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Falling Faster Still: 2012 Civic Gets Grave Reviews

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On: Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 12:46PM | By: Chris Salamone

Falling Faster Still: 2012 Civic Gets Grave Reviews

In the last few days, reports have come in from several different sources expressing dire concern for the 2012 Honda Civic. So much so, that Consumer Reports refused the Civic its ‘Recommended’ rating for the first time in 10 years. In fact, the only supporter of the 2012 Civic seems to be Cars.com which lauds the Civic’s “terrific mileage, comfortable cabin, top safety scores, high resale value and long track record of reliability.” Despite a singular positive review, our fellows at Autoblog and Consumer Reports offer little praise. By all accounts the 2012 Civic looks to be a step down from the current model. But, let’s be honest here—a Honda is still a Honda. Buyers will still find all the things they know and love about Honda in the 2012 Civic.

Could it be that reviewers are unhappy with the 2012 Civic’s interior, exterior, and drive quality just because Honda isn’t as far ahead of the pack as the company once was? This theory seems to make the most sense, especially because Senior Director David Champion of Consumer Reports suggests that the Honda “now ranks near the bottom of its category,”a category which seems to be brimming with quality lately.

So, in reality, the 2012 Civic probably isn’t a bad car. Cars.com picked the Civic over the Ford Focus and Kia Forte because of its gas mileage, comfortable seats, safety scores, resale value, and likely reliability. These are all good traits in a car. What Autoblog and Consumer Reports are mad about is that the 2012 Civic seems to be an inferior car to the 2011 Civic, while other brands like Hyundai and Ford are taking giant leaps forward.

On the bright side, Consumer Reports did offer some marginally good news: the Civic received a higher rating than the all-new Volkswagen Jetta. Consumer Reports chopped the recently redesigned Jetta to pieces with poor ratings. And, despite negative publicity, sales for the Jetta have remained strong. Perhaps Honda will be equally unaffected.

Considering the massive, cross-generational popularity of the Civic and decades of consumer interest, it seems unlikely that a missed ‘Recommended’ rating would reduce the buzz about the upcoming 2012 Civic. Buyers will still flock to Honda dealerships and dealers will still sell large volumes. What does matter, however, is whether or not Honda’s build quality is taking a turn for the worse. People buy Hondas for big quality at a reasonable price. Without those things, Honda may be in trouble. Let’s hope one year of lackluster reviews is enough to slap Honda back into its rightful place as the King Kong of compact cars.

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NEWZPHLASH | 1:34AM (Fri, Aug 5, 2011)

They will still sell, they just have a rep that they last and its a lower mile per gallon car, its still a Honda name


imwithcoco | 10:29AM (Mon, Aug 8, 2011)

This seems to be the trend for Honda over the last few years. The interior keeps getting cheaper and the overall design of their vehicles continue down the ugly path. Acura suffers from the problem. The interior for the ZDX looks good in photos but is hard plastic city in person.

All Acura models are being redesigned within the next few years. I hope they will abandon their "Cutting Edge of Ugly" design method and return to making good looking cars with great interiors.

It looks like Honda will continue to slide. Nissan is not far behind with the ugly Versa, Rogue, Cube, Juke, Leaf, Quest and Murano CrossCabriolet.

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