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Thanks to an anonymous tipster, Autoblog has learned that the so-called "emergency refresh" of the Honda Civic is just around the corner. In fact, the automaker is already urging its dealers to clear out remaining 2012 model year stock because "The changes made to the 2013 model will make the outgoing 2012 Civic a difficult model [to] sell when they are side to side." Those are the words of David Hendley, Assistant Vice President of Honda National Sales excerpted from a recent letter to dealers.

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In the not too distant past, large sedans had devolved into largely boring highway cruisers destined for lives consisting of annual trips from New York to South Florida. Thankfully, the industry's latest crop of big four-doors actually brings improved quality and a more enjoyable driving experience to the table. This couldn't be any more evident than the new large sedans that Consumer Reports recently tested and rated. While the Hyundai Genesis remained on top in this category, the updated 2012

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Toyota was once the unquestioned lead sled dog when it comes to the Consumer Reports "Recommended" list, but the automaker and the consumer advocacy group have had a bit of a falling out over the past couple years. In 2010, the publication removed the Recommended ratings of many models as a result of Toyota's unintended acceleration controversy. In January Ford nearly overtook Toyota in overall Recommended ratings.

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Despite its relatively low score of only 67 points, Consumer Reports has now officially collected sufficient data to evaluate the Chevrolet Volt from a reliability perspective. So, how'd the Volt fare?

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What does it take to impress Consumer Reports? Getting an overall 30 mpg helps, but that sort of fuel economy wasn't enough to save the Honda Civic LX from falling from CR's recommended list in the watchdog group's latest report on small sedans and hatchbacks.

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click above image for more pics of the 2008 Toyota Highlander from our review

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