Its the same thing that happened when Ford released the 2008 Focus. A lot of people responded that it was too ugly so in 2009 Ford updated the design with coupe styling options and got rid of that awful chrome vent. Anyone remember the over-advertised announcement of the 2009 Focus on American Idol?
Honda realized that the 2012 Civic wasn't hitting the right buttons with customers so they have made some minor changes. I think its a successful change that translates better within the current offerings of compact cars.