Our Perspective... on Consumer Reports Review of the Civic LX

John Mendel
Executive Vice President of Sales
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

08/02/2011

In life, sometimes you disagree even with those for whom you have the greatest respect. And it seems as if that is what has occurred with the Consumer Reports review of the 2012 Honda Civic LX.

We have great respect for the magazine and its editors, but we fundamentally disagree with their suggestion that Civic doesn't rank among their recommended small cars. As for Consumer Reports, well, the magazine has named Civic as the "top pick" in its segment six times over the past 15 years. So, they are definitely finding fault with someone they have shown a lot of love in the past.

Interestingly, even using Consumer Reports own results, consumers can find ample reason to purchase a new 2012 Civic. The new Civic truly excels in areas that matter to small car customers, including fuel efficiency, safety, and reliability.

  • Consumer Reports own testing found that Civic's smooth and efficient powertrain returned "... an impressive 30 mpg overall on regular fuel and 47 mpg on the highway." Only one other compact car the magazine tested did better.
  • In the area of safety, the magazine pointed out that Civic has earned a class-leading 'Top Safety Pick' rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Further, as noted in Consumer Reports findings, the Civic excels with a long list of important safety features that are standard on all trim levels.
  • Civic has a stellar reliability history with Consumer Reports, and we have complete confidence that the new Civic will be a reliability leader as well. In fact, one of our plants building Civic (in Indiana) earned the top "platinum" award in the 2011 J.D. Power & Associates Initial Quality Study. So, Civic's quality and reliability story has a solid foundation.

It is also important to point out that Consumer Reports reviewed only one Civic model - the Civic LX Sedan. There are actually six different versions of Civic - the Civic Sedan (in DX, LX and EX trim levels), Civic Coupe, sporty Civic Si (Coupe and Sedan), Civic HF high fuel economy model, the Civic Natural gas, and the Civic Hybrid. Consumer Reports has indicated they also plan to test the Civic Hybrid.  Customers can literally find a Civic model that meets a variety of needs and interests.

Finally, among many other very positive reviews of the Civic lineup, Motor Trend magazine recently tested eight compact cars, including Civic. The respected auto enthusiast magazine - which knows a thing or two about ride and handling - ranked Civic second among eight compact cars in the comparison drive. Many would be thrilled with this result. However, we disagree with Motor Trend as well - we think there is no better compact car than Civic.

Is the small sedan segment more competitive than ever? Without question. But in virtually every way, the completely redesigned 2012 Civic is a step forward that our customers will value and enjoy.  So, while we will continue to have great respect for Consumer Reports, regarding their editors' review of the Civic LX - we will just have to agree to disagree… strenuously.

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