What does it take to impress Consumer Reports? Getting an overall 30 mpg helps, but that sort of fuel economy wasn't enough to save the Honda Civic LX from falling from CR's recommended list in the watchdog group's latest report on small sedans and hatchbacks.
The Civic, which had been a perennial favorite for the editors and analysts at CR, slipped from its previous spot at the front of the pack all the way into next to last place in their latest look at small sedans. The frugality of the Civic drew praise, but it was practically the only factor with which the editors found favor. They were less than impressed with the latest redesign from Honda, which supposedly started from scratch but left the Civic's sheet metal looking extremely similar to the last-generation vehicle. Neither did CR like the interior materials, or the shaky ride, of the high levels of cabin noise, or the reluctant brakes.
"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 While the Civic was dropping from its previous "very good" rating of 78 down to a "mediocre" 61, both the 2012 Ford Focus the recently refreshed Kia Forte drew ratings of very good. Of the cars tested, only the Toyota Corolla's managed better overall mileage at 32 mpg.
Consumer Reports is still testing a Honda Civic Hybrid for a future report.
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