Honda Rushes To Refresh Civic In Face Of Criticism
Honda is addressing criticism of the car's most recent redesign.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: October 31st, 2011
Honda’s well-respected Civic has become the much-criticized Civic, thanks to a lukewarm redesign that has received a less than pleasant reception by the automotive press. Amid concerns that Honda—which once had a reputation for moving forward stylistically with each redesign—has lost its way, the company has responded by moving up the target date for the Civic’s mid-cycle refresh.
Since the redesigned car was launched this year as a 2012 model, the refresh would normally take place sometime in 2014, most likely in the spring. But now Honda is telling Automotive News that it could bump the refresh up to sometime in 2013.
The automotive press has been harsh on the car in part because the redesign isn’t a radical change from the previous generation, but more so because Honda has made changes to the car that have been derided as “cheap.” Honda was working on the redesign in 2009 when the economy went south, and as a response, the company cut costs in order to appeal to budget-minded customers.
Reviewers weren’t happy. Consumer Reports took the Civic off its “recommended” list for the first time in as long as anyone can seem to remember, for example.
Not only that, but while the Civic remains the compact-car sales leader and Honda’s main nameplate, it also faces increased competition from Ford, Chevrolet, Kia, and Hyundai. With those automakers putting out well-received compacts over the past year or two, this is a bad time for the Civic to slide down the scale in terms of reviews.
Lead times for redesigns and refreshes aren’t short, due to cost, complexity, and the need to satisfy government regulations. So Honda will be limited in what it can do and how quickly it can do it, but we suspect that the Civic’s interior will be improved and content will be added, at the very least.
The Civic is too important a car for Honda to ignore negative feedback, so while the company’s options are narrow at this point, it would be surprising if something wasn’t done.Related Vehicles: 2011 honda civic | 2012 honda civic