Last post on May 16, 2013 at 10:43 AM
You are in the Honda Civic
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Honda Civic, Future Vehicle, Coupe, Sedan
#16 of 37 Honda should unceasingly continue to push the envelop
Feb 10, 2013 (4:49 pm)
This is a little more elaborate comment I placed on the 2013 Civic Ex review.
I was suppose to purchase a compact care for commuting back in 2012, as I'm passing my '99 Civic to my college bound daughter in a couple of years. After checking out the 2012 Civic, I was totally disgusted. My impression then was 'Honda is going down hill'. Time to defect, and that's a petty strong statement from a family of Honda owners.
I started researching Elantra GT, because it has good MPG, and a hatchback. Nice as it may be, after I read that its MPG rating was downgraded, I have the gut feeling Hyundai wasn't being upfront with the consumers. Next I tested the Maxda CX-5, I absolutely love on first sight. When I took it for a spin in the country back road, I was tailgated by another SUV, I thought I was able to pull away from it, but I had to almost floor the gas pedal at the same time down shift to make the speedometer move. I was not even in hilly terrirtory. It feels as if Mazda has geared the CX-5 for fuel economy and I thought it was under powered. I do like the blind spot indicator in the Touring version and though this should be standard equipment in every car in future.
The Ford Focus SE Hatchback was the next vehicle I researched and test drove. I was pretty impressed by the interior of the Focus, with big screen display. The interior was comfortable, but the rear is on the tight side. During the test drive, I accidentally took a wrong turn into a residential area up the hill. After I did an about turn, and on the way down I thought the brake was not functioning (there were 3 of us including me), as it failed to grip immediately. At the last possible moment the brakes caught on, and I almost went pass the stop sign into the main traffic. The handling of the Focus is good on straight roads, when I took a turn to exit the highway and another turn immediately to the dealership, I had the sense it's not controllable.
I reluctantly went to the Honda dealership, after reading write ups on some of the improvements Honda had made to the 2013 Civic. I'm not sure if it drives like a full size sedan, but it was a pleasant experience with little to no road noise transferred into the cabin. Also, the new Civic seem a lot more responsive than the other vehicles I've test-driven. It also has more refined materials in the entire cabin compared to the 2012 model, and that was when my impression of the Civic started changing. Yes, it doesn't take much being a long-time Honda owner.
My conclusion: The Civic is back in the game of top compact cars to consider. The Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra are serious contenders. But since Honda is willing to make such a drastic on the positive side to benefit their customers in such an unbelievably short time frame , I am willing to consider it in my purchasing decision again.
On a separate note, I am now eagerly awaiting the 2014 Honda Fit (Novo) to downsize my V6 sedan. I read it is a complete redesign of the Fit,and called the Urban SUV, with targeted 40 MPG starting at $20k. I saw pictures and videos of it , and it tells me 'Honda gets it'.
Consumers will not tolerate paying top dollars for 2nd grade products. The danger of us migrating to another manufacturer is great with many nice and redesigned vehicles in the market. As BMW and Mercedes' ongoing effort in penetrating the sub $30k market looms, Honda should unceasingly continue to push the envelop on its line of vehicles.
#18 of 37 Re: About time! [jipster]
Feb 10, 2013 (8:02 pm)
If you are alright with the road noise and the somewhat spartan interior in the 2012 Civic, then you just saved yourself some money.
Another reason for going for 2012 Civic is if your situation requires you to have a car for a short term (6 to 18 months), or if you're in the habit of trading in your vehicle.
Since I am using the Civic as a commuter for the next 10 years, I'm going for the 2013.
Most importantly, DriveFun!
#19 of 37 Re: About time! [drivefun]
Feb 10, 2013 (8:48 pm)
People will be complaining of honda "road noise" till the end of time. No matter how well honda insulates its cars. Coming off a Buick regal, I thought the 2012 civic to be surprisingly quiet. Would like to see some test results comparing the 2012 and 2013 noise levels. Bet there's not much difference. The media and power of suggestion. Interior space the same. If anything they need to improve stereo speakers
#21 of 37 Re: About time! [jipster]
Feb 10, 2013 (9:23 pm)
The main feature differences between 2012 & 2013 are:
* Reduced road noise
* Back up camera
* Nicer cabin material
However, I can also see why the 2012 Civic appeals to you with the significant cost savings and coming from Buick Regal. You would have mad a smart purchase saving some money in making an upgrade. I would have done the same given similar circumstance.
#22 of 37 Re: Honda should unceasingly continue to push the envelop [drivefun]
Feb 11, 2013 (8:19 am)
Great post here but I'd like to add a comment. I've recently gotten a job as a vehicle transporter and we do rental cars. I've driven numerous new Elantra's and Foci...the Focus I drove yesterday had 6 miles when I drove off. I prefer the Elantra over the Focus but not by much. I think the hyundai accelerates better and has the better brakes but I've found the Focus brakes to be fine honestly. Maybe it was the particular unit you drove with the weird brake feel. Both are good cars and being a current Civic owner, I think the bar has been raised significantly by the other guys. Since I've not tested a 2013 Civic, I won't comment until I do get the opportunity. Prefer the dash lighting in the Elantra hands down as the Focus is a bit bland in this department and I found the radio controls hard to use yesterday when I had my homemade cd in...it wouldn't list the artists but that could be because i didn't have time to fiddle with the menu too much. And also my ipod wouldn't sync to the radio but that could be because I had the wrong cord...am off to Radio Shack later with the ipod to see about purchasing the correct cable so I can use it in any vehicle. Love when I get a vehicle with Sirius/XM but that doesn't always happen. Personally, if I didn't have so many cd's already, I'd definitely want SAT radio in my next vehicle...I think it's that good!
Being an import buyer since the mid '70's, I must admit that the Focus has changed my mind a bit about domestics. The Cruze was not very impressive but I'm waiting on getting to test a Verano to see if this is just brand specific. When I sat in one at the Buick dealer, i was very impressed with the comfort of the seats and all the switchgear. It looks like an upscale vehicle and not one that has economy car roots. Once I drive one I'll know better if this car is a real game changer for me and one that could get me back into a domestic after so long.The wife will be getting a 2014 vehicle definitely but she's not too impressed with any domestic right now, and her 1st car was a Buick...a Skylark which we enjoyed for a few years. I'm planning to get her into a Verano and hopefully after she drives it, she'll decide to put it on her short list as I think Buick and GM did an impressive job here!
#23 of 37 Road Noise - 2013 Civic
Feb 11, 2013 (9:55 am)
Although it may be improved from the 2012 model it's still not a quiet car and certainly not even remotely close to the Buick.
#24 of 37 Re: Honda should unceasingly continue to push the envelop [sandman_6472]
Feb 11, 2013 (10:47 am)
I drove the Verano this weekend. It was quite nice. Be sure to drive the turbo while you're at it.
#25 of 37 Re: Honda should unceasingly continue to push the envelop [jmaxe]
Feb 11, 2013 (10:05 pm)
I plan to when I can but so far, there have been no Buicks in any job we've done. When i see one in line, I will make sure to bag it so I can get up close and personal with it. The Cruze left me cold and driving it didn't make me like it any more than before. But sitting in a Verano at the dealer just whetted my appetite to drive one. I'm hoping it'll drive as good as the Elantra does which I think is the new benchmark in this segment honestly. It just marks all the boxes for me and all I've driven thus far are GLS models as that's what the rental company's seem to order...haven't seen a Limited yet though on the key fob on Sunday it did say Limited. If the Verano can best it, then Buick will have a real sleeper on it's hands. I think just the notion that it's a domestic from GM leads folks to not even put it on their short lists which is probably a huge mistake. I think if one wants to buy a compact, they should test every model offered as they just might be passing over a real winner and let their misguided thinking make them make the wrong choice...a real shame. I know when we look for the wife next year, I want her to drive everything out there in her segment just so she makes the most informed decision she can. It's going to be her dd for the next 5 to 6 years ans she needs to be happy and what I say means squat really as I like most offerings out there. All I am needed for is to test drive the final choice to make sure it drives straight and true and then to help in the negotiating process so she makes a fair deal to both sides.