• Aug 1st 2011 at 1:14PM
  • 445
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
      coughlinsp
      • 4 Years Ago
      I just bought a 2012 CIvic EXL and LOVE it! I took it to NY last weekend and with stop and go trffic still got 39 miles per gallon, there road noise was negible, the seats were comfortable (4hrs) and it was fun! So much for your review! I previously had an Accord and it was boring. A friend just got an Elantra and the Civic is so much more fun and built more solid! Don't believe everything you read!
      Dolores
      • 4 Years Ago
      I leased 3 Honda Civics up to 2005. Bought it at the end of my lease for my son. However, the 2008 Civic with that slanted windshield and bullet look was horrible and the brakes felt weird to me so I went to a Nissan Sentra. It felt the way the 2005 Civic felt before they changed it. Now I just leased another Sentra and I'm happy with it. Change is not always for the better...Honda should wise up.
      rltballer
      • 4 Years Ago
      have a 2004 accord, love it. great car. had a 98 monte carlo before that, was a decent car, but nothing like my honda. always have been a chevy or ford man, but my accord blows anything i have driven from those 2 companies away.
      • 4 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?"
        • 4 Years Ago
        i don't care about that defense crud you wrote. I think any Japanese car is UNRELIABLE!!!!
      rogerdrudge
      • 4 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.
      Clayton & Krissy
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can agree with the ad. I own a 2005 civic. And it does seem to be a bit lacking on quality. It gets about the same milage as my 92 prelude. Now I did test drive a new civic before this ad came out and I do totally agree with the ad. Compared to my 2005 the road noise in the new civic was horrible. It seems to me that honda is going the way of GM and trying to get by on reputation instead of building quality cars. They are building cheap cars but still charging for quality that is just not there. Believe me Honda when I say we do notice and your cheap civic cost you a sale to me this year.
      • 4 Years Ago
      hmmm... normally I take these reviews at close to face value, but I've been a bit suspicious of anti-Japanese reviews since the government and media were leaping all over Toyota not too long ago. it was a fairly transparent attempt to increase domestic car sales by discrediting foreign manufacturers and I suspect this might be the same.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I just bought a 2010 Honda Insight. I love it. average 50 mpg without even trying. not as much under the hood as I am used to, but it gets the job done. I drove a 98 Oldsmobile Intrigue for a 6 years and It just started breaking down. felt like it was in the shop once a month. put 90,000 miles on a 2008 Honda Accord V6 over the past few years, it was a wonderful car, not a lot of personality, almost totaled it when it was 6 months old, and haven't had a single problem with it despite that. Using a Chevy Malibu on a business trip right now, its alright, but I don't see the hype of driving a new American car, feel like there is a lot of extra stuff thrown on it to make you think its fancy, but the car itself isn't very good. Definitely wouldn't buy one. I think Honda's are an amazing value with very few problems. but if your looking for it to be flashy and lots of little unnecessary bells and whistles, they probably aren't the brand for you
      mikecalabrese
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe now they will deal at the Honda dealerships.
      • 4 Years Ago
      WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO TRY IS THE SUZUKI SX4 SPORT, NOW THATS A CAR.
      • 4 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!
      LL
      • 4 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!
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