Starting at just $15,605 for the 2012 Honda Civic DX Coupe and running all the way up to $26,750, the 2012 Civic plays several very different roles, depending on which model you choose.
The DX remains largely a no-frills value-leader for the lineup, forgoing many conveniences like audio, cruise control, power accessories, even map lights. Those items are all included in the next-up LX, which gets a USB input, along with power windows and an auto-up driver's side window (which we some of us consider a safety feature). EX models add Bluetooth and an upgraded six-speaker sound system, while top-of-the-line EX-L models come with leather heated seats. But, in the same way that Honda typically packages its vehicles, you can't get Bluetooth on the lower trims, and XM Satellite Radio can only be had with the navigation system.
The navigation system now also includes FM-based traffic information that doesn't require a subscription. LX and EX models, along with Hybrids, get an additional, smaller screen more directly in the driver's view, which accesses trip-computer and audio information (and has a customizable display).
The high-end audio system produces crisp, clean sound on both the high and low ends of the range. But over several drives, we've found a number of disappointments in the navigation-system and audio interfaces. While iPod integration on the 2012 Civic was intuitive and easy to use, the USB port wouldn't charge unknown devices like the Blackberry we connected, or read iPhone media via USB. And we found the Bluetooth interface itself to be quick with some handsets, oddly sluggish with another (an iPhone). Other issues included a very limited number of characters for artists and songs on satellite radio, and channel lists and songlists that always defaulted back to the first channel or first file in the library.