Consumer Reports won’t recommend new Honda Civic

DETROIT (AP) ? The newly redesigned Honda Civic performed so poorly in testing by Consumer Reports that the magazine said it could not recommend the car.

The Civic, normally top-ranked and recommended by the influential magazine, fell to second-to-last in Consumer Reports’ rankings of 12 compact cars, finishing only ahead of the Volkswagen Jetta, the magazine said in a statement issued Monday. The Civic is normally among the top-selling compacts in the U.S. Through the first half of the year, Honda sold more than 127,000 Civics.

“Testers found the 2012 Civic to be less agile and with lower interior quality than its predecessor,” the magazine’s statement said. “It also suffers from a choppy ride, long stopping distances, and pronounced road noise.”

Consumer Reports praised the Civic for its rear-seat room and 30 mpg overall fuel economy. The magazine tested an LX version of the Civic.

Honda said in a statement that it disagrees with the magazine’s findings, saying the new Civic is a step forward in every way. “The new Civic excels in areas that matter to small-car customers, including fuel efficiency, safety, and reliability,” the company said.

The magazine said the 2011 Hyundai Elantra topped its small-car ratings with impressive fuel economy and a roomy interior.

A full report on the cars will be in Consumer Reports’ September issue.