Honda has taken a beating from critics over its new 2012 Civic model, but the buying public could just as easily shrug off the elitists views of a few buff books were the level-headed and notoriously impartial heads at Consumer Reports to anoint the Japanese compact car with a Recommended rating. But they didn’t.
In the latest issue of Consumer Reports, the Civic is tested alongside the new Focus and the Kia Forte, both of which earn a “Very Good” rating. The Civic, however, scored too low to rank on the Recommended list. Dropped 17 points from the previous generation car, the new model gets just 61 points, dropping from “Very Good” to “Mediocre”. In fact, the only compact car to score worse was the unanimously panned Volkswagen Jetta.
The reason for the low score, according to CR, include a lower interior quality, a choppy ride, long braking distances and “pronounced road noise.” It’s not all bad, they insist, listing positives like decent rear seat room and a 30-mpg average rating in their test (the second best).
“While other models like the Hyundai Elantra have gotten better after being redesigned, the Civic has dropped so much that now it ranks near the bottom of its category,” said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center in East Haddam, CT.