Early reaction to the 2012 Honda Civic haven’t exactly been cheery, but it looks like American Honda has a keen rebuttal: new reports indicate the company is expediting a mid-cycle refresh for the Civic to address some common criticisms.
The Honda Civic received a much-hyped refresh for the 2012 model year, but was largely panned in the automotive press. The car tumbled off of the top of the Consumer Reports list of recommended small cars for the first time in ages after the publication’s editors called it “insubstantial.” Wall Street Journal automotive writer and Car Show host Dan Neil called it a “massive fail.”
Most complaints about the Civic are hinged on the hard plastics within its interior, which Automobile Magazine reviews called “average at best,” although it should also be said that much of its other content also lags behind the newly minted competitors from Ford, Hyundai, Mazda, and Chevrolet. The Civic has one fewer gear than most of its competitors, and has only one non-hybrid model — the HF — that achieves 40 mpg on the highway, despite producing less power than the Mazda 3i Touring, the Ford Focus, and Hyundai Elantra.
Normally, Honda’s mid-cycle refreshes occur after the product is nearly two or three years old, but an exception may be made for the Civic. Automotive Newsreports that Honda will significantly expedite that timetable. As a result, a refreshed Civic should hit Honda showrooms sometime in 2013, earlier than the original date of spring 2014.
If this all sounds like instituting a no-huddle offense late in the third quarter, it may well be, but American Honda President John Mendel told Automotive News his company is prepared to go the distance. “The comments…have not gone unnoticed,” he said. “We are appropriately energized.”
Source: Automotive News