Consumer Reports sees a decline in the competitiveness of Honda’s designs

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 10, 2011

After Consumer Reports announced that the redesigned 2012 Honda Civic failed to achieve the high scores for it to get a recommendation, it now says that it has noticed a decline in the competitiveness of Honda’s designs in recent years. Consumer Reports explained that Honda still produces well-rounded vehicles that are reliable and have high fuel efficiency.

In fact, several of Honda’s models such as the Fit, Odyssey, and Ridgeline, as well as the Acura MDX, are ranked close to or at the top of their respective categories. However, its Top Picks list is no longer dominated by Honda.

This is just disappointing since Honda produced five of the 10 Top Picks in 2006. And if you look at their current best products (like the Fit, Ridgeline, MDX), you’d notice that these are older designs.

Honda’s all-new models and the redesigned models of their key products are not quite up to par. While Honda asserts that its cars continue to be reliable, economic, and could boast of having a strong resale value, it faces fierce competition. This means that these qualities are not enough.

Consumer Reports believes that Honda’s new designs are aiming to only be good enough (and not great). It says that it’s partly because old assumptions have become blurry. It states that when compared to the Accord, the Ford Fusion is more reliable, quieter, and is more enjoyable to drive. Hyundai and Kia have been offering cars that are fuel-efficient and feature advanced equipment at lower prices.

On the other hand, Honda vehicles are typically priced at the upper end of the segments they’re in. Consumer Reports believes that the problem could be that Honda is cutting costs to be more competitive but this hasn’t been reflected on their price tags. Consumer Reports added that it hopes Honda will go back to achieving excellence in its cars.

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