There are plenty of ways to know an automaker has made a misstep. Diminished sales and high inventory are typical markers of a lackluster model, as is a paucity of critical acclaim. All three factors are currently weighting on the 2012 Honda Civic. And while stopping short of an actual apology, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito has reportedly stepped in to take responsibility for the model's reception. At a Tokyo Motor Show roundtable, Ito told media members that he takes full responsibility for the vehicle's meager performance in the United States and remarked that Honda takes input from world markets very seriously. The CEO also said that his company is working to discern the best course of action moving forward, acknowledging talk of an earlier-than-normal refresh to address the car's criticisms.

The redesigned Honda Civic hasn't found many fans since it debuted in April. Consumer Reports refused to recommend the vehicle for the first time in the car's history, and Dan Neil of The Wall Street Journal said that the new car "feels like a betrayal from Honda."

Ouch.

Not surprisingly, Automotive News reports that Civic sales have dropped by 15 percent while the rest of the automotive market has seen an increase of 10 percent compared to last year. While some of that fall may be due to supply issues brought about first by earthquake and tsunami activity in Japan and later by floods in Thailand, the reality is that the bread-and-butter compact simply isn't meeting expectations.


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  • 135 Comments
      Gordon Chen
      • 3 Years Ago
      Don't forget the CR-Z, mr CEO
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Gordon Chen
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      • 3 Years Ago
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      Chad
      • 2 Years Ago
      I was one of those guys who was waiting on purpose to buy a new si civic and when I saw the new one I ran for the hills. Honda has totally lost its way in the last 10 years, its not the sweet rides that I always wanted in the 90s going through school. You were a good friend Honda, you will be missed.
      Bryant Keith
      • 3 Years Ago
      I bought a 2012 Honda Civic...while all you people were bitching about looks and feel. Worked out great for me cause Honda just handed out incentives. When I buy a vehicle it is about fuel economy, utility, and reliability all of which the Honda still has. Sure the Ford Focus might be more fun to drive but you won't be driving as much when the transmission goes out every year. Your Hyundai Elantra may look better but it has bigger panel gaps than an early model Chevy Cobalt. Honda tried to suite everyone for what people really need. You can take your other models but when I pass by you when your waist deep in your engine bay on the side of the road, I get to smile as I get 34 MPG average city on eco mode, and it does everything it needs to do.
        jj72
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bryant Keith
        Actually, a majority of people and the reviewers have knocked the Civic and Honda responded by announcing some changes. That proves something is wrong with the current model. You mention the Elantra interior......funny, Honda admitted that they cheapened the quality of the materials in this model and felt people would accept it to retain its current price. um no. Remember, your 2012 Civic will be known as a failure at Honda. Enjoy!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bryant Keith
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        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bryant Keith
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          • 3 Years Ago
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        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bryant Keith
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          • 3 Years Ago
          [blocked]
        over9000
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bryant Keith
        Autoblog members are a bunch of hyprocrites with mood disorders. The same poster got voted down and voted up by defending his position. The Civic is a good car.
      Andrew
      • 3 Years Ago
      He shoylnt be sorry civis is still numba one in teviews
      jgabs69
      • 3 Years Ago
      i think this chap should apologize for every Honda since the '07 CRV and the '08 Accord. They're all such eyesores. Bring back old Honda styling. The '06 Civic is 100 times better than this sad excuse for a compact
      Hyundai owner
      • 3 Years Ago
      What about Toyota? Especially the new Camry? Hahaha.
        Mike
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hyundai owner
        I don't think the new Camry is quite as bland as this new Civic. I don't think the old Civic is as bland as the new Civic.
        SPONGEZILLA
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hyundai owner
        Actually... the new Camry is an improvement over the old one. It might not be a VW CC or BMW 3 series but to expect that is ludicrous anyhow. Most of the market would balk at buying a BMW 3 series at Camry prices because they wouldn't know what to do with the dynamics it serves up anyhow. We're not a nation of enthusiasts... we're a nation of people that want a good, solid and reliable mode of transport and for that... most of the cars in this segment fit the bill. For those wanting a bit more character, they generally opt for something like an SE package which looks a little sportier and handles a little sportier but is a far cry from a sport sedan. As a Hyundai owner... you probably should appreciate that because the Sonata doesn't stack up against either of those cars either. I know this, we have a 2011 Sonata in the garage and it's not a sport sedan anymore than a Camry is. It's great for what it was designed for though. The difference between where Toyota is with the Camry and where Honda is with the Civic is pretty simple. The Camry, while a conservative refresh vs. a complete clean sheet redesign... is still thoroughly modern where it counts and takes what was great about the previous car and makes it more competitive. In fairness... I find it quite attractive and visually it significantly improves upon the old car. Is it as svelte as a Ferrari, as sleek/sexy as a Lamborghini, does it even bring some of the swoopy sportiness of the CC/Sonata/Mercedes 4-door coupe? No. Yet, it's a Camry and I don't think many really expected that. If it did offer it, it might run a bunch of people scared off to the Accord (which isn't nearly as competitive with the new Camry as it was with the old). As Mike notes below... the new Civic in *NO* real fashion is better than the previous car. I do have to admit that the styling of the rear on the sedan, IMHO, is a little tidier but the overall look is more mundane and the interior just looks cheap (not that it was lux before). While you could argue the Sonata and Optima raised the bar on the Camry... so has the Focus and Elantra and Cruze raised the bar against the Civic. The difference is... the Camry is competitive. It has the mpg to match, it has the performance to match and it now has interior features and improved appointments to help match. Visually, it has better presence. The Civic doesn't even match the previous car. It's not as fun to drive. It's interior doesn't look as well conceived as the previous car, much less the other-worldly experience of hopping in a Focus or Cruze or Elantra by comparison. I mean seriously, it's a downgrade in almost every fashion. Even the Si... which at least takes some of the sting out by still being sporty, isn't any sportier than the car it replaces internally. It's basically about the same and it takes a hint of the edge off that made the previous car fun.
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good for him. You'd never see an American CEO show that kind of courage. Next up for apology, the new CRV.
        ryanandrewmartin
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        Indeed. P.S. Be prepared to be downvoted like 3000 times once the Hondagirls come around.
        NightFlight
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        The new CR-V has received pretty good reviews so far, with the only criticism being the long gears in the transmission. Why would they need to apologize for the G4 CR-V?
      Tadashii
      • 3 Years Ago
      "remarked that Honda takes input from world markets very seriously" If that were true they'd stop making crap cars for grandmas.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Tadashii
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      sokwdc
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sat in one at a dealership. While the spaciousness is impressive, the materials are plain awful and design is uninspired. There's nothing currently at a Honda showroom that is compelling in my opinion.
        JSG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @sokwdc
        I agree. When sitting in the new civic you still get the sense that its a Honda but its as if they just hit "refresh" instead of actually doing research to find out what the buyer really wants. Horrible interior materials. And a few of you may remember that Honda delayed the release of this civic because they wanted to make sure it was up to the task of going against the new stiffer competition, well EPIC fail Honda. When compared to the likes of Ford, Hyundai, and others this car may as well be a 95 cavalier.
          JSG
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JSG
          Oh yeah, and I am a devoted Honda fan who has worked at a dealership for 5 years. Honda has done nothing but go down hill since 2001 with the exception of the S2K.
          NightFlight
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JSG
          @ JSG The 8th gen Civic Si was the best vehicle in its class up until the MS3 was released.
          JSG
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JSG
          Please dont get me wrong, I like the 8th civic and the JDM FD2 type R is the pinnacle of FWD Honda performance but in general they were already on their way down after the Integra died.
        Felspawn
        • 3 Years Ago
        @sokwdc
        use to be the pilot for me, like it so much i bought when back in 2005. but even they have stagnated and the competition got better and better. As a Honda fan its heartbreaking :(
      • 3 Years Ago
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      wfaddah
      • 3 Years Ago
      its so ugly it makes a subaru look good
        Jameskey
        • 3 Years Ago
        @wfaddah
        (my opinion)Subaru is so great, it doesn't need to look good
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