Consumer Reports Not Recommending 2012 Honda Civic

2012 Honda Civic The 2012 Honda Civic scored too low in Consumer Reports’ road test to be recommended despite above-average reliability and high gas mileage, the publication said.

The ninth-generation Civic scored 61 out of 100 in the latest round of testing, placing second-to-last in Consumer Reports’ small-sedan category. The new Volkswagen Jetta still has the lowest score. The Hyundai Elantra, Subaru Impreza and Toyota Corolla still rank at the top and are recommended by Consumer Reports.

The low score is in stark contrast to the previous-generation Civic, which was the highest-rated small car at the publication. Consumer Reports gave the 2012 Civic average scores in areas such as acceleration, emergency handling, braking, ride comfort and tire noise. The publication was also disappointed with the interior, saying it shows signs of apparent cost-cutting throughout. Trunk space is also not impressive.

On the plus side, Consumer Reports said the 2012 Civic recorded an average fuel economy score of 30 mpg, second only to the Corolla in the field.

Our opinion of the new Civic differs from Consumer Reports. In our testing, the sedan proved to be a very good car despite the incremental feel of the updates. The Civic finished in second place in our Under 20/Over 35 Shootout.

Last fall the publication stopped recommending most eighth-generation Civic trims because they lacked standard or optional electronic stability control; the Hybrid and Si Civics remained recommended. The 2012 Civic comes with electronic stability control standard.

Related
2012 Honda Civic Review
Under 20/Over 35 Shootout: Results
Consumer Reports No Longer Recommends Some Honda Civic Trims

By Colin Bird | August 1, 2011 | Comments (29)

Comments 

JM

read their comments as to why they are not recommending it...some things don't show up after driving the car around the block or down the highway. you need to actually live with the car and test if for months. MPG and reliability are not everything.

Paul

The more things change,the worse they get.I would rather buy a 10 year old Civic than a new one.Better bodystyle in my eyes.

Kyle

"The publication was also disappointed with the interior, saying it shows signs of apparent cost-cutting throughout." lol and they still rank the corolla near the top? The corolla is just as bad a car in both styling and interior quality. I think Honda failed with this Civic. They did not put forth their best effort. They need to hire new designers. I personally like the 8th generation civic because it was a much more appealing design and it was fun to drive. They made it ugly and sucked the life out of the civic line with the 9th generation. I expected better from them and have become disappointed with them lately.

Derrick G

"MPG and reliability are not everything."

I'd say in the first few years of the Civic, they were. It too rode badly and was noisy, yet was heavily in demand. But today is a different day and it must be noted that the 30 MPG overall mileage came at the cost of 60-0 stopping distances exceeding those of both Ford F-150's tested for the same issue and of a maximum speed through CR's avoid maneuver lower than those of the much larger Buick Lucerne, Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus, and Hyundai Azera. That's not progress.

Keith

It's going to take more than reputation these days to sell cars. Sounds like the competition has caught up and passing up Honda. Surprised CR called them on it though. Seems in the past it was a slam dunk for Honda.

It has very good shape and I'd say it should be very aerodynamic and save some fuel. Not a bad design.

Sheth

Cr is finally feeliing pressure to ease off the blatant bias but this civic score makes no sense. Cr has no credibility because they still claim corolla is class leader. Corolla has all the faults of civic and then some but they rate it above civic, cruze and focus. Its utter nonsense but the auto media is afraid to criticize cr for some reason. They do not reveal how scores are tabulated which means they are essentially made up. They do not use any verifiable criteria for ranking cars, its all about their personal opinion. The corolla is inferior to civic in every way and yet it has a much higher score. Why? Why doesn't cr ever have to explain its rankings?

Tony

"On the plus side, Consumer Reports said the 2012 Civic recorded an average fuel economy score of 30 mpg, second only to the Corolla in the field."

Is Corolla still 4MT?
or
How many gears GM and Ford need in their transmissions to make the efficient car?

EW

For once, I agree with Sheth that CR has no credibility at all. Only the uneducated will solely rely on CR to make their car buying decisions. There are plenty of reviews around, and some of them are conflicting. One site said they liked the improvement of the interior material and reduced noises for the 2012 Civic, whereas the other site criticized both for being worse than the outgoing one. The better approach will be reading multiple reviews (noting the differences of testing conditions if possible) PLUS test drive before you make the decision. There are also things where the general public and car enthusiasts do not necessarily agree with each other; one's "sporty" feeling may translate into "harsh ride" in another guy's book.

Anonymous Coward

Many Civics were sold based on CR's recommendation. The Corolla is a slow snoozemobile with a bad interior, but it sounds like the new Civic suffers from the same problem as well.

Honda has lost their mojo.

Derrick G

CR never said Corolla was class leader in anything but mileage. Corolla is 4th, after Elantra, Sentra, and Impreza. And the Corolla doesn't have ALL of the Civic's faults. It's quiet, rides well, and can out-brake an F-150, even if it can't outhandle an Azera on the track. It also gets far better city mileage and has simpler controls.

Fact is, if the Cruze and Focus had bigger back seats (these are still cars intended to carry people, afterall) and if the Cruze got better mileage and the Focus had better controls, both would move up considerably in CR's tests.

Sheth

Derrick:

No one knows how cr determines scores so don't tell us you can explain how the corolla ranks so high. Corolla has cheap interior, lackluster safety features, anemic performance, old school automatic and mediocre handling. Sorry, that don't add up to 4th best in class. Many magazines didn't even bother to include corolla in their comparos because its such an also ran. In terms of space the cruze is larger so don't say the cruze could rank higher with a larger backseat. The civic nearly tied corolla in cr observed mileage so the claim that the toyota scored much better due to mileage is bunk. Cr makes up scores and no one ever asks for justification. Cars.com is one of the sites that acts like cr's word is like gospel. Why is their opnion widely reported on and taken seriously by other auto media?

Sheth

Ps:

Only uplevel focus models come with myford touch and cr tested at least on focus with the base setup which is just a normal center stack. Both focus' they tested scored well below the corolla which makes no sense.

Rick

The Corolla is a better car than Civic. It actually does obtain 40 mpg on the highway and certainly rides better and is more dependable. The seating position is higher so you sit more comfortably as well in the Corolla.

Ha

CR is always blatantly biased with Toyotas. I cannot believe the Corolla, which other publications rate LAST in this class, finished above this Civic. I've stopped caring about CR's picks for years in the car department.

Frank

Look at you tools bloviating over something you know little about. I don't agree with David Thomas or Cars.com on everything they write however I've never witnessed any type of bias whatsoever - just straight up quality reporting. I'm a big fan of Edmunds and C&D but over the past three years Cars.com in my mind has become the best unadulterated car site on the internet. CR is not what it used to be and everyone knows it. To not recommend the Honda Civic is akin to not recommending the Chevy Silverado. Both may not currently be best in class however both should be on everyone's shopping list for that type of vehicle. I'm surprised some of you tools stopped short of calling Cars.com a terrorist organization.

It has a good design.

Bogus

I own a 12 civic, it's my first honda ever after 25 years of cars. I have a long commute and think the civic is a best buy! Drive all the competition, I did. CR is, and has always been way off the mark on cars. Tell me which one of their top ten will be better not only today, but after 100 k miles. CR used to rate any Japanese car high just because it was Japanese. I've had great success with with many american cars that they rated poor.

Korean Crap

I can't believe any of these publications recommend Hyundai. Hyundai is bottom of the barrel in my book...they cut corners everywhere, have horrible customer service, and the cars depreciate like a flaming turd. The Corolla and Civic are better cars than an Elantra. Hell, even a 1990s Cavalier is better than any Hyundai.

Pat

I'm a little disappointed with Consumer Reports. I don't disagree that the new Civic is a bit bland, but it is still a very nice car. The overall architecture of the car is impressive, however it does lack something in the overall style. I actually love the interior, the ergonomics are great, the seats are very comfortable, and the stereo works well. It is more futuristic looking than I would prefer, but it is so functional that I can’t complain. The seat fabric is unusual for Honda, it looks like they're trying to appeal to a younger audience, but it is still a soft, comfortable fabric, and again, the seats are amazingly supportive. I like the hard plastic dashboard; I also like soft dashboards too. I’m not sure why the material is so controversial, my Toyota Camry also has a plastic interior and it is fine. I’m more concerned that the materials will last a long time than I am the hardness of the dashboard. It has so much more shoulder room, hip room, and the seats (front and back) are much more comfortable.
The steering is softer, and the body does roll more in slow maneuver turning. But...the car is awesome; I love it so much more than my '02 Civic. After nearly 5,000 miles of driving, I can assure Consumer Reports that the car handles very well in city and highway driving. I like the brakes, it may take more distance to stop, but in city driving the car doesn’t come to a screeching halt resulting in the person behind me rear-ending me because I stopped too quickly. I feel the brakes are better than my previous Civic. At first I felt Honda was attempting to mimic Toyota’s soft steering and softer ride. I don’t mind, I don’t need my car to ride on rails as that is rarely a comfortable car to be in. Again, what I care about is that the car’s handling is predictable and that I feel I can control the car while driving. I find this new Civic to be very similar to my ’02 Civic, albeit a little bigger, and a little more refined. Overall, the new Civic has a smoother transmission, gets great gas mileage, and it is very clean burning (environmentally friendly). You always get road noise in a Honda; I think this is because you don't get so much transmission "chatter", wind noise, or engine noise. When you get rid of all that other sound, you do tend to notice road noise. I'm sorry Consumer Reports editors forgot to factor this in.
I like the Hyundai Elantra, I don't like the interior, the seats lack support, the dashboard is too busy, and the exterior has too much going on, but the overall architecture is great! I don't like buying cars that are 100% foreign as the Elantra is, so I took it off my list. I also didn’t like the orange interior, and I hate black interiors. I love the Ford Focus, I so wanted to buy one. The Focus is in my opinion, the best looking small car right now, but it is cramped on the inside, has a dark, overdone interior, and the controls are unnecessarily complicated to operate; the dashboard is like a Boeing jet. In my opinion, the simpler the car is too use, the more attention drivers pay to driving. Who needs to worry about driver’s texting while driving when there are cars with complicated ergonomics like the Ford Focus, Chevy Cruz, and Hyundai Elantra on the road? The Focus is also expensive...dollar for dollar, my Civic LX was cheaper than a comparable Focus. Consumer Reports complained about needing to pay $21,000 for a Blue Tooth enabled Civic EX, but you have to spend over $20,000 to simply get a USB port in a Focus.
I'm so glad American car companies are turning out very good cars these days, and I'm also glad Consumer Reports has given up on hating Hyundai. Unfortunately they have decided to hate Honda without reason. It is one thing to warn a car company it is becoming too austere and conservative; it is totally another thing to pan an overall competent car such as the 2012 Civic.
I bought my second Civic because I decided the styling was ok, the handling was subdued but predictable, and overall refinement was impressive, the comfort was incredible for a small car, the ergonomics were second to no other car in its class, the gas mileage and environmental aspects were second only to a hybrid, safety was likely to be excellent, and quality and reliability were likely to be excellent. Consumer Reports, how can this be a bad thing? What clouded your editors objectiveness…money?

Six

I still think of the 01-05 Civic as the last real Civic, it was a great cheap and cheerful car, nice to drive and economical, where the more recent Civics have been a different animal, bigger and heavier and more expensive.

A lot of the freshness that the Japanese offered in economy cars in the 90s is gone, although I think the Mazda2 and Honda Fit are notable exceptions. The current Civic, Corolla, and Sentra are all awful IMO.

Gin

We purchased a 2012 Honda Civic in June. I am the main driver. I don't know what all the criticism is about. I love the car. I love the inside. I love the dash and digital read out located at eye level. I like the Eco assist. I love the scale on the dash showing you when you are driving fuel efficient. I love the body style. I love the mat in trunk that can be removed for cleaning. I think this is a very well thought out car. I have recently even started getting better gas milage. I feel this is caused from new engine break in period. I am currently getting 37.9 miles to the gallon. Excuse me that is better than these reports of 30 miles to the gallon. It is fun to drive hand els well and has a tight suspension system. The radio has a great sound. You must remember this is not a luxury car. It is a practical, economical car. It delivers what it is marketed for. If you want a luxury car then you will pay more for it to purchase and also at the gas pump. Every purchaser should consider what they truly want in a car. The Honda Civic is not the car for everyone but neither is a brand new Top of the line Mercedes. I have had more luxury cars but when it came time to trade my car in I wanted a practical, reliable, comfortable, and fuel efficient car. I am extremely pleased with my choice. I got what I wanted.

Judy

I just purchased a 2011 Honda Civic with 5000 miles on it and am only getting 32 mpg on the highway driving with cruise control set at 62. I was told by my sales person that I would get 40 mpg on the highway. Why am I getting such low mpg

Doris Langridge

Why do these types of articles always focus on Honda and Toyota? Why never on Mazda and Nissan, both of which offer much better cars than the first two.

Rosie Tangorra

I just picked up my 2012 Honda Civic and just LOVE IT! I personally love the changes and think all the negatives are all wet! It handles so well, has great pick up...the color I have is Urban Titanium and it really looks sharp! Everyone is asking what color it is. The multi-level dash is really sharp and the seats very comfortable. Find someone elses car to pick on!!!!

Miss Lady

When I first saw the Honda Civic 2012 I wanted to throw up, what a horrible, horrible design! It reminds me of a spaceship, am I going to land on mars? I might as well, I'm sure martians drive better cars than this piece of garbage!

I will always love the 2005 Honda Civic 2 door coupe EX. Now, that is an amazing year, model and engine. Sadly, it's impossible to find one with low miles and the EX version. I will never understand why Honda would only make that design for one year and then create a design they've kept using for six years to then create this piece of crap design? Clearly Honda needs to hire some new designers because they NEED help. I've always loved Honda's and Acura's but sadly their design is losing customers, at least they younger generation which was their main target customers. Now it's being driven by older people and/or people with no sense of knowing what a great car really looks like.

I'm going to have to change over to volkswagen GTI's.

JustinC

I have a 2006 Civic, and it's MUCH nicer than the 2012.. I just couldnt see myself buying the 2012.. it felt like a cheap rental car.. disgusting.

Plane Tech

I have owned my 2012 Civic for 8 mts. now and mostly love it. It has the MOST uncomfortable seat I have ever had , but I fixed it myself by adding some padding under the stock cushion and reforming the metal seat pan a little. I came from a '97 Accord I got 302,000 out of and it was still going strong . I would recommend this car anyday of the week. I get about 38 MPG on winter blend fuel and about 42 MPG on summer blend. Love that since work is a 200 mile trip.

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