2012 Honda Civic Wins About.Com "Best New Cars Award", Praise From Derek's Grandma

2012 honda civic wins about com best new cars award praise from dereks grandma

Honda’s decision to redesign the current Civic after barely a year on the market was described to me by one former Honda insider as “the closest they will ever come to admitting to gross incompetence.” Even though the Civic has been panned by most outlets, the staff at About.com called the Civic one of the Best New Cars of 2012.

Aaron Gold, author of the piece, lauded the Civic for being

“… the most comprehensive compact car on the market. You can get a sedan or a coupe; a high-fuel-efficiency version; a high-performance version; a leather-lined version; a hybrid version; even an alternative-fuel version that runs on clean natural gas. And whichever Civic you choose, you’re virtually guaranteed years of trouble-free motoring.”

Gold’s depiction of the Civic brings to mind an automotive buffet. And like most buffet restaurants, the abundance of choice cannot be correlated with the quality of the offerings. Seeking a neutral, third-party perspective, I decided to get the opinion of a car enthusiast with decades of experience driving all kinds of cars on multiple continents – my grandma.

At 78 years old, Yvette Lerner has lived a rich and full life and shows no signs of slowing down. Although she is more interested in bridge, Masterpiece Theater and her adult education classes, Lerner is a car enthusiast, having owned everything from an MG Magnette, a Skoda convertible, a ’65 Mustang with a 289 V8, a Chrysler LeBaron K-Car and a 1993 Escort with a 5-speed manual, that she purchased after she had turned 60. Grandma also owned one of the first 1973 Civics in North America, and now drives a 2000 Honda Civic sedan (with a 4-speed automatic) with 47,845 miles, and had a 2012 Civic LX as a service loaner while her car is in the body shop. She also notes that she “did [her] driving test in England. It’s harder, and I had to do it on a [manual] shift car. And park on a hill.” That’s more than can be said for most drivers today.

“I liked that new Honda!” said Lerner. “It was really peppy, much more than mine is. The windows go down automatically and you sit higher up. The radio was much better too.” When asked if she would trade in her 2000 Civic, considered to be the best generation ever made by enthusiasts, the answer was an emphatic yes, but Lerner noted she’d spend her money on something besides a new car, and her current Civic was in “immaculate condition.” Notably absent were complaints about MacPherson struts, electric power steering systems or the ECO mode, though Lerner did praise the ride quality as being “smoother than my Civic.”

While journalists such as Gold get their Civics dropped off and picked up from their home or workplace with a full tank of gas and insurance provided, Lerner paid for her own fuel, used her own insurance policy and was weighing a possible purchase decision, as a retiree living on a fixed income. Her car enthusiast pedigree is also stronger than that of some of the people you meet on press launches.

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  • Silverkris Silverkris on Feb 06, 2012

    How coincidental. My wife had a 2000 Civic EX with 107K miles on it and for several months wrestled with whether we should trade it in or not - as the dealers were offering extra money for trade-ins and good pricing on the 2012 models. Well, a couple of weeks ago, we finally pulled the trigger and traded in the 2000 EX for the current model. Compared with the old model, yes, instrument panel looks a bit busy and the plastics are harder and not as nice. But the car is quieter, has a bit more zip (1.8L vs. 1.6L in the 2000 model), and gets better fuel economy at the same time. Not to mention updated safety features like curtain airbags and the like. My wife is happy with the car, and for her, the new model works well.

  • CRConrad CRConrad on Feb 08, 2012

    "And like most buffet restaurants, the abundance of choice cannot be correlated with the quality of the offerings." What, you never heard of negative correlation? :-)

  • Master Baiter The D-bag elites like Al Gore demanding that we all switch to EVs are the type of people who don't actually drive. They get chauffeured around in black Yukon Denalis. Tesla does have a good charging network--maybe someday they will produce a car that doesn't suck.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird As a Challenger GT awd owner I lIke it’s heritage inspired styling a lot. There’s a lot of 66-67 as well as 68-70 Charger in there. It’s refreshing that it doesn’t look like a blob like Tesla, Volt/Bolt, Mach-e BMW I whatever etc. The fact that it’s a hatch makes it even better as a everyday driver thus eliminating the need for a CUV. If it’s well built and has a reliable track record I can see trading up to it in a few years.
  • Jbawden I thought sedans were dead? Coupes even more so. The core Charger/Challenger buyer is in it for the Hemi. To whom is this and the presumed EV Camaro marketed to? The ICE versions of these cars have a LOT of shortcomings, but rear drive, a V8, and a Tremec 6 speed made all that disappear. If you're forcing me into a 1,000hp appliance, then give me some visibility and practicality while your at it. And for the love of all things holy, please allow me to maintain a little dignity by leaving off the ridiculous space jam sound effects. What out of touch focus group think approved that? It's almost as embarrassing as the guy who signed off on the Pontiac Aztec.
  • Jalop1991 The simple fact is, America and Americans excel at building complex things (bridges, for example) but absolutely SUCK at maintaining them. We're too busy moving on to the next new shiny thing that a politician can get good airtime for. Fixing the bridge? Not sexy. Cutting the ribbon at a new EV charge site? Photo-op worthy. Demanding that the owner of said charging site be accountable and not let his site become the EV equivalent of a slum? Hard and not a newsworthy event.I have a PHEV and once tried some sort of public charging, just to see what happens. Failed miserably. We'd all be riding horses today if gas stations performed like EV charge stations do.
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