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(AP) - THE PROBLEM: Honda cheapened the 2012 Honda Civic to the point where it fell behind new compact cars made by its competitors from Korea and the United States. The new car was heavily criticized, especially by the influential Consumer Reports magazine.

RAPID CHANGES: Just over 19 months after the 2012 model's debut, Honda revamped the Civic, giving it a sportier look and a more luxurious interior. It also added insulation to make it quieter, and stiffened the suspension for better handling. The car also got bigger brakes to stop faster.

THE IMPACT: Analysts say without the changes, Honda would not have been able to attract new buyers to the Civic. The upgrades take the car to the top of the class, and it likely will be on people's shopping lists, they say.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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