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Consumer Reports won't recommend Honda Civic EX for lack of ESC

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Consumer Reports won't recommend Honda Civic EX for lack of ESC

04:54 PM

The Honda Civic EX is the highest-rated small car at Consumer Reports -- both in automatic and manual transmission configurations -- but car no longer will get CR's coveted "recommended" rating. Nor will any of Civic's cheaper models (DX, DX-VP, LX, LX-S and GX)

That's because you can't get electronic stability control on them -- even as an option. Electronic stability control is the computerized safety feature that detects potential loss of control in turning maneuvers and uses selective braking, and sometimes engine power, to prevent skidding.

Federal rules will require ESC starting with 2012 models and until then, some publications and private testing agencies, such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, have stopped recommending vehicles that don't have it.

Honda does offer ESC on its three most expensive models: Honda Civic EX-L, sporty Civic Si and Civic Hybrid, which Consumer Reports continues to recommend.

But CR notes: "That means the cheapest Civic with stability control has a sticker price of $22,705—significantly higher than the typical small sedan price in our Ratings of about $19,000. And those sedans don't force you to buy an expensive options package to get stability control; it's standard on almost every small sedan for 2011."

CR also points out that ESC is even standard in some smaller, cheaper models, including the 2011 Ford Fiesta and Mazda2.

A redesigned Civic is expected to be unveiled soon.

Fred Meier/Drive On-Colin Bird/Cars.com Kicking Tires



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