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Battle of the Eco Compact Cars
  • Battle of the Eco Compact Cars
  • Battle of the Eco Compact Cars

  • Battle of the Eco Compact Cars
  • Battle of the Eco Compact Cars

  • Battle of the Eco Compact Cars
  • Battle of the Eco Compact Cars

  • Battle of the Eco Compact Cars
  • Battle of the Eco Compact Cars

  • Battle of the Eco Compact Cars
  • Battle of the Eco Compact Cars

  • Battle of the Eco Compact Cars
  • Battle of the Eco Compact Cars

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid driving

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco driving

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI driving

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid front 3/4 view

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco front 3/4 view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid rear 3/4 view

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco rear 3/4 view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid front 3/4 view

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco front 3/4 view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid rear 3/4 view

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco rear 3/4 view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid side view

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco side view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI side view

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid front view

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco front view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front view

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid rear view

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco rear view

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI rear view

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid grille

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco grille

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI grille

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid logo

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco logo

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI logo

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid headlight

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco headlight

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI headlight

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid wheel

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco wheel

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI wheel

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid wheel

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco wheel

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI wheel

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid side mirror

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco side mirror

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI side mirror

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid door handle

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco door handle

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI door handle

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid taillight

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco taillight

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI taillight

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid badge

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco badge

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI badge

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid engine

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco engine

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI engine

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid engine

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco engine

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI engine

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid engine detail

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco engine detail

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI engine detail

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid interior

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco interior

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI interior

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid interior

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco interior

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI interior

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid interior

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco interior

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI interior

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid gauges

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco gauges

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI gauges

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid navigation system

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco instrument panel

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI instrument panel

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid shifter

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco shifter

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI shifter

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid shifter

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco shifter

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI shifter

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid front seats

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco front seats

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI front seats

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid rear seats

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco rear seats

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI rear seats

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid door

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco door

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI door

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid keys

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco keys

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI keys

  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid trunk

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco trunk

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI trunk

As we've stated before, there's truly no greater sin in the automotive world than replacing a worthy vehicle with an inferior machine. According to Consumer Reports, that's exactly what Honda has done... again.

With the 2012 redesign, the Honda Civic Hybrid has fallen off CR's Recommended list. Its score of 62 – one point above the 2012 Honda Civic but ten points below CR's rating for the 2006 Civic Hybrid – forced Consumer Reports to drop its Recommended tag from the gas-electric Civic. In CR's words:
The new Honda Civic Hybrid gets an impressive 40 miles per gallon overall, 3 mpg more than the previous Civic Hybrid and even better than Honda's smaller Insight and CR-Z. But the car has gone down hill overall, with sloppy handling, a choppy ride, long stopping distances and a cheap feeling interior. With its low test score, we no longer can recommend the Civic Hybrid, even though we expect above-average reliability.
And with the Honda Insight scoring only 54 points and the CR-Z grabbing just 57 points, Honda no longer has a single hybrid on CR's Recommended list. For reference, the Toyota Prius scored 80 points, landing it in second place in CR's "small hatchbacks" category.

The only "small sedans" to score below the 2012 Civic Hybrid in CR's evaluation were the Mitsubishi Lancer EX (62), Honda Civic LX (61) and Volkswagen Jetta SE (60).

Honda will most likely be none-too pleased with the Civic Hybrid's low score and we even expect the Japanese automaker to, once again, respond to CR's ranking of its redesigned Civic. That is, unless Consumer Reports' chronicling of Honda's decline has convinced the Japanese automaker that the Civic just ain't as good as it once was.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      uncle_sam
      • 3 Years Ago
      Planly dumb CR talk. In most tests the new civic performs very well. It got a bigger Motor with 1.5 liter (lower rpm) and a stronger elecric motor. With 20 hp the driver can stretch the glide phases with EV power only. learn how to drive.
        Ford Future
        • 3 Years Ago
        @uncle_sam
        Yes, CU was also one of those who said "ECO mode made no difference". I find it makes a 5-12 mpg difference, and I don't know how to hyper mile. But, I do drive the same route day after day, and look at the info provided.
        Ford Future
        • 3 Years Ago
        @uncle_sam
        The big secret's are: - Never Floor it - Never Charge up a hill - In Eco mode, keep it out of Dark Blue, accelerate in the Green or if you must in the light blue zone. - Touch the brakes going down a hill to get more regen - Cruise so that you don't need to dip into the electric power and battery. There, that's not so hard?
      8up1977
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is what happens when cost-cutting, short term thinking MBAs penetrate what used to be an engineering driven corporate culture. Lesson? Don't let it happen to your company.
      glp012849
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just traded my 2007 Civic hybrid on a non hybrid 2012 Civic. Just couldn't justify the extra cost for equal gas mileage between the two. My 07 was a great car, needing only regular mtce. But with 117,000 miles, was starting to worry about that hybrid battery. Loving how my new one, seats fold down to enlarge trunk space, formerly taken up by big old battery. I still love Honda's and hope they never become too complacent about their reputation.
      Jelly
      • 3 Years Ago
      Honda used to be a good selling car in Europe, now they sell next nothing here their sales have plunged in the last few years they are 5th from bottom as a brand with just 10,000 sales last month. It not hard to see why sales charts at Honda have fallen through the floor their cars are so dull & boring like this one above whatever the blob is, they have become so anonymous nobody even knows if they exist anymore.
      Eideard
      • 3 Years Ago
      Watch the video review over at CNET. They reference the EPA rating of 44/44/44 and the car was well recommended as improved all the way round. Never known anyone to get less than the EPA rating. BTW, to add to others' comments. I was familiar with the original CR testing crew back in the day in CT and no one knew how to drive back then, either. The leftover test cars were always a good deal, though.
        Ford Future
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Eideard
        CNET does have a good review, thanks. http://reviews.cnet.com/sedan/2012-honda-civic-hybrid/4505-10865_7-35003053.html
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      I notice how CU does a Hybrid to it's non-hybrid twin to determine hybrid payback. - Underestimates the Insight's actual fuel economy. - Compare's a Prius to a Corolla: Problem: Many people who bought a Prius would Never buy a Corolla. - Compare's an Insight to a Fit: If a fit were a hybrid, many would have bought the Fit Hybrid. But, the real cost comparison is the CAR You LEAVE, and compared to the Average Car Sold Today, a Hybrid would save a Substantially Larger amount of money then these comparisons.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder if Honda has fixed the issue with their Hybrid batteries rapidly loosing capacity at around 75k mileage (causing ever more common battery recalibrations, often after the break comes off at stop lights, and huge power loss while driving) and not covered by the warranty. This occurred on the first generation Insight and first two generations of Civic Hybrid's...I wouldn't buy a Civic Hybrid unless I counted on selling it by around the 70k mileage measure. Very sad, as Honda seems to have lost its soul - like they switched executive teams with the GM of 10 years ago - now we're getting vehicles from them that look like design decisions were made by MBA's searching for what they can get away with (i.e. how cheap they can make it) compared with making the best car for that market (prior generation Civic for example). I have a 2006 Honda Civic and it is an awesome car - radical design for the time, drives nice and tight, gets good gas mileage and never needs anything beyond gas and oil changes. I'd love to be cheering for Honda, but I wouldn't touch one of the new ones with a ten foot pole.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This also makes me wonder about consumer reports as much as Honda tho. I glimpsed through this years pass and fails, and it seems they can put a negative or positive spin based on improvement over the last year. I would think overall reliablity to be forefront, not whether there is progress or whether the progress was good or poorly implimented. Jeep, Saab, Jaguar, all have none passing, yet I rarely see any of these models roadside, if ever, or on tow trucks. I think its more of a board vendetta for certain brands, as well as consumers exaggerations. From the pass/fail list, I'd say its pure scattershot, cars with antilock break issues and technical issues seem to take little heat while handling and interior seem to bare it all, I guess cost effective and efficient just isn't what these gluts look for.
        skierpage
        • 3 Years Ago
        You're wrong, and you can't spell. For years CR whiners accused CR of blindly supporting Toyota and Honda, now they hate on them for kicking the lackluster Honda Civic and Civic Hybrid? CR does a decent job of reviewing and testing cars.
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      Finally, Fit vs. Insight. - Same ride issues, same "quality" interior issues, yet the Fit is Recommended. The Insight comes with fuel saving tires, and it looses points on handling. But, is a hybrid driver going to storm around going 20 mph over the speed limit, and get 20 mpg flooring it? Maybe CU needs to factor in How the Car will be Driven. For Normal or slightly higher speeds the Insight has Excellent handling and braking, and they now have electronic stability control on all models. It seems Honda's Insight is really getting bashed by a CU Tea Party Member. Sell Your Exxon Stock CU.
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      Consumer Reports "Recommends" a VW Golf, made in Mexico, and get's 24 mpg, to a Honda Insight. Consumer Reports Delusional?
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      What's "new" to this story?
      winc06
      • 3 Years Ago
      The actual car magazines like the new Civic. They admit that while handling has become softer, it is quieter, more solid and handles like a larger car, all things that most American like. CR makes mistakes and then they stonewall. They never admit mistakes or admit that their test parameters might be in question. You only have to see a few instances of their bad grading of consumer oriented cheap Macs in comparison to top of the line PC models or running SUVs through high speed lane change maneuvers to realize they are clueless or biased.
        Danaon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @winc06
        Uh, have you driven the new Civic compared to the old one? It's 100% worse. The steering is much more vague, the ride is worse, the cabin noise is much louder and the interior actually got worse as well. Methinks you are the one with the bias.
        winc06
        • 3 Years Ago
        @winc06
        You can google the Popular Mechanic comparison of the Civic HybridT with the Prius. They found little difference between them, the Prius getting slightly better fuel economy and the the Honda being a little more fun to drive. About equal in noise, accommodation and refinement. Since when do you do an evaluation of a hybrid that gives a little more room, a little more performance than its competition and a substantial increase in its fuel economy and not recommend it. Evidently CR can't separate its Civic evaluation against its competitors from the Hybrid evaluation against the Prius. That little glow of disapproval just spreads and spreads even when it is not relevant.
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