The 2012 Civic has been refreshed and redesigned in most respects, yet its styling is clearly evolutionary rather than radically new.
The front and side profile are instantly recognizable as Honda Civic, though the rear end of the 2012 model is new enough that it doesn't instantly read "Civic" unless you see the rest of the car. We see the taillights as vaguely echoing those of the mid-size Honda Accord, while the front end has a bit more of a chiseled look. Otherwise, while the Civic's flanks have been a little more sculpted—including a raked-upward character line—the roofline looks remarkably familiar, and its footprint is about the same as the outgoing model.
As before, Civic Si models get a host of trim and appearance upgrades—including new wheels, a blacked-out eggcrate grille, chrome-tipped exhausts, and a noticeable rear spoiler—that are bound to draw a little more attention. Inside, too, Si models get a sportier theme, with darker trim, sport seats, and details like a leather-wrapped steering wheel. On the other hand, the Civic Hybrid blends in even more so with the rest of the line; it gets different wheels and front fascia, plus a small spoiler on the trunk lid, but you'd have to read the badges to know that it's the Hybrid—making it the antithesis of the Toyota Prius identity.
Inside, Honda has redesigned the instrument panel and rejiggered the interior for improved interior space—also through resculpted door panels and new seats. While some might find the curvature of the instrument panel, and its dual-level instrument readouts, a bit odd, the design fits right in with Honda's emphasis on practicality over style this time.