Ride & Handling

The 1.8-liter Civic rides on the firm side, and its suspension gives drivers a sense of being well-connected to the road. That's due in part to the fully independent setup, which some competitors trade for cheaper semi-independent rear suspensions. That also means the Civic has a way of picking up small imperfections on the highway. Combine that with the considerable road noise that emanated from our tester's P205/55R16 tires, and friends will think twice before voting yours the road trip car. Potholes and other major bumps are cushioned well enough, but many shoppers may want a setup that's better at masking the little stuff.

Power-steering assist is on the low side, so parking lot maneuvers take some extra effort. But the Civic moves adeptly on curvy roads; its confident steering makes it easy to get back on track when the nose pushes wide. Body roll is noticeable but not predominant, and the seat bolsters — short but stiff — do a good job holding you in place.

The Civic Si employs a sport-tuned suspension with thicker front and rear stabilizer bars, 17-inch alloys and a limited-slip differential. High-performance Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2 summer tires are optional.

    See also:

    Safety
    As a brand-new model, the 2012 Civic has yet to be tested by the federal government or private agencies. As required of all 2012 models, the Civic comes with antilock brakes and an electronic st ...

    Remote Transmitter
    LOCK - Press this button once to lock both doors. Some exterior lights will flash once. When you push LOCK twice within 5 seconds, you will hear a beep to verify that the doors are locked ...

    Interior Rearview Mirror
    Adjust the angle of the rearview mirror when you are sitting in the correct driving position. Keep the inside and outside mirrors clean and adjusted for best visibility. Adjust the mirrors bef ...