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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