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2012 Honda Civic Hybrid Review

Test drivers said the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid offers a spacious cabin and a comfortable ride, but plenty of competitors have classier cabins.

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable ride
  • Spacious cabin
  • Simple dash controls
  • Clunky gas/electric transitions
  • Plain plastic interior
  • Small trunk
  • Grabby brakes




Critics' Rating: 7.2
Performance: 6.7
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.5
Safety: 9.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Honda Civic Hybrid Overview

The 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid is powered by a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that some test drivers said should be adequate for daily driving, while others thought the Civic Hybrid is slow to accelerate and could use more power. Reviewers also said that transitions between gas and electric power can be jarring. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard. The Civic Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 44/44 mpg city/highway, which is great for a small car, though hybrids like the Toyota Prius c use less fuel. Test drivers noted that the ride is comfortable, however some wrote that the Civic Hybrid is not much fun to drive, and that smooth stops can be challenging because the brake pedal is difficult to modulate.

Like most small cars, the 2012 Civic Hybrid’s cabin is characterized by hard plastics, but reviewers said it feels especially cheap and that the interiors in rival cars are more stylish and modern. The cabin feels spacious for a compact car, they said, with plenty of elbow- and legroom up front and decent legroom in the rear. The Civic Hybrid’s trunk is small compared to its gas-only sibling’s trunk, and hybrids like the Toyota Prius c offer more cargo space. The base 2012 Civic Hybrid comes with a six-speaker audio system with a CD player, Bluetooth, Honda’s 5-inch i-MID audio display screen, an auxiliary input, a USB port and power windows and door locks. Available features include satellite radio, a voice-controlled navigation system, leather-trimmed seats and heated front seats. Reviewers described the Civic hybrid’s audio and navigation controls as easy to use. They also praised the i-MID display for its intuitive menus.

Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers said that quality materials and a quiet cabin make the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze’s interior feel upscale, and they liked its turbocharged engine for its pep. When it was new, we named the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze our Best Compact Car for the Money.

The 2012 Toyota Prius c gets substantially better gas mileage than the Honda Civic Hybrid, and it offers more cargo space. While reviewers complained that the Civic Hybrid’s brakes are grabby, they praised the Prius c’s brakes for their natural pedal feel.

Compare the Civic Hybrid, Cruze and Prius c »


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