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Honda Civic Loses Consumer Reports Recommendation

2012 Honda Civic LX

Consumer Reports is not recommending the 2012 Honda Civic LX due to its low test scores. Consumer Reports says, “The new Civic feels insubstantial with a cheap interior. You don’t get much feature content for the $19,405 that our Civic LX automatic costs, either.”

The new Civic received low scores in Consumer Reports’ road tests, despite the magazine saying the Civic is a reliable car. Only the Volkswagen Jetta scored worse than the Civic in the magazine’s recent ratings of 12 small sedans.

"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 a statement.

Automotive reviewers say the redesigned Honda Civic has a bland exterior and its competition is more competitively priced. The $15,605 base Civic doesn’t come with air conditioning or a radio as standard equipment, which means buyers have to upgrade to a higher trim to get these features.

Consumer Reports test drivers disliked the 2012 Honda Civic LX’s ride quality, handling, steering, body lean, interior material quality and road noise, CNNMoney reports. The Civic did receive praise for its fuel economy, which only the Toyota Corolla beat in Consumer Reports testing. Consumer Reports test drivers also liked the amount of room in the back seat.

Honda responded to Consumer Reports’ testing, saying they disagree, and that "The new Civic excels in areas that matter to small-car customers, including fuel efficiency, safety, and reliability," CNBC’s Behind the Wheel reports.

Consumer Reports says the previous-generation Honda Civic was a frequently high-ranked car in its class, and was a Top Pick in 2007.

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