The 2012 Honda Civic, redesigned for it ninth edition, has drawn extensive criticism from Consumer Reports, the independent review publication that as recently as 2007 gave the perennially top-ranked small sedan its top score.
The publication’s biggest complaint was the Civic LX’s cheap plastic interior, numb steering, weak stopping power, road noise and flighty handling. A lack of Bluetooth and outside temperature display in the $19,405 LX sedan dropped its score from a “very good” 78 to a “mediocre” 61.
Consumer Reports also didn’t list the Honda Civic among its recommended vehicles last year, but its score wasn’t as low.
The 2012 Honda Civic’s score was the second-lowest among a test of 12 small sedans, with redesigned Volkswagen Jetta scoring lower.
Additionally, the magazine noted competition in the small-sedan category, particularly from the class-leading Hyundai Elantra, has increased.
Honda quickly responded to the criticism.
“In a broad sense we disagree with Consumer Reports’ findings,” a manufacturer representative said in a statement. “Without question, the small sedan segment is more competitive than ever.
“In virtually every way, the completely redesigned 2012 Honda Civic is a step forward. The new Civic excels in areas that matter to small-car customers, including fuel efficiency, safety and reliability.”
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