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First Drive: 2016 Honda Civic Sedan

Pushing beyond mainstream.

by on Oct.19, 2015

Longer, lower, roomier. Honda's 2016 Civic.

Honda delivered one of the year’s biggest surprises when it pulled the wraps off an all-new version of the compact Civic at the New York Auto Show last April. The Honda Civic has been a perennial best-seller, but it was nonetheless a major surprise to see the Japanese maker unveil an all-new version barely four years after the current model made its debut.

If anything, Honda seems intent on proving that Civic’s ongoing success is more than a fluke. The outgoing, gen-nine model took some initial heat for its lackluster styling and less than inspiring on-road dynamics, forcing the maker to rush an “emergency refresh to market barely a year later to maintain Civic’s momentum.

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The NY debut revealed a striking design loaded with new features meant to push the 2016 Honda Civic up against the boundaries of what might normally be considered “mainstream.” But to find out how it actually felt behind the wheel, we set off for Los Angele a few weeks ago to get a first drive of the new sedan.

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First Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si

Tuners’ favorite ride goes on strange budget program.

by on Dec.30, 2011

The Honda Civic Si is available as a racy coupe or stealthy sedan.

It’s not often that an automaker admits shortly after introducing an important new model that it may have missed the mark.

But in October, a Honda spokesman told Automotive News that the automaker would accelerate a mid-cycle refresh, normally scheduled for 2014, to answer criticism of the new car’s boring interior.

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So, we thought it was worth taking a look at the new Civic to see if the criticism was warranted.

This is arguably Honda’s most important model, the best-selling compact in the country. Through nine generations of the Civic, buyers have found much to like. So much, in fact, that the Civic line now boasts six different models ranging from the fuel efficient hybrid to the racy Si, two-door hatchback or four-door sedan. There’s even a natural gas-powered model.

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First Look: European Honda Civic

Funkier design could score better than American model.

by on Sep.13, 2011

Honda takes a "revolutionary evolutionary" approach to the European version of its new Civic subcompact.

Product planners are always struggling to decide whether to stick with a successful design when it comes time for an update or whether to go with something more radical.  With the all-new Honda Civic going into production for the European market, the Japanese maker has apparently decided to strike a balance between cautious and outrageous.

Or so said the maker’s global CEO Takanobu Ito, during a Frankfurt Motor Show preview, where he described the 2012 Civic remake as “a revolutionary evolutionary” design that leaps “two generations ahead of our current model.

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It remains to be seen if critics and customers agree, though the initial reaction to the European version of the Honda Civic is decidedly more positive than the reception the maker received for the American Civic subcompact, launched earlier this year.

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Honda Exec Downplays Impact of Consumer Reports Trashing

No maker can "always hit them out of the park."

by on Aug.30, 2011

Can the 2012 Honda Civic overcome bad reviews?

Timing is everything – and Mike Accavitti was clearly wondering whether he got it right the day he accepted his new job as head of marketing for American Honda, a couple months back.

That was the same day that the influential Consumer Reports magazine took a potshot at the Honda Civic, declaring that the 2012 remake of the long-popular subcompact, normally one of the non-profit publication’s favorite choices, “now…ranks near the bottom of its category.”

As if to drive the knife deeper, the magazine followed up with a second report raising serious questions about Honda itself.  And CR wasn’t alone.  The 2012 Honda Civic has received a rash of criticism while the maker itself has come under increasing fire from various media – including TheDetroitBureau.com – faulting it for a variety of issues, including timid design.

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Further complicating matters, the maker was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Japan on March 11.  The subsequent product shortages have probably reached their worst this month, says Accavitti, a former Chrysler executive.

“For a second, I thought, ‘Holy, moley, what did I get myself into?’” he says with a laugh that betrays his initial concerns.  But despite Honda’s recent setbacks, the new marketing chief insists he’s in for a good ride.

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