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2012 Honda Civic (Honda)
How the mighty can fall. Consumer Reports today said Monday the redesigned Honda Civic which recently hit showrooms scored too low in its critique to be recommended by the respected magazine.

CR does not issue a press release every time a newly graded vehicle falls off its recommended list. For the Civic, which has been a perennial leader in quality, the magazine felt it needed to announce the change because consumers tend to look upon the Civic brand name as synonymous with hassle-free car ownership.

The redesigned Civic LX's score dropped a 17 points on CR rating scale to a mediocre 61 from the previous generation's "very good" 78. It scored second-to-last in CR's ratings of 12 small sedans, followed only by the recently redesigned Volkwagen Jetta.

"CR testers found the 2012 Civic to be less agile and with lower interior quality than its predecessor," the magazine said in a statement. "It also suffers from a choppy ride, long stopping distances, and pronounced road noise."

Spokespeople for American Honda Motors did not have a response at press time.

The review of the Civic by CR wasn't all negative.

"On the positive side, the Civic provides decent rear-seat room, and it achieved 30 mpg overall, which gives it the second-best fuel economy in its class-behind only the Toyota Corolla's 32 mpg," the magazine said.

Still, not making the "Recommended" list is a blow to Honda. One which analysts say could seriously hurt sales of the car, especially with first-time car buyers.

"The Civic sells in a category where people tend to do a lot of comparison shopping and Internet research," says Los Angeles marketing consultant Dennis Keene. "Hard-core Honda owners won't easily be put off the car, but this opens up a big hole of opportunity for Hyundai with its new Elantra, Ford with its new Focus and Chevy with its new Cruze."

The magazine's director of auto testing agrees.

"While other models like the Hyundai Elantra (the top-ranked car in the category that includes Civic) have gotten better after being redesigned, the Civic has dropped so much that now it ranks near the bottom of its category," said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Conn.

The test group also included sedan and hatchback versions of the redesigned-for-2012 Ford Focus and the hatchback version of the Kia Forte, which both scored "Very Good."

CR only recommends vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on CR's Annual Auto Survey of its more than 7 million print and Web subscribers, and performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test.


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  • 445 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      my honda civic is 15 years old with 200,000 miles and going strong! it gets 40 mpg (more than when i first bought it) and i've had NO mechanical problems other than routine maintenance. i've owned numerous domestic cars before that and none ever went past 50k miles. i know times are changing domestically (great!) but i'll keep my honda until i can't go any more. btw: ppl try to buy it from me in parking lots asking, "is your car for sale?"
        • 3 Years Ago
        i don't care about that defense crud you wrote. I think any Japanese car is UNRELIABLE!!!!
      rogerdrudge
      • 3 Years Ago
      The joke here is Consumer Reports. Does anyone really read that rag? Not saying these foreign cars have any quality, but Consumer Reports as a guide is ridiculous.
      midwest9040
      • 3 Years Ago
      It is with amusement that I read some of these comments from people whose only opinion is based upon them driving a 20 year old Civic. First, the facts, in our world economy, there is no AMERICAN car. Some are assembled here, some the parts are made here and assemblied elsewhere, some have a corporate headquarters here but their cars are put together in other countries, and some have foreign headquarters but assemble some of their cars here. Second, the article from CU was based upon how the car stacked up against the competition. Unfortunately, while a "decent" car, Honda unfortunately did not update it to be competitive with other BETTER cars- ie the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, & Chevrolet Cruze. The Civic still has a 5 speed automatic and is not using GDI fuel injection on their engines. The ride is geared toward being a smaller large car, rather than a good handling small car. After almost a decade they still have not beefed up their brakes. Look at older articles about previous versions of the Civic and ALL complain about the braking systems. Finally and unfortunately the "bean counters" pushed Honda into holding the bottom line and the interior in remarkedly cheaper than before. They are using "hard" plastics instead of "soft to the touch" plastics. For those of you who own a newer Civic, the article isn't meant to critize your choice (not unlike saying you have an ugly wife) rather that there are much better choices in the market.
      rondiboyce
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cornerbacdk 61,it's a good thing you didn't have an accident - you wouldn't be alive to tell your tale. They are heralded as a tremendous widow maker. And don't tell me it has a 5 star crash test rating: putting it up against ANY vehicle of size and you're going to lose - the contest and probably your life.
      Mannyc618
      • 3 Years Ago
      No dont get advise just go to accedent scene involving one of these cars and make sure you have a good stomach. I have seen these little beer cans jet plowed .And it really sad. And remember airbags dont work if the front bumper is in the back bumper
      • 3 Years Ago
      i got my 08 honda civic 2 yrs ago with very low milage. I love the car. I went from a 99 saturn to that. I have no complants and i have heard and seen hondas last a very long time. I love the interior design and the exterior. Ride is smooth and quiet. love my stereo too. I do long trips in the car and i feel fine. I Love my honda. i would recommend everyone to get one
      Dan
      • 3 Years Ago
      IF YOU LIVE IN AMERICA BUY AMERICAN !
        gr8bsn
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan
        If you live in America, buy the best car you can afford with your hard earned money, regardless of where it is made. You have the freedom to do so.
        defensearms
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan
        So tell me Dan...what is American only still? Ford is made in Mexico, Chevy in Canada, and the models that are actually assembled here from all 3 US makers, are assembled with a huge majority of imported parts...and using the tax payers money! Now, if you mean buy only American...what are you doing online? Because your PC was certainly NOT MADE here or 80% of it's parts are made in Asian.....I hope you don't shop at your local Wall Mart either...LOL
        Gregory
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan
        yes! buy a toyota!
      tebsen
      • 3 Years Ago
      Our government allowed all this. We need to get back when the USA made everything! Cars ,etc, etc, etc, . If everything was made here again are economy would not be in this position. Globle economy - hogwash period!!!!!!!! Lets make everything here again!!!!
        davidl0830
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tebsen
        Keep in mind some Hondas are built and assembled in the US (Ohio)... if your VIN starts with a 1 = Made in USA. Your logic is flawed.
      LL
      • 3 Years Ago
      My daughter turned 16 last month and there was just no way we could afford to add her to our existing car insurance policy. I started shopping around for new car insurance and found this site: ( http://tinyurl.com/InsuranceTip ) I just put in my ZIP code and received four quotes instantly after filling out the form. By comparing rates we were actually able to include my daughter in our new policy and not pay anymore per month for car insurance than we were originally paying for just me and my wife!
      dc3dale
      • 3 Years Ago
      Actually, Vicki and Roy, consumer reports doesn't accept advertising unlike jd power, consumer digest , aol and of course motor trend (I lmao when mt named the "new" impala the "car of the year"). Consumer reports uses a large customer base to track vehicles reliability for years and passes that info on, a handy resource when considering buying used. Honda, I'm sure, has other vehicles on it's recommended list just not the new Civic.
      Tim
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm very disapointed in Honda's new Civic. Then again, I'm not in the market for a new car because I'm still driving my 1991 Civic (168,000 miles) and my wife is still driving her 1995 Civic (220,000) miles. (She's the gadabout.) Both cars were purchased new. I consistently get over 40 MPG and several times have exceeded 47. My goal is to get 50, but I doubt I'll make it. My wife, who has a heavy foot, gets just over 30. Not bad for 20 and 16 year old cars. Repairs have been very few. We rarely get our cars seviced. We MIGHT have our oil and filter changed every couple of years. NO CAR PAYMENTS IN OVER 14 YEARS! But, once or twice a year we make a trip of over 1,000 miles and rent a car that costs us less than $200 a trip. And, we don't pay insurance on a new car as our low-cost insurance covers the rental.
        bercola
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Tim
        I have a 2011 lexus es350 and I am getting 33-34 MPG on hiway, regular gas too.
        bercola
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Tim
        I have a 2011 lexus es350 and I am getting 33-34 MPG on hiway, regular gas too.
      teamhebert
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Civic isn't even in the same league as the Elantra, which is cheaper, or the Focus. Both drive and handle better and have as much or more interior room.
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