Consumer Reports created quite a stir on the Internets when it announced that it would no longer recommend the Honda Civic. The reason? The consumer advocacy institution cites issues such as the brakes, fit and finish and sporty handling all diminishing for the 2012 model year. In other words, the Civic isn't as good as the model it replaces.
Now CR is taking its criticism of Honda one step further, pointing out that several recent model updates have fallen short of CR's expectations. The Civic received an overall score of 78 back in 2006, but the new model scores only 61. The Pilot received a smaller drop from 2005 to 2009, going from a score of 79 to a 74. The Odyssey, too, took a hit, as the 2011 model scored an 83, down from the previous model's 91. Those models all show a clear decline in scores, but all-new models have fared even worse. The Insight managed to receive a 54, while the CR-Z could only muster a score of 57.
The reasons for these declines tend to correlate from model to model. Brakes, interior materials, steering feel and fit and finish tend to be some of the biggest reasons. Even worse for enthusiasts is that CR's testing shows that driving excitement (as nebulous as that term may be...) has diminished.
The results of recent Consumer Reports testing shows what we've been hearing for a while now. Honda appears to be struggling with new models, with few signs of progress on the horizon. CR points out that even the mighty Accord, which routinely finishes second in sedan sales, is now playing second fiddle to the Ford Fusion when it comes to reliability, ride and handling and cabin noise.
We want to know what you think. Has Honda design taken a step back? Let us know in the poll below.
Consumer Reports 'chronicles decline in Honda's design competitiveness' [w/poll]