For 2012, the Honda Civic entered its latest generation — leaving the previous 2006 to 2011 model range in used-car territory.
The last-gen Civic was a best-seller available to Canadian shoppers in two or four-door body styles and with a range of powertrain options to suit a variety of needs. All models brought Honda’s promise of reliable performance and high resale values to the compact car segment. Compact cars don’t get much more sensible than this.
The Civic has a fantastic reputation for reliability, but a few precautionary checks should be considered mandatory.
A handful of owners have reported premature head-gasket failure under warranty. This problem could be pricey if not covered by warranty — so check your potential used Civic for signs of head-gasket problems to be sure. Ask a mechanic for help if you’re unsure how.
Earlier models in this generation may suffer from a potential engine block crack as well. Like the head-gasket issue, this seems rare — but a quick check for coolant or oil leaks should be made, just to be safe.
Owners have also complained of premature tire and brake wear — check these components as well.
Finally, listen to the suspension closely for clunking or popping sounds over bumps, which could indicate a suspension problem.
Standard Civic models were powered by a 1.8-litre, 140-horsepower VTEC engine paired to a five-speed transmission in automatic or manual.
What Owners Like
Build quality, gas mileage, reliability, generous storage facilities and an all-around easy-to-drive character were all rated highly. Handling and ride quality are commented upon positively. Comfortable seats and the clever digital speedometer are also typically loved.
If the checks mentioned come back negative, you’re well on your way to joining the large and satisfied Civic owner’s community.