers? Lots of Civics moving out the door.

Civic sales are up 45 percent in the first two months of this year, and the model is outselling former top dogs like the Chevrolet Cruze and last year’s compact champion the Toyota Corolla. Honda’s supply chain woes are over (something they were stung by last year) and production is up by 69 percent.

High gas prices are helping the Civic, which is seen as a solid choice in a segment full of fuel-efficient cars. While gas prices may level out this summer, the Civic is set to get a very early refresh in time for the 2013 model year. Add to that strong incentives to help move the 2012 model (one source told us that there was as much as $1,900 per car in incentives for the Civic) and Honda is looking strong in the compact segment – maybe even regaining the small car sales crown, something it hasn’t held since 2002.

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89 Comments on “High Gas Prices Mean Happy Days For Honda Civic...”


  • avatar
    bryanska

    I wonder if it’s stealing sales from Cruze, or Honda shoppers are downgrading in size.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      There might be more than those two choices. I’d guess they might be taking a bite out of Corolla sales. The ride, handling, and interior of the Civic is better, in my opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        I doubt anybody buys a Civic over a Corolla for the interior since the new Civic’s interior is horrible. That said, I wouldn’t buy the Corolla just because it’s a 6 year old design at this point so the ride/handling/interior are definitely showing their age.

        If you want a nice interior in this class the Cruze is probably the way to go. Not a fan of certain other aspects of the Cruze but it definitely has the least terrible interior.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        The Civic’s interior AND exterior AND powertrain are all behind most competitors, so logic can’t be involved here. The Corolla being purchased by ANYBODY when the Focus, Cruze, Elantra and this are all better than it also makes no sense. The Camry has been selling tons even though before the recent re-design is was dead last in the segment in most (if not all) categories.

        People in America aren’t smart is basically what it comes down to.

      • 0 avatar
        ckgs

        I don’t see why this is so surprising. The Civic provides great mileage, bulletproof reliability, and safety. Honestly, if I was in the market for a low cost, reliable car that I planned to keep well out of warranty, I would want to stay away from dual-clutch automatics, direct injection, turbos, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        KalapanaBlack

        “tekdemonMarch 13th, 2012 at 6:16 pm
        I doubt anybody buys a Civic over a Corolla for the interior since the new Civic’s interior is horrible. That said, I wouldn’t buy the Corolla just because it’s a 6 year old design at this point so the ride/handling/interior are definitely showing their age.”

        For what it’s worth, the Corolla was last overhauled for the 2008 model year. So, at worst, it’s been produced in 5 consecutive calendar years, but in reality is only 4 model years old. Just saying.

        I’d guess that the Corolla is losing the most ground to the Civic. Toyota seems to have phoned in the Corolla refresh, and it isn’t getting any better as it ages. Also, the mid-cycle refresh for 2011 isn’t anything to yell about – redesigned bumpers and lights and a new chrome strip on the trunk.

        The Civic might not be a leap ahead of the old one (and full shame on Honda for thinking JUST good enough is good enough), but it’s a solid incremental update and is more modern in spec and appearance than the Corolla. If you’re shopping the “usual suspects,” why wouldn’t you go for the equally reliable and re-sellable safe bet instead of the older, equally expensive and half-baked option?

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        I am pretty sure a dual clutch automatic is mechanically simpler than a torque convertor auto. Aren’t they basically a manual set up that happens to shift itself rather than the fluid coupling of an auto?

        And anyone that is dead set on simplicity rows their own.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Did you read the linked article? It doesn’t support Civics and Cruzes having the same customers. The Civic buyers’ average age is 45, while the Cruze buyers’ average age is 58. Even the Focus is selling to folks of an average age of 53. It is sort of surprising to me that the averages are so high, but the article also said Civic buyers are somewhat wealthier. Sounds like the Cruze and Focus are selling to traditional GM and Ford customers being forced into downsizing.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        I’m 30 now, and I can’t imagine myself buying a car at 45 I would buy in my 20s, well made or not. Maybe Durant got to me, but I would think as you grow older and [presumably] more successful you want to move upmarket, not down.

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        In all honesty I think the average ages are always skewed up since a lot of parents are likely buying cars for their kids, or helping to subsidize purchases but putting it under their names, etc. Like if your kid is going off to college you might buy a basic Civic for them to drive around in but title it in your name. That’s actually exactly what my parents did back in the day when I got a car in college, I had saved up some money and was going to buy a clunker but my parents told me that they’d rather I drive something newer so they combined my savings with money of their own and got me a Civic (in hindsight this was actually a good idea since I got into a high speed pileup that an older compact car probably would have turned into a deathtrap in).

        I think a lot of cars have much higher buyer ages than actual driver ages because of this, especially cars that you see mostly younger folks driving-a lot of the time it might be titled in someone else’s name.

        That said I think the Cruze might be more appealing to older folks, it’s a quieter car and you can get it loaded up nicely-I see a lot of older females who seem to prefer a more compact but quiet car versus the larger vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        imag

        @28 – you may want to move upmarket, but you might not have a choice.

        That, or you have realized that there are more important things in life than vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        That’s because most young people generally can’t afford new so they buy used. When the economy turns sour, it’s the people with the least job experience and seniority that suffer the most.

      • 0 avatar
        Slab

        Averages don’t mean much. If you have a bunch of buyers in their 20s and a bunch of buyers in their 60s buying these, the average age will be 40-something. Among my friends and family, people in their 40s and 50s are still moving up, at least in price. It’s only when retirement nears that a budget car becomes more desirable.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        “That, or you have realized that there are more important things in life than vehicles.”

        I haven’t the slightest idea what your talking about :)

        All good points, gentleman. I have several friends who have been impacted by the sour economy and as such would have any car-buying decisions severely curtailed as a result. Some people as they move through life opt for the better financial decision or functionality over fun, but to each his own. Personally I think there is a medium, you just have to fund yours. There’s always the used market for your upscale value needs… so thats is where my XJS and LS400 will come from…

        Age aside the big story here though is GM finally built a small car which seems to work and really for the first time compete with the Asian makes. In time it may win over a younger following, we’ll see.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        28-cars-later: “I would think as you grow older and [presumably] more successful you want to move upmarket, not down.”

        What does “upmarket” mean to you? Bigger? Better interior? German nameplate? Honestly, for me, it means a better interior, and all cars have better interiors than the 80s and 90s beater-cars that I learned to drive in.

        Also, it’s not like being older guarantees financial success. A few of us will win the working game and reap the rewards, and everyone else will keep doing what they’ll doing so that they can keep a roof over their kids and/or grandkids heads. What kind of cars are those folks supposed to be using to get to work? A new Focus sounds like a great choice to me — with enough comfort and performance that someone would drive it voluntarily, and enough practicality/frugality to make the sale possible.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    Where’s mine? I’m not buying a car without a hatch…..

  • avatar
    windnsea00

    As with the Corolla these vehicles are no longer the most cutting edge but I would be willing to bet they will be the cheapest to own for 10.8 years which is still important to many consumers.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Ditto for the Jetta and Passat, the new Americanized versions have been getting plastered in the media but their numbers are up as well.

  • avatar
    mikeolan

    Well, the Jetta and Passat are selling well because of H-E-R-T-Z.

    As for the Civic, that one is hard to figure out. I’m willing to guess it’s less-educated and more conservative (read: dumb) buyers. I mean, the current Civic is a pretty terrible car all around. So is the Corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      That explains why Cruze buyers are less wealthy and 13 years older than Civic buyers.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I recall you complaining, somewhat justifiably, in the past when manufacturers had to put money on the hood, subsidize leases or had cheap finance to shift cars and always compared them unfavorably to Honda (who typically had the lowest incentives of any mainline manufacturer). So I assume, being consistent, you will be deploring Honda for offering subsidized leases and cheap finance in contrast to the minimal incentives on the competing Cruze. But then again I won`t be holding my breath!

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Incentives? ‘one source told us that there was as much as $1,900 per car in incentives for the Civic.’ Were you the source? All I can find is discounted financing. Compare that with the Focus at Edmunds. They show discounted financing and $2,000 Customer Cash as well as four $500 Bonus Cash programs. How about the Elantra? Edmunds shows discounted financing plus $1,000 and $500 Bonus Cash programs. The Cruze only shows discounted financing, like the Civic. Discount lease deals? Cruze leases run from $159 to $199 a month with $1,370 to $1,900 down. One I looked at in detail would be $8,300 out of pocket over 39 months. Will a 3 year old Cruze LS be worth $12,000 wholesale? If not, that’s what a subsidized lease looks like.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I fully agree about the Focus. However my comparison was Cruze (second model year) vs Civic and since you are usually (actually always) so negative about GM (sometimes justified, sometimes not) I thought it an apt comparison.

        I was not the source – why would i be since I don`t have any special GM knowledge as I don`t work for any auto company, never owned a GM (or Domestic) vehicle.

        The finance rate on the Civic was 0.9 vs 2.9 for the Cruze – i.e. more incentivized for the Civic. Yes both leases were low. I said in a comment further below that I never saw them put any money on the hood.

        I did say “So I assume, being consistent, you will be deploring Honda for offering subsidized leases and cheap finance in contrast to the minimal incentives on the competing Cruze. But then again I won`t be holding my breath!” And was proven right since you decided to attack the messenger rather than Honda incentivizing a first year car more than some other manufacturers who have a history of that sort of thing are doing with second model year cars.

        I am amazed how closed minded you can be since you see things in black and white – company A is 100% perfect and company B is 100% wrong. Never any grey and never any criticism of company A. Whereas I and most open minded people would see the situation as company A is c. 70% right and company B is c. 30% right and even if we prefer company A we will acknowledge company B can make good decisions sometimes and company A can get it wrong from time to time.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      Mike I take slight offense to equation of conservative equals ‘dumb’ :)

      I would say on average I am more educated and more conservative than the buyers you envision, and I’d laugh if someone tried to sell me a Civic. Give me a something with style and history…a Riviera, a Mark VIII, a Town Car, or a working [read non-Northstar] Deville, all four of which no longer (or never did) exist. I still believe a man’s automobile defines him, at least to a point.

      If anything those Civic buyers are less conservative, more liberal, and tasteless, simply looking for trendy A to B transit. In my mind this equates to ‘dumb’.

      • 0 avatar
        ventdiver

        I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that he meant conservative as in “resistant to change” rather than any political leanings.

      • 0 avatar

        @28: Maybe a lot of those Civic buyers are trying to get the most miles per dollar, in a car that’s reasonably agile and fun. It’s fine to want something with history and cache if it makes you happy, but a modern Riviera bears no relation to the ’63 and ’64, the first cars with that name.

        And many who like cars realize that after you reach the price of, say, a Civic, you reach the point of swiftly diminishing returns on your dollar. See: Law of Diminishing Returns.

        Yes, you might get intangible benefits of style and cachet, and if that floats your boat, and you can afford it, fine. But another person might prefer to put the money elsewhere, and such decisions are personal, and not something to pass judgment on.

      • 0 avatar
        mikeolan

        I meant more ‘afraid of change’ than someone with a political viewpoint. The owners of Civics are people who keep buying Civics because they refuse try something else.

      • 0 avatar
        KalapanaBlack

        When did “conservative” become this loaded put-down term?

        I am “conservative.” Because I like to “conserve” (money, things, gas, expenses on cars, etc.).

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        Mikeolan – I read it another way, I apologize. In the case of ‘one who dislikes change’ or ‘one who isn’t one to embrace new technology’ I have to nominate myself for president of that category. I like things that work without much question; XP over Vista/Seven, IBM spec Thinkpad over Lenovo, 3800 over any other gas FWD engine, AK over AR-15, etc.

        David – Interesting point with regard to the law of diminishing returns, had not crossed my mind. Some people see an automobile as transportation, and some see it as simply an expense they see to reduce while getting the best value for their dollar. I also look for value but I see an auto as a temporary toy and I should be able to enjoy it as much as I can while I have it. I suppose to each his own.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Has a Civic *ever* been trendy?

        Practical, yes. Trendy, no.

    • 0 avatar
      stuntmonkey

      >I’m willing to guess it’s less-educated and more conservative

      Obvious troll is obvious. :-)

    • 0 avatar
      Twitter: phauser

      This makes no sense. I don’t think anyone could argue that these cars are “terrible”. Slightly less modern than the competition, possibly, but if a friend was set on buying one I most definitely wouldn’t scream at them to stay away, especially with those incentives.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Oh? I rent from Hertz all over the country, about 30 weeks a year – where are all the VWs? I will be first in line to rent them over the crap they have been giving me lately. One more Altima and I am going to kill someone. Though an Altima would have been better than last week’s land yacht, I mean Lincoln Clown Car. They do have a crap-load of Cruzes though. Can’t get a Focus, I have been trying. Lots of Camrys, lots of Corollas, lots of Chrysler products.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Southern California. They’re all over as rentals here. Hertz’ website lists 56 ex-Hertz rental Jettas for sale near my zipcode.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Newsflash – SoCal is not the US. Do not assume that because one small part of the US does one thing it automatically is done everywhere else.

        Within 200 miles of my zipcode (central North Carolina) it had zero VW’s, 1 Chevy, 8 Toyota’s and 18 Nissans (now I know why Nissan is doing so well!)

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Do you think you have a point mike978? I answered the question of where the Hertz VWs are. If krhodes travels frequently and doesn’t see them, then I guess they don’t have many of them in too many other large markets, but I can see why people in this area might assume rentals are a large piece of their sales.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Yes, that So Cal is not the whole country. A factual statement. I acknowledge that this time you didn`t explicitly state that your experience was indicative of the whole country. But you were following on from KR who had a wider perspective from 30 different locations around the US. Usually when you follow on from someones comment it is to argue.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Interestingly, the last time I rented a car in San Diego (2 years ago Memorial Day), I was given a Honda Accord. Go figure.

    • 0 avatar
      Dawnrazor

      What exactly is “dumb” about preferring cars which provide the best odds at having fuss-free, reliable transportation?

      I certainly understand that there are plenty of Civic competitors which provide more engaging driving, better styling, and nicer interiors, but how many of these cars will run 200k+ miles with no unscheduled shop visits? Who knows? None of the competitors have been in production long enough to make such predictions. The Civic (and Corolla) are known quantities in this regard, and many buyers place this as first priority. This is not “dumb” this is “different strokes for different folks”.

      Engineering which places long-term reliability over performance is certainly not “dumb”, and it’s mildly insulting that you would assume buyers of such vehicles are “less educated”.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Honda made this cost-cut Civic for a poorer more cost conscious post-recession world. Despite the drubbing and hurrying of a redo, lets face it… it really did turn out to be a good business decision despite the fumbles along the way. Web-surfers want turbos and 5sec zero to 60 times, get them in a showroom and then it becomes apparent that you not only have to buy a car, you also have to feed your family. Buyers haven’t changed much, when the money matters, they start behaving more and more rationally. Given no other choice, choosing a de-contented Honda for the same price as a competitor is still a rational decision if you believe that the longer term cost of ownership is less, and clearly a lot of people do.

    (It’s the right car for the times. Lets face it, things are getting better but times still aren’t that great.)

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      Honda and VW went down market while literally EVERYBODY ELSE went up market.

      Ironic.

      • 0 avatar
        stuntmonkey

        How’s that working for the Focus?

      • 0 avatar
        Juniper

        StuntM
        Rather well since Focus sales are at 23K last month more than double the previous year sales.

      • 0 avatar
        stuntmonkey

        > Focus sales are at 23K last month more than double the previous year sales.

        A rising tide lifts all boats. But since we compare manufacturers on profitability rather than total revenue, something to chew on.

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/the-truth-about-ford-focus-sales/

        Commodity market: Where the products are largely indistinguishable except on price and the only hope is market disruption. As the quality of all compacts is closing up over time, I’d think that you would have to think twice about ‘going premium’.

      • 0 avatar
        Juniper

        SM A rising tide lifts all boats.
        Really? Corolla sales were down last month.
        You have no idea what sales actually are do you?

      • 0 avatar
        stuntmonkey

        >Really? Corolla sales were down last month.

        It’s called a figure of speech. It’s one of those liberties that you give and take when discussing differing viewpoints.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    If the headline from the linked article was true (“Honda, buoyed by rising Civic stockpiles and gas prices, ready to ‘shoot back’), then the Volt would be selling well since it also has rising stockpiles amid rising gas prices.

    Hmm… could it be the Volt’s price and GM’s reputation that hurt its sales, and that hard economic times are driving penny-pinching consumers toward the lower-cost end of the spectrum?

    Those who aren’t so penny-pinching end up buying F150s.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Oh well, “To each their[sic] own.”

  • avatar
    Joss

    Careful if opting with the moonroof. Not a lot of headroom in this gen Civic. >5′ 10″ check carefully.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    I’m no fan of the current Civic, but I certainly enjoy watching the very vocal critics being proven wrong, month after month.

  • avatar
    Marko

    I’ll play “devil’s advocate” for a minute and say that Civics SHOULD be selling well because of Honda’s reputation for reliability and the Civic’s good fuel economy.

    Yes, Hyundai, Ford, Chevy, etc. might be beating Honda in numbers, design, etc., but Honda reliability is KNOWN better than the others.

    But…this “new” Civic doesn’t seem to be significantly better than the old one in any meaningful way. (Or am I missing something?) I will say that if Honda had “facelifted” the 2006-2011 model instead of using up money to redesign it, it would probably be selling very well, too.

    Or is this just a facelift? I haven’t really paid attention to the Civic since 2006.

    • 0 avatar
      SherbornSean

      Oh, it’s a redesign. It’s a redesign which was delayed because the first attempt was rejected because it was too large, and management forced the team back to the drawing board.

      From what I can tell, the main improvement of this generation is that it has been designed for lower cost of manufacture. Which unfortunately translated into auto critics whining that the plastics were too rough on their hands.

      I sure hope the hotel Honda put these auto ‘journalists’ up in had enough hand lotion for them. And tissues.

      • 0 avatar
        stuntmonkey

        >From what I can tell, the main improvement of this generation is that it has been designed for lower cost of manufacture.

        Actually, when you consider that it’s a lighter and quieter chassis, that in itself is an upgrade. Since it doesn’t tickle the spec sheet, it doesn’t please the ‘enthusiast’ crowd.

        Seriously, the Civic now occupies the fat middle of the market that the third-gen Accord used to live in. When you go shopping for a car with your significant other, your priorities change.

      • 0 avatar
        Marko

        Quieter? Hmmm…

        “an unusual amount of noise” – USA Today
        “the 2012 Honda Civic lives up to its reputation for excessive wind and road noise” – Edmunds Inside Line
        “‘annoying’ road noise” – Reuters
        “pronounced road noise” – AutoBlog

        To be fair, some other reviews acknowledged an improvement.

  • avatar
    dwford

    GM sold millions of inferior cars over the years to blindly loyal people, and that’s what is happening now with Honda and Toyota. We know how the story ends.

  • avatar
    ckgs

    I don’t see why this is so surprising. The Civic provides great mileage, bulletproof reliability, and safety. Honestly, if I was in the market for a low cost, reliable car that I planned to keep well out of warranty, I would want to stay away from dual-clutch automatics, direct injection, turbos, etc.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Past reliability notwithstanding, are Hondas considered as reliable as they once were? Speaking personalwith an eye to their past V6 + auto trans issues, I’d feel most comfortable with the 4 cyl. auto or stick.

    I don’t believe Cruze and Focus have been around in their present form and refinement to give an accurate picture as to reputation.

    I do see lots of Cruzes, though.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Honda’s tend to be popular with my engineering coworkers who also tend to do a fair amount of DIY repair. The Honda’s seem to continue to be reliable in the sense that they don’t waste your time and money with unexpected repairs. However, these guys tend to keep up with maintenance so any other average American car they owned would also look reliable.

      The service and parts departments of a couple local Honda dealerships are excellent. Could be that customers are more loyal when the manufacturer and dealer make warranty repairs less painful.

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      Well, we haven’t had a single warranty problem across 4 honda Civics and 15 years’ time, so yeah – I’m going to say that this particular nameplate is as reliable as it gets. No if’s, and’s or but’s.

    • 0 avatar
      18726543

      From the things I’ve heard and read the Civics of the 90’s faired a whole lot better over time than the post ’00 cars. With the ’01 model change came auto trans problems for ’01 and ’02 (not on par with the V6 transmission problems, but still very problematic), the ’05 and ’06 model years saw a fair amount of heads cracking, and the ’07 model year saw a seemingly uncorrectable rear camber problem that diminished tire life to about 7000 miles. After that I kinda stopped paying attention.

      Being an ex-owner of a ’90 4WD wagon and a current owner of a ’95 VX I can attest to the fact that once you get your trailing arm bushings and that piece-o-crap distributor (along with everything under the cap) replaced you’re pretty much left with a vehicle that resembles a cockroach in all the right ways (i.e. nearly unkillable).

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      Well, the engine just croaked on my ’96 Civic with under 200K miles on it. One dead cylinder when checked a week ago; now it won’t even start at all and sounds like two more cylinders have now lost compression.

      Maybe carbon deposits holding the intake valves open? Whatever the problem is, it happened while the car was sitting for a few days (both times).

      Not impressed. I have owned 9 Hondas and expect to see 200K miles w/o an engine failure. I won’t mention all of the other minor problems with the car, nor the three transmissions that our Odyssey had by 100K miles.

      My wife’s 1975 Nova had 250K miles on the original engine and transmission when we got rid of it.

      Oh, my Civic has a bad bearing in the 5-speed manual gearbox as well.

      I have a 100K-mile engine/transaxle sitting in the garage to be transplanted in, so hopefully it will live on.

      Hondas are certainly not as good as the golden years of the late 80s – mid 90s, I have seen 300K miles on those if maintenance was kept up.

  • avatar
    ppxhbqt

    This is the first year of a new design of a fuel efficient car and gas prices are high. Yet incentives are approaching $2K. I don’t see where the rejoicing is in that. Sure the economy’s tough, but Honda is having to offer bigger incentives than say Chevy or Hyundai. It will have a redesign soon, yes, but so will the Forte, adding yet another possible strong contender. Sentra and Corolla should be soon. In most previous times gas prices went high, Honda dealers just put on a price and waited for someone to pay it. Those days seem gone. Honda having to give nearly $2K in spiffs to sell Civics with gas around $3.50+/gal is news, but it’s not particularly good news.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    The new Civic selling well is hardly a surprise, the same way that the previous Camry retaining sales crown was hardly a surprise. We all know that the priorities of critics and mainstream consumers hardly align.

    If you want a reliable, competent, proven compact, buy a Civic or Corolla. Want more refinement and driver involvement, buy a Cruze or Focus. Want to try to change the automotive landscape, but are unwilling/unable to exercise some buying power to back up your opinion? Insult cars & their buyers on blogs.

    But hey, don’t look at me. I bought a manual wagon, new, special order :)

  • avatar
    silverkris

    My wife actually bought a current Civic EX sedan, after trading in a year 2000 Civic. And yes, the incentives helped – we weren’t really needing to replace the Y2K Civic, as it was still running very well at 106K miles, but they were offering some good deals. She is a pretty cautious and conservative driver so she wasn’t really put off by the interior design or anything.

    I think the 2012 model’s interior materials aren’t as nice as the old one. And it’s got the familiar high beltline design compared with the more upright lower glass of the old model.

    But the 2012 model has a little more zip in terms of passing power (larger engine) and gets even better fuel economy with a larger engine, thanks to the transmission ratios and eco-mode. And it’s got the contemporary features like Bluetooth, more airbags and other stuff on it. It promises to be just as reliable or dependable as the old one. And that’s good enough for my wife.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      The 2012’s engine is carryover – same displacement, horsepower and torque. The car itself is slightly lighter though, so that’s probably where the perceived extra power comes from.

      The new Civic is still good in regards to fuel efficiency and reliability, but there are others that do both just as well, if not better, while being superior in most other ways. Why not look at the Mazda3 Skyactiv, Hyundai Elantra, or Subaru Impreza?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The 2012 engine isn’t a carryover from 2000, the year she traded in.

      • 0 avatar
        silverkris

        I’m actually comparing our 2000 MY Civic, which has a 1.6L engine, so the 2012 model’s 1.8L mill for sure has more horses than what we were used to.

        My wife didn’t want to consider the other models (I even suggested the Focus, which seems to be very competitive in its offerings and features), wanted to stick with Honda, or at most, the Corolla, whose current model is relatively dated compared with the Civic.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    I suspect the sales that the Civic is supposedly stealing are from the Accord, not any other nameplate.

    Honda buyers are Honda buyers. They walk into a showroom and are showed an Accord. By the time they find one with all the stuff they want, they take one look at the asking price (I didn’t say “sticker price”…I know better than that….), and rationalize to themselves, “Ya know, the Civic isn’t really so small, is it? It’s practically the same size as the 2000 or 2003 or 2005 Accord I drove a few years ago, isn’t it? Think I’ll actually drive one and see…..”

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Good point – I wonder how true it is, but does sound plausible.
      I agree with some of the others who have said that if you need to give near $2K (although from the Honda website I couldn`t see much money on the hood) in the first model year when some competitors in year 2 are still giving away less say something.

      • 0 avatar
        supersleuth

        The key word is IF. But nobody seems to have any evidence of such incentives. And Honda sells few cars to fleets. So I’d guess they’re quite happy with the average transaction price on Civics.

  • avatar
    Elorac

    It’s worth noting that the 2012 Civic is averaging 34.4 MPG on Fuelly, notably better than the 30.7 of the Focus or the 29.5 of the Elantra, despite its “outdated” powertrain.

  • avatar
    gasser

    I was in the local Honda showroom 2 weeks ago with my adult daughter who needed to replace her totaled 2003 Accord. Current Accord was way too large and bloated, with horrid outward vision. The light, airy feeling of the old Accords was completely gone. The Civic was unattractive to her. Since she really liked her Honda and had no reall problems in almost ten years, she wanted to stay with the brand. She ended up withe the new CRV. Interior, excellent view out and the driving position trumped gas mileage. Her money, her call.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    I do see them in fleets, I live near O’Hare airport, and co-worker rented a 2011 Civic in DC on business trip.

    And, while cool kids may decide what’s in style, who actually buys brand new cars are ‘un-cool’ adults. LOL!


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