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(Bloomberg)   Consumer Reports denounces the Honda Civic and VW Passat as crapmobiles. Real consumers buy them in record numbers anyway   (bloomberg.com) divider line 84
    More: Interesting, Honda Civic, Consumer Reports, VW Passat, Passat, Hyundai Elantra, Kelley Blue Book, home country, light trucks  
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3342 clicks; posted to Business » on 04 Nov 2012 at 12:52 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-04 08:26:31 PM

debug: fallingcow: debug: No, that would be the Fit.

IIRC the base model (out of two--did I mention how crappy the options were on them?) Fit was pricier than the very cheapest Civic.

If it's not, it's certainly a better car than the base Civic, so it should cost more. God damn those things start off bad. Widest range of quality in a single model that I've seen, all the way from crappy, underpowered, uncomfortable shiat boxes up to nice, comfortable, tricked-out semi-luxury trims that barely even look like the same car. Plus there's a Hybrid version that's nominally part of the same line but looks quite a bit different.

Unless the dealer was lying, the Fit is one of the very few models (maybe the only one?) that are manufactured in Japan and shipped over.

Civic Coupe starts at $15,755
Civic Sedan starts at $15,955

Fit starts at $15,325


Huh, remembered it being higher.

That's a rip-off then. The base-trim Civic is a damn spartan vehicle. The Fit may well have more interior room, too. Certainly feels like it does. Rides at least as well; better if you don't like feeling like your ass is an inch off the road.
 
2012-11-04 08:36:56 PM

bkisfancy: Sorry to threadjack, but I have an '01 Subaru Forester that begins to wreak of gasoline whenever the temperature drops below 45 degrees. I took it to a mechanic and he said "I can smell it but I have no idea where it's coming from". Any ideas farkers? Having to drive with the windows open in the winter is becoming unpleasant.


This was a problem on my 2002 WRX wagon. There is a TSB on it and I believe they pushed it out to at least 10 years for free repair. It took twice over two years before it was finally fixed. Go to a Subaru dealership and check. Subaru of Gwinnett if you are in the area is great.
 
2012-11-04 08:38:05 PM

bkisfancy: Sorry to threadjack, but I have an '01 Subaru Forester that begins to wreak of gasoline whenever the temperature drops below 45 degrees. I took it to a mechanic and he said "I can smell it but I have no idea where it's coming from". Any ideas farkers? Having to drive with the windows open in the winter is becoming unpleasant.


My folks have a lesbaru that had the rollover valve recalled - might be your issue...
 
2012-11-04 08:48:59 PM
"Long stopping distance" on the Civic is a concern. The rest of the items cited are of little concern to anyone trying to buy an affordable, reliable car.

My Accord has 131,000 miles on it and runs like it's brand new. So it's now 40,000 miles past what any Big Three car I've ever owned has achieved.

/Honda customer for rest of my life
//assuming I live long enough to ever have to replace the Accord
 
2012-11-04 09:10:01 PM
Owned my 2010 civic for 2.5 years. 54,000 miles. Gas, oil, and a set of tires last month. Also got 1.9 percent financing through Honda. What's not to like?
 
2012-11-04 09:46:29 PM

HempHead: Swoop1809: If anyone is looking for a small sedan I can vouch for the new Mazda3. It gets great milage and actually has decent handling that isnt twitchy like a Toyota Corolla. It doesnt have a ton of power (more than the rest of the class though), but saves most of it for high rpms, which makes it a bit sluggish around town, but the high rpm power makes it much nicer for driving on the highway.

I looked at them last year and they only got ~28mpg. Pretty bad for a compact car nowa days.


The 2012 model with the new engine gets 40/29. I average around 31 since I mostly city drive
 
2012-11-04 09:47:58 PM

Krieghund: *sigh*

Consumer Reports didn't *denounce* the Civic or the Passat.

In Consumer Report's rankings "Recommend" basically means the best of the bunch. They said the cars in question are average, that's all.


Dunno. My dad test drove one of the new passats just for fun (he was more interested in a different brand of car at the same dealership). Stated it had a much worse ride than my old 2000 passat wagon (which is a piece of junk/doesn't have working AC/has a headlight held on by duct tape, etc.) that I intend to drive until it falls apart.

Actually quite a few old VW's here (particularly passat wagons), but I think that is because there is a somewhat honest private mechanic who only work on VW's (apparently he's a god with TDI's, but mine is a gas model).
 
2012-11-04 09:50:09 PM

dragonchild: pivazena: If there are any mechanic-minded types, the civic makes a metallic sound (like cans rattling) when it's really hot out and the engine hasn't warmed up yet. Mostly happens during acceleration.

Most likely the heat shield on the catalytic converter is coming loose, causing the thin plate to rattle. I owned a Civic with a similar problem. You can take it to a garage, but for something like this if you've got a buddy who works on cars just pay him to raise the front and tighten the thing. The rattling is partially dependent on plain ol' fundamental frequencies, which change due to temperature. If tightening the heat shield screws DOESN'T fix the problem, get the engine checked out.

P.S. A lot of people think the heat shield isn't necessary and "fix" it by just taking it off; I don't recommend it. No it isn't the end of the world, but the heat shield is there to protect nearby parts, which are more likely to melt and/or catch fire.

pivazena: In the winter, again before warmed up, the car is a little sluggish to accelerate and sometimes the RPMs drop precipitously, like the car is thinking about shifting but shouldn't be (it's an automatic).

This is much more of a guess than the first question's answer, but it could just be that your transmission fluid is more viscous in cold weather. You might want to check the fluid level and top it off just because the transmission is a huge "ounce of prevention = pound of cure" case, but I honestly don't know if this is a sign of a problem.


The heat shield on my 2000 passat actually CAUGHT on fire (coincidentally, they issued a recall a year later). Would never buy a volkswagen or german car despite liking my old piece of junk...
 
2012-11-04 09:53:15 PM

BlueBox: bkisfancy: Sorry to threadjack, but I have an '01 Subaru Forester that begins to wreak of gasoline whenever the temperature drops below 45 degrees. I took it to a mechanic and he said "I can smell it but I have no idea where it's coming from". Any ideas farkers? Having to drive with the windows open in the winter is becoming unpleasant.

This was a problem on my 2002 WRX wagon. There is a TSB on it and I believe they pushed it out to at least 10 years for free repair. It took twice over two years before it was finally fixed. Go to a Subaru dealership and check. Subaru of Gwinnett if you are in the area is great.


one of Ripley's Bad Guys: My folks have a lesbaru that had the rollover valve recalled - might be your issue...


Sweet. Thanks for the advice!
 
2012-11-04 10:00:23 PM

bkisfancy: Sorry to threadjack, but I have an '01 Subaru Forester that begins to wreak of gasoline whenever the temperature drops below 45 degrees. I took it to a mechanic and he said "I can smell it but I have no idea where it's coming from". Any ideas farkers? Having to drive with the windows open in the winter is becoming unpleasant.


Why it would be temp-dependent I don't know, but I have a '98 Outback that had a problem with the hoses that go from the gas cap/fuel tank/charcoal canister (fume catcher system). Once they were replaced the smell went away.

It was definitely a raw gas smell, not oil or exhaust.
 
2012-11-04 10:50:37 PM

Forbidden Doughnut: dr_blasto: Real consumers are still dumb. The newer Civic isn't as nice as the older ones, it feels cheap but it is cheap.

I own a 1997 Civic that refuses to die, and have ridden in a brand new Civic. My older Civic feels more "solid" and responsive than this newer POS.

/ it's like Honda is morphing into GM...


If you like the late 90's civics, I highly recommend looking at the Subaru cars. I went from a '98 HX to a Subaru Impreza. The new Honda's are all too large and feel flimsy, when someone suggested Subaru, I only thought of the Outback.
 
2012-11-04 11:55:03 PM
If you bought a Honda and didn't leave with this, you did it wrong.
1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-11-05 02:01:29 AM
Having recently been in a lot of rental Fords and GMs; they are really getting darn good. Though that damn MyTouch on the Ford cars makes me grind my teeth.
 
2012-11-05 03:12:31 AM
I'm in the market for a new car. Currently have a 2006 Honda Civic SI (40k miles on it). As you can tell, I don't have to drive very much.

Something near equivalent to the Infiniti G37 Sport. Must be 2 door coupe (sorry Acura).

Any suggestions?
 
2012-11-05 08:44:41 AM
Talking bad about Civics? But they have V-TECs, yo! How can you get any better than that?
 
2012-11-05 11:02:32 AM

Forbidden Doughnut: dr_blasto: Real consumers are still dumb. The newer Civic isn't as nice as the older ones, it feels cheap but it is cheap.

I own a 1997 Civic that refuses to die, and have ridden in a brand new Civic. My older Civic feels more "solid" and responsive than this newer POS.

/ it's like Honda is morphing into GM...


Had my '08 Civic for 16 whole months before I traded it in for my 2nd Mazda. Never should have got rid of the first one and I still regret it. That Civic was an utter piece of crap, and by all accounts, they've only gotten cheaper (quality-wise) since then.
 
2012-11-05 11:23:29 AM

Swoop1809: HempHead: Swoop1809: If anyone is looking for a small sedan I can vouch for the new Mazda3. It gets great milage and actually has decent handling that isnt twitchy like a Toyota Corolla. It doesnt have a ton of power (more than the rest of the class though), but saves most of it for high rpms, which makes it a bit sluggish around town, but the high rpm power makes it much nicer for driving on the highway.

I looked at them last year and they only got ~28mpg. Pretty bad for a compact car nowa days.

The 2012 model with the new engine gets 40/29. I average around 31 since I mostly city drive


I'll second the Mazda 3, it's a good little car. I've put almost 14k on mine so far with an overall average of 35mpg. Usually get 40-41 on the highway.
 
2012-11-05 11:37:58 AM

Genju: I'm in the market for a new car. Currently have a 2006 Honda Civic SI (40k miles on it). As you can tell, I don't have to drive very much.

Something near equivalent to the Infiniti G37 Sport. Must be 2 door coupe (sorry Acura).

Any suggestions?


Have you considered looking at an Infiniti G37? (sorry, had to)

We need more details though - price range, any brands you like or hate, any particulars about drivetrain? I'm guessing fuel economy isn't the biggest concern, given the low mileage. Front wheel drive/rear wheel drive/all wheel drive?

Personally, my favorite 2-door coupe at the moment is the Scion FR-S (Subaru BRZ). Not impressive in terms of power, not much space in the back seat, but seems like a great little package if you like a good handling car. They start at about $25k.
 
2012-11-05 11:40:05 AM

dragonchild: Actually that's the Fit, which is one of the best cars Honda makes right now. Like any economy car it's not the quietest or comfiest ride out there, but damn, is it functional.


Indeed... I passed up on the Civic in favor of the Fit in 2010... and it's been damn good. Not absolutely perfect, but it's fun to drive, surprisingly roomy for a small car, and with the manual transmission I get significantly better gas mileage than the EPA estimates without having to resort to crazy hypermiling tactics. The only real minus for me so far has been the driver's door gasket, which rubs against clothing on entry and exit and has a worn-out spot now. No mechanical or electrical issues in 38,000 miles.

The impression I get of the Civic is that it isn't a bad car, it just isn't head and shoulders above the crowd like it used to be - and part of that is because Hyundai/Kia has made such strides in recent years.
 
2012-11-05 11:51:01 AM
Anecdotes are not data, but I see a ridiculous number of new-ish looking VWs with burned out head and/or tail lights.
I've never thought of VW as the paragon of build quality.
 
2012-11-05 12:03:39 PM

drewogatory: Hey, I can build a car on a budget pretty easily. Analog gauges, no electronics, roll up windows/manual door locks, 13 inch wheels and tires,cloth seats w/ manual adjustments, manual trannies and a/c as an option mated to a 1500 cc 4-banger. Done. Why folks think you need all that bullshiat they pile into new cars is beyond me.


Sounds like the 2000 Saturn SL that I had before I got the Fit, except it had a 1.9 instead of a 1.5, and it did have A/C, antilock brakes, and traction control. Everything else was manual, even the steering. I kept it 10 years and 180,000 miles with piss-poor maintenance (I'm treating the Fit a lot better!). The only real WTF was a clutch master cylinder failure at 95,000 miles.

GM farked up royally by stabbing Saturn in the back, and both management and the UAW share the blame equally.

I think you can still get an ultra-no-frills Nissan Versa sedan, though... but otherwise, it's hard to find a car without power everything these days. Even my base-model Fit has power windows and door locks.
 
2012-11-05 01:09:34 PM

eKonk: Genju: I'm in the market for a new car. Currently have a 2006 Honda Civic SI (40k miles on it). As you can tell, I don't have to drive very much.

Something near equivalent to the Infiniti G37 Sport. Must be 2 door coupe (sorry Acura).

Any suggestions?

Have you considered looking at an Infiniti G37? (sorry, had to)

We need more details though - price range, any brands you like or hate, any particulars about drivetrain? I'm guessing fuel economy isn't the biggest concern, given the low mileage. Front wheel drive/rear wheel drive/all wheel drive?

Personally, my favorite 2-door coupe at the moment is the Scion FR-S (Subaru BRZ). Not impressive in terms of power, not much space in the back seat, but seems like a great little package if you like a good handling car. They start at about $25k.


Sorry for late reply. Infiniti G37 price range is my upper (around 40-45k). Not really a VW or any German car fan (so many friends with maintenance issues). I'm a bit apprehensive about going the muscle route (be it Ford, Chevy or Dodge). Really I think you answered my question when you repeated back to me the car I was looking for an equivalent for.

/still, wish Acura would make 2-doors again...
 
2012-11-05 01:35:33 PM

Genju: eKonk: Genju: I'm in the market for a new car. Currently have a 2006 Honda Civic SI (40k miles on it). As you can tell, I don't have to drive very much.

Something near equivalent to the Infiniti G37 Sport. Must be 2 door coupe (sorry Acura).

Any suggestions?

Have you considered looking at an Infiniti G37? (sorry, had to)

We need more details though - price range, any brands you like or hate, any particulars about drivetrain? I'm guessing fuel economy isn't the biggest concern, given the low mileage. Front wheel drive/rear wheel drive/all wheel drive?

Personally, my favorite 2-door coupe at the moment is the Scion FR-S (Subaru BRZ). Not impressive in terms of power, not much space in the back seat, but seems like a great little package if you like a good handling car. They start at about $25k.

Sorry for late reply. Infiniti G37 price range is my upper (around 40-45k). Not really a VW or any German car fan (so many friends with maintenance issues). I'm a bit apprehensive about going the muscle route (be it Ford, Chevy or Dodge). Really I think you answered my question when you repeated back to me the car I was looking for an equivalent for.

/still, wish Acura would make 2-doors again...


I quite like the G37, so if you're willing to take some random guy on the internet's word for it, I don't think you'll go wrong. If you cut out the Germans and the muscle cars, there's not a whole lot left in the coupe market. Cadillac CTS, Hyundai Genesis, Nissan Altima - none of them seem to fall in quite the same category as the G37. If you only want/need 2 seats, there's obviously the Nissan 370Z. Good luck!
 
2012-11-05 02:22:48 PM

eKonk: Genju: eKonk: Genju: I'm in the market for a new car. Currently have a 2006 Honda Civic SI (40k miles on it). As you can tell, I don't have to drive very much.

Something near equivalent to the Infiniti G37 Sport. Must be 2 door coupe (sorry Acura).

Any suggestions?

Have you considered looking at an Infiniti G37? (sorry, had to)

We need more details though - price range, any brands you like or hate, any particulars about drivetrain? I'm guessing fuel economy isn't the biggest concern, given the low mileage. Front wheel drive/rear wheel drive/all wheel drive?

Personally, my favorite 2-door coupe at the moment is the Scion FR-S (Subaru BRZ). Not impressive in terms of power, not much space in the back seat, but seems like a great little package if you like a good handling car. They start at about $25k.

Sorry for late reply. Infiniti G37 price range is my upper (around 40-45k). Not really a VW or any German car fan (so many friends with maintenance issues). I'm a bit apprehensive about going the muscle route (be it Ford, Chevy or Dodge). Really I think you answered my question when you repeated back to me the car I was looking for an equivalent for.

/still, wish Acura would make 2-doors again...

I quite like the G37, so if you're willing to take some random guy on the internet's word for it, I don't think you'll go wrong. If you cut out the Germans and the muscle cars, there's not a whole lot left in the coupe market. Cadillac CTS, Hyundai Genesis, Nissan Altima - none of them seem to fall in quite the same category as the G37. If you only want/need 2 seats, there's obviously the Nissan 370Z. Good luck!


Thanks a bunch! I'll look into the 370Z as well. For a car at that price I'll definitely be doing my homework.
 
2012-11-05 02:25:02 PM

Fubegra: GM farked up royally by stabbing Saturn in the back, and both management and the UAW share the blame equally.


This point bears repeating.

I would like to buy domestic ( like that means much anymore ) but I've been driving since the late '80's, and have seen, first-hand, how utterly craptacular American cars can be....

/ heard Ford has improved a great deal, reliability wise
// will never drive a Chrysler again....bad memories....
 
2012-11-05 03:48:57 PM
ouch. i have a passat and my wife has a civic.
 
2012-11-05 06:07:45 PM

Fubegra: drewogatory: Hey, I can build a car on a budget pretty easily. Analog gauges, no electronics, roll up windows/manual door locks, 13 inch wheels and tires,cloth seats w/ manual adjustments, manual trannies and a/c as an option mated to a 1500 cc 4-banger. Done. Why folks think you need all that bullshiat they pile into new cars is beyond me.

Sounds like the 2000 Saturn SL that I had before I got the Fit, except it had a 1.9 instead of a 1.5, and it did have A/C, antilock brakes, and traction control. Everything else was manual, even the steering. I kept it 10 years and 180,000 miles with piss-poor maintenance (I'm treating the Fit a lot better!). The only real WTF was a clutch master cylinder failure at 95,000 miles.

2000 Saturn SL had power steering. A car that size w/o PS would be almost nigh impossible to steer when going slowly.

/ Friend had a Ford Festiva that had manual steering. Steering that thing in a parking lot grew your arm muscles.
 
2012-11-05 10:11:13 PM
Earlier this year I finally had to replace the battery for my 2001 Civic. Tires and brakes, sure, but the only repairs I've *ever* paid for were due to damage I inflicted. (I've never hit another car unless I was pushed into it in a chain collision, but I have a remarkable talent for driving into/backing into/sideswiping/driving over things like curbs and bollards and pillars in parking garages. And then there was the time I left the windows and sunroof open on a sunny day to air it out, and forgot to close them before the rainy night. Also I'm pretty sure the Civic Coupe wasn't designed to tow a trailer from San Francisco to Austin. This is why I can't have nice things.)

I'm just about to hit 110k miles, and I need a brake job and the transmission doesn't feel quite right and I can't put off the timing belt much longer, but I am seriously, seriously impressed with this car. Also, I figure I can get another five or six years out of it *minimum*, and if Honda's rep takes a serious hit, I guarantee you they'll have fixed the QA problem by then.

/you know you've got a good car when your only complaint is that the newer models have cooler taillights.
 
2012-11-05 10:35:34 PM

Genju: eKonk: Genju: I'm in the market for a new car. Currently have a 2006 Honda Civic SI (40k miles on it). As you can tell, I don't have to drive very much.

/still, wish Acura would make 2-doors again...


Hear hear: I owned a 1993 Legend LS Coupe and later a 2001 CL-S Coupe - loved them both. We need an update to that styling.
 
2012-11-06 08:51:20 AM

Walt_Jizzney: Genju: eKonk: Genju: I'm in the market for a new car. Currently have a 2006 Honda Civic SI (40k miles on it). As you can tell, I don't have to drive very much.

/still, wish Acura would make 2-doors again...

Hear hear: I owned a 1993 Legend LS Coupe and later a 2001 CL-S Coupe - loved them both. We need an update to that styling.


A bit late for me to try to add anything else to this thread, but I can't believe I left out the Honda Accord Coupe. Closest thing on the road to the departed Acura CL - good power from the V6, the only criticism I would have is that it's front wheel drive and the V6 only comes with an automatic, but that's a personal bias.
 
2012-11-06 12:35:16 PM

Shazam999: Fubegra: drewogatory: Hey, I can build a car on a budget pretty easily. Analog gauges, no electronics, roll up windows/manual door locks, 13 inch wheels and tires,cloth seats w/ manual adjustments, manual trannies and a/c as an option mated to a 1500 cc 4-banger. Done. Why folks think you need all that bullshiat they pile into new cars is beyond me.

Sounds like the 2000 Saturn SL that I had before I got the Fit, except it had a 1.9 instead of a 1.5, and it did have A/C, antilock brakes, and traction control. Everything else was manual, even the steering. I kept it 10 years and 180,000 miles with piss-poor maintenance (I'm treating the Fit a lot better!). The only real WTF was a clutch master cylinder failure at 95,000 miles.2000 Saturn SL had power steering. A car that size w/o PS would be almost nigh impossible to steer when going slowly.

/ Friend had a Ford Festiva that had manual steering. Steering that thing in a parking lot grew your arm muscles.


Eh, young 'uns. I had a '68.5 Mustang with a 428 and manual steering back in the day. Wasn't that bad.
 
2012-11-06 12:47:17 PM

drewogatory: Shazam999: Fubegra: drewogatory: Hey, I can build a car on a budget pretty easily. Analog gauges, no electronics, roll up windows/manual door locks, 13 inch wheels and tires,cloth seats w/ manual adjustments, manual trannies and a/c as an option mated to a 1500 cc 4-banger. Done. Why folks think you need all that bullshiat they pile into new cars is beyond me.

Sounds like the 2000 Saturn SL that I had before I got the Fit, except it had a 1.9 instead of a 1.5, and it did have A/C, antilock brakes, and traction control. Everything else was manual, even the steering. I kept it 10 years and 180,000 miles with piss-poor maintenance (I'm treating the Fit a lot better!). The only real WTF was a clutch master cylinder failure at 95,000 miles.2000 Saturn SL had power steering. A car that size w/o PS would be almost nigh impossible to steer when going slowly.

/ Friend had a Ford Festiva that had manual steering. Steering that thing in a parking lot grew your arm muscles.

Eh, young 'uns. I had a '68.5 Mustang with a 428 and manual steering back in the day. Wasn't that bad.


I know, we're wimps.
 
2012-11-06 02:30:15 PM

eKonk: Walt_Jizzney: Genju: eKonk: Genju: I'm in the market for a new car. Currently have a 2006 Honda Civic SI (40k miles on it). As you can tell, I don't have to drive very much.

/still, wish Acura would make 2-doors again...

Hear hear: I owned a 1993 Legend LS Coupe and later a 2001 CL-S Coupe - loved them both. We need an update to that styling.

A bit late for me to try to add anything else to this thread, but I can't believe I left out the Honda Accord Coupe. Closest thing on the road to the departed Acura CL - good power from the V6, the only criticism I would have is that it's front wheel drive and the V6 only comes with an automatic, but that's a personal bias.


I looked at Accords back when I bought my Civic. I'm 6'4" and still went with the Civic. There's just something about the shape of the Accords back then I just did not find them pleasing to look at. I was surprised when I even fit in my Civic though.
 
2012-11-06 10:27:50 PM
I always thought the Civic was the Gold Standard for modestly priced cars. I was pretty surprised at how cheesy and cheap so many models are now. Upon crawling through a Civic, realized I'd be breaking various parts off within minutes of buying it. I had never heard of a Fit before, but after four visits to various dealerships, I bought one.

The interior space is crazy. I call it the Tardis. I could put 8 foot long boards on it, which made me smile so hard, my face hurt.
 
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