Despite being known for its engine building prowess, Honda's new 2012 Civic does not live up to rivals in delivering the new 40-mpg benchmark number, set by cars like the 2011 Hyundai Elantra. In fact, Honda falls one short, with a 39-mpg highway rating.
Powered by a 1.8-liter i-VTEC engine, the new Civic may, however, have one surprise left, with Honda not yet disclosing city fuel economy. With the 1.8-liter a smaller powerplant than those used by rivals, the average fuel economy number may still come out on top.
What is amazing, is that Honda is able to achieve a number so close without the use of turbocharging, direct-injection or even a 6-speed transmission. Yup, the 2012 Honda Civic still relies on a 5-speed box.
Those looking for improved fuel economy can opt for a special HF model that makes use of special aerodynamic pieces, as well as Honda's ECO Assist technology that coaches drivers on how to get maximum fuel economy to help deliver 41-mpg highway.
Maximum Honda fuel economy is available with a new Civic Hybrid that gets a 4-mpg bump to achieve a 45-mpg combined rating, while those with a penchant for performance can turn to the Civic Si with a larger 2.4-liter 4-cylinder making 200-hp and 170 lb-ft of torque.
More: 2012 Honda Civic Sedan and Coupe Debut With 39-MPG Rating on AutoGuide.com