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2012 Honda Civic



  • Kirstie@EdmundsKirstie@Edmunds Posts: 10,676
    Around here, you are offered one of two options:
    - extended test drive with a salesperson in the car, or
    - test drive by yourself on a pre-mapped route, and you sign a form saying you will take it only on that route.

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  • temj12temj12 Posts: 451
    This tells me why a sales rep always goes with me on a test drive. You obviously did not think about the person who is going to buy this "new" car that you tested. After reading this, I don't think I will buy another new car with miles on it. Can you imagine someone buying a new car that had been treated like this right off the lot? I think you were thinking about yourselves and not the person who is going to buy that car and pay 3 to 5 years for it.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,354
    Well, driving it in that manner probably didn't "hurt" anything but still, it shows no respect for the dealer or the person who will be buying it.

    On test drives, I wouldn't allow that kind of abuse and if the driver insisted on doing things like that I would have them pull the car over and their driving was done.

    Probably happened three or four times in 14 years to me. I think most people knew better.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    Yes, ALG obviously knows nothing about residual values on cars. It's only their business.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    Wow, I have never had to sign a form to test drive a car. Standard practice here in MN is for the dealer to make a photocopy of your driver's license. I've been able to take many cars out by myself, but in many cases the sales rep goes along. And that's fine with me--it is the dealer's car after all--as long as they let me drive it on the route I want (a short one, but with a variety of road surfaces, curves, and city + freeway). I always tell them my intentions and they often say, "Oh yeah, I suggest to my customers that they drive on that road" (re a specific road near me that has lots of ruts and curves and a 50 mph limit, so a good test of suspension).

    The worst test drive I ever had was at an open house for the then-new Fit (1st generation). There was a VERY short prescribed course, basically a square of a few blocks, all 30-35 mph smooth city streets. I asked the sales rep if I could take it on the freeway for a bit, and he said "Sure, I'd like to see how it does on the freeway myself." So we did. Would have been a worthless test drive otherwise.

    I've found being courteous and up front with sales reps can get you a long ways on a test drive (literally).
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,354
    edited May 2011
    That may well be but I know just how "soft" Korean cars are in the used car market and I am taking about Real World Expereince and not some number crunching or guessing.

    Now, I've been retired for a year but I can't imagine the market had done a massive flip flop in that time!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,354
    I had a "course" that I took people on that included a bit of everything.

    Sometimes I would get special requests and some of thes were pretty strange like finding a parking lot and making u turns with the steering wheel locked.

    I thought I was in a Tilt O Whirl!

    I didn't put up with overally aggressive driving.

    The people who literally scared me to death were some of the people new to our country. how they ever got licences was beyond me. I wouldn't let these people on the freeway. Two or three times I had to grab the steering wheel.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    Actually it has. I read an article in WSJ this week about the used car market and how prices have soared. I check the prices on my cars every now and then; they include two Hyundais now. The 2004 Elantra hasn't lost any value in over 2 years; the 2007 Sonata is worth almost what I paid for it 18 months ago, and it has 15,000 more miles now.

    And given the general improvement in some of Honda's competitors over the past few years, and the fact the Civic went nearly 6 years in between redesigns, it should not be a shock that the Civic is no longer the resale champ. Maybe ALG will anoint the new 2012 Civic as #1 in the compact class now, who knows. If they do, I'm sure you'll say the same things about ALG's numbers not meaning anything. ;)
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,354
    Except....there can be a huge difference between what somebody says a car is "worth" than what they can actually sell it for!

    If you really think your 2004 Hyundai is worth the same as it was two years ago, you are truly dreaming!
  • Kirstie@EdmundsKirstie@Edmunds Posts: 10,676
    You don't have to sign anything if the salesperson goes with you on the test drive.

    The form is only if you want to do a solo test drive, and you're just signing to say that you'll follow the mapped route and not abuse the vehicle, etc., while you're out on the drive. This last time, I didn't care if the salesperson went with me or not, but decided to sign the form & go alone because it was a small dealership, and there were several customers on the lot, and I didn't want to take the salesperson away from them just to monitor me. The route had residential, business, and highway driving, so that was fine by me.

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  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    when we went car shopping a year or so ago we test drove a Subaru. We signed a form that gave us permission to test drive the car without a salesperson for one hour. Did not give us any routes to follow.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    I guess I will have to drive the 2012 Civic to see for myself if the massive refinement from the 2006 thru 2011 models to the 2012 you noted is actually evident to me. I will also drive an Elantra. With regard to the hail damage, while waiting in long lines for insurance adjustment I saw pretty much every make represented all with mostly large amounts of damage. I can only recount my own story and the cars in question were literally parked less than 10 feet from each other. I never thought I would look upon a mid-90's Dodge product as a paragon of quality (although after 14 years of ownership it is pretty good in that respect) but compared to our Civic it was incredibly hail resistant and, as I stated, suffered minimal shallow dents. But the Honda!!! Terrible.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    I guess I was not clear. I have never signed any form for ANY kind of test drive, including solo's. Just provide proof that I am licensed. And I've done dozens of those over the years. Maybe laws or dealer practices are different in MN than where you live.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,354
    I saw a parking lot full of hail damaged cars and some were much worse than others and the makes and models didn't seem to matter.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,354
    Some stores are sloppy about sold test drives. After reading about a three hour 100 mile abusive test drive, hopefully you can see why?

    We once had a customer with the gall to drive a car from another store to our store so he could test drive one of ours. We ended up selling him a car.

    Four hours later, we called that other store and asked them to come get their car. Somehow, it left our lot wth our licence plate frames installed on it!
  • faircomparofaircomparo Posts: 6
    edited May 2011
    Actually, my friend bought the Honda, so no damage done to the Honda dealer. My friend was actually going to by the Elantra until he went on this test drive. For those who complained about the abuse we gave both these cars on our test drive, both the Honda and Elantra sales people were asked if we could test the cars back to back on an exhaustive test. The Hyandai sales person said he normally goes on the test drive but since we wanted to test both cars he rathered we went alone so "he wouldn't know what we did on our test drive." his words not mine. We did go for longer than he thought, but he knew he didn't specify a time limit. We had a good talk to him on our return and talked to him about what we found. He said he had taken the new Civic on a test drive himself a couple of days earlier when they had first arrived at the adjacent Honda dealership. He told us straight out that he also agreed with us "that the new Civic was a better drivers car than the Elantra, but that the Elantra had more features for $2000 less money." [The Elantra by the way was a demonstrator car with nearly 500 miles on it. The Honda however was brand new with only 10 miles on it before we drove and then bought it.]

    The Civic has now been owned for one week and is averaging 37.5mpg on mixed hwy/city driving. (yes it is been driven carefully now) My friend said he enjoys driving the car and loved going on a long drive through the country just for the fun of driving it. He liked the look of the Elantra better and that along with price and warranty were the reasons for his initial decision. But after driving both over the tests we put them through he had and still has no regrets whatsoever that he bought the Civic, and the Civic's looks are growing on him!
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Yeah, some cars were more/less damaged depending on which part of town they were in when the storm hit BUT in my case both were 10 feet apart and I can assure you the Honda took the much larger hit (pun intended!). Very thin sheet metal on at least the trunk lid, hood, and roof surfaces. Even damaged along the flanks of the car. So, if the intent was to "prove" that all kinds of cars can be damaged from severe hail that much is true but when the Honda looked like the cars on that recent TV commercial (for an insurance company) where a lawn tractor runs through a gravel pit peppering two cars with thrown gravel and the Dodge survived intact for the most part...well, no one will convince me the Honda isn't inferior as far as sheet metal integrity. End of "my" story.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,354
    edited May 2011
    About ten years ago, a freak hailstorm hit our area. It missed our store but hit a nearby Honda dealer. Cars were literally parked side by side. Some cars had pretty bad damage and others were barely affected. All were Hondas so please explain that one!

    If the truth be known I would think that sheet metal thickness isn't going to vary much between different makes of cars.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,354
    edited May 2011
    In my 14 years of selling Hondas, we did let a few people out on their own but I NEVER had someone leave for three hours. The words "exhaustive test" would have waved red flags at me.

    Most people that do things like that are non serious joyriders or strokes.

    You were the exception and I still think what you did was over the top even though the car was sold.

    100 miles? Three hours? 90 MPH? Sorry, unnecessary, abusive and WAY over the top!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    edited May 2011
    I checked out a 2012 LX at my local dealer today. Did not drive it because I won't be buying a car until next year, and didn't want to waste the sales rep's time. My impressions:

    * Comfortable driving position, although the wheel doesn't tilt up quite as much as I'd like. Also would like a little more thigh support (common issue with single-lever height adjusters).

    * Cloth looked nice but seemed kinda thin compared to Civics of yore.

    * Lots of hard grey plastic on the dash. Decent quality plastic, but a step below interiors of competitors such as Cruze, Focus, Mazda3, and Elantra.

    * Snazzy display for radio and other functions. Also could be distracting to the driver, IMO. Position was nice, though--in the instrument binnacle vs. in the center of the dash. I wonder how visible it is to the front passenger?

    * Plastic wheel was thick and has audio, computer, and cruise controls.

    * Armrests were padded with cloth, albeit thinly.

    * Vanity mirrors not illuminated.

    * Rear seat legroom was more than Cruze, maybe a tad more than Focus, and less than Elantra and Jetta. In the sit-behind-me test (I'm 5'9-1/2"), my ankles hit the bottom of the front seat before my thighs were resting fully on the seat, i.e. "knees in the air" syndrome. Good foot space though. No rear center armrest as most competitors have. Rear seat only folds in one piece--need to get the EX for 60/40 (which most competitors have standard). Headroom was fine in back (and in front).

    * Glove box seemed big, but lid falls open with a "clunk" (not damped).

    * Doors close with a nice "thunk".

    * Plastic wheel covers looked OK on the 15" wheels (down from 16" on the 2011 Civic).

    * Trunk was roomy. Lid has conventional hinges vs. struts (seems more and more new cars are moving back to the cheaper hinges).

    Overall, an improvement over the 2011 Civic, especially in rear seat room and some added features such as ESC and audio controls on the wheel. Also improved fuel economy. But considering it's about $1000 more than an Elantra GLS that has 16" alloys, Bluetooth, XM radio, roomier back seat with center armrest, nicer dash and door panels, heated mirrors, illuminated vanity mirrors, rear disc brakes, one more cog in the AT, 60/40 rear seat, and a longer warranty, the value proposition is questionable. Will have to wait until a test drive to see if the everyday driving dynamics make up for the difference.
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