Safe, solid and secure
The 2012 Honda Civic has been designed to be more stylish and aerodynamic than ever, while simultaneously offering improved packaging for increased space, comfort and refinement. Extensive work under the skin has also enhanced efficiency, rigidity and overall safety.
The sleek, coupé-like profile of the new Civic endows this compact sedan with an air of sophistication, while also contributing towards outstanding levels of interior space and roominess.
Unlike most of its competitors, which typically become larger and heavier with every generation, the Civic is in fact slightly smaller than the outgoing model. Overal length has been reduced by 15 mm to 4 545 mm, while the wheelbase has also been trimmed by 30 mm, and now measures 2 675 mm.
Despite these more compact dimensions, advanced technology, design and packaging has been applied to the cabin in order to achieve marked improvements in passenger space and comfort.
Most notably, shoulder room across the width of the vehicle has increased by
75 mm, with an extra 40 mm of leg room being added for rear seat occupants. A bevy of further increases for front and rear passengers ensures that the Civic entrenches its position as a clear-cut segment leader in terms of space and accessibility.
The car’s A-pillar has been moved forward to optimise the sense of roominess, and the use of a thinner pillar and vertical sash contribute to a clearer field of vision for the driver.
The new front seats are slimmer, achieving further gains in terms of space and visibility for rear occupants. At the same time, they provide improved support, while safety is augmented through the use of updated whiplash mitigation technology.
As far as utility is concerned, an extra 51 litres has been added to the boot capacity for a total of 440 litres, which places the Civic among the segment best. Added versatility is achieved by means of 60/40 split folding rear seats.
Further refinements have been carried through to the wider variety of storage compartments strategically located throughout the cabin, as well as a less intrusive position for the handbrake lever.
These incremental yet crucial improvements extend to the lightweight structure of the new model. The ratio of high-strength steel used in the body has been increased from 50 to 55 percent, with consequential benefits for the integrity of the passenger safety cell in a collision. It also ups the static and dynamic torsional rigidity.
This is linked to the latest versions of Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure and G-Force Control Technology (G-CON), first introduced on the 2006 Civic.
A remarkable 7 percent has been shaved from the new Civic’s body weight, thus contributing towards improved fuel efficiency, enhanced ride quality, better handling and an even quieter interior.
The 2012 Civic’s defining “Smart Technology” extends to the safety package through the use of an advanced, motion-adaptive electronic power steering (EPS) system. It provides varying levels of assistance, depending on the vehicle’s speed.
By eliminating the conventional power steering pump assembly, EPS uses less engine power, which in turn improves performance and fuel efficiency.
In conjunction with Vehicle Stability Assist (standard on the Civic 1.8 Executive), the EPS system incorporates new driving stability technology. This initiates steering inputs that prompt the driver to turn in the correct direction during cornering, and when encountering slippery road conditions.
The Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system is linked to the drive-by-wire throttle and four-channel ABS braking system to improve control and driving safety in all conditions.
It incorporates stability control, traction control and Hill Start Assist functionality, and provides a limited-slip differential effect for the front wheels. This is achieved by applying braking force to a slipping front wheel, thereby redirecting driving force to the wheel with more traction.
In addition to ABS, the all-disc braking system (ventilated in front) includes electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist (EBA). Dual front and side airbags are standard across the Civic range, while side curtain airbags are fitted on all but the entry-level 1.6 Comfort model.
The 1.8 Executive is furthermore equipped with a tyre deflation warning system (DWS) that alerts the driver if the pressure in one or more of the tyres decreases significantly below the recommended level.