2012 Honda Civic EX-L

2012 Honda Civic delivers what you expect from classic compact sedan

It's hard to comprehend but the 2012 Honda Civic is the ninth generation of the Civic, which has sold more than 8.8 million units in the United States through 2010 since its launch as a 1973 model. Honda continues to deliver what one expects from a classic, compact sedan.

The Honda Civic has long been known for being, as the Japanese manufacturer points out, "a fun-to-drive compact that is simultaneously fuel efficient, sporty, … and durable." The company tried to throw in "stylish" too but I can't concede that point. In the 38 years the Honda Civic has graced our shores, the sedan has never made me do a double take. (I had a used 1995 Honda Civic with a 5-speed manual transmission that served me well for many years.)

What's got me sold most on the 2012 Honda Civic I spent a week with courtesy of Honda? It's comfort and lack of pretense. The 2012 Honda Civic EX is a car I wanted to drive. Sure, my two daughters, ages 6 and 3, were probably underwhelmed (the oldest really wants a Hyundai Equus that she calls a Korean limo) but I had nary a complaint with the ride or quality of this car.

For 2012, the Civic chassis was developed to maximize driving enjoyment as well as passenger comfort and safety. It's against my nature to agree when a manufacturer calls a compact sedan "fun to drive," but the Civic really is.

Is it sports sedan fun to drive? Let's be realistic. It's not but Honda's highly developed MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension systems, along with Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering for excellent steering performance, contribute to deliver a fun driving experience.

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