Extremely dissatisfied with new 2014 Honda Civic

used 2014 Civic LX, just bought, trying to return, won’t let me, the ride is SO STIFF, feel every crack or seam in the road, Way too stiff. I need feedback on this, Is this normal, I’m 72 yrs old woman, I’m very upset, only took 5 min. test drive not enough, after bought and drove on differenet roads, I realized. out there. HELP, i don’t want the car. 5 days ago. GM: you’ll pay $4000 to trade, or $4,000 sell back.

Sorry Olivia , but a forum can’t help you. You made a decision and the dealer does not have to take the vehicle back. I think the dealer is saying they will trade for 4000.00 less than you paid or give you 4000.00 less to buy the vehicle back.

And don’t let someone talk you into changing the suspension because that will not make enough difference to the ride quality.



  Thank you for your reply. appreciate. yes, dealer said can't

change suspension.

  I dont agree with everything you said. There are TACTICS that

dealers don’t like. FIGHTERS, esp. when it comes it comes to Big
MONEY, I have quite limited income, I"m 72, I’m not giving up
easily, If I absolutely have to will stand on the street out front
of them, with a BIG SIGN. I can also do Very Bad reviews. They use
Deceptive business practices. I can report to BBB, When the GM was
giving the scoop, $4k either way offer, i asked him about
driveshaft at 27k miles, what he said. ‘These hondas need a new
driveshalt about every 27K miles!,’ looked at carfax again, and it
actually got a new one at 17K, is he going to change his story, to
17k miles?

  I can't accept that nothing can be done. There were 143k cars

with engine/drivetrain issues, You should read some things that
customers said…the NHTSA said 0 recalls for this one, ones that
got recalled were mfgd on speicific dates, but I think some others
that weren’t in the recall had pretty big issues too. But I do
need to look up those dates of manufacture. I need to find the
sticker on car, I hope! that gives these details.

  I am afraid to drive this car, literally. Now I have No Wheels

again, I’m not going to drive it, one don’t want more miles on it,
have put on just about 20 miles right now, and I’m afraid to
drive, and I figure less miles I have on it, the more I win this
battle with the GM.

  I need support with this obviously, To say these cars need a

drive shaft about every 27 miles, has to be hogwash and it was
actually replaced at 17k miles!. Creepy GM of this dealership…Did
I say I just bought it, at Toyota dealer ship, with Honda right
next door, they are connected. do not what that means.

  Thank you for reading this. I would really like to hear your

response to what I have written now.

Olivia Verde

First, have you checked that the tire pressure is correct? If by some chance the tires are greatly overinflated, the ride would be much harder.

Second, do you have 16-inch or 17-inch wheels? If you have the 17-inch wheels, you might be able to switch to 16-inch wheels, where the higher tire sidewall would give a slightly softer ride, although the improvement would only be moderate at best.

I’m afraid I don’t really follow this discussion about deceptive business practices. It appears that something failed on the car that was fixed. That can happen to any car.


You bought a car you only tested for 5 minutes and now you don’t like the car. Seems to be all your fault in not spending more time to review the car before purchase. Your decision, your responsibility.

Now you want them to take it back and return your money. In most states and at most dealers you are not entitled to any “grace period” where you can return the car and get your money back. You now are in the situation of selling the car at a loss to the dealer or to sell it as a private sale on AutoTrader or Craigslist.

The rest of your rant is meaningless and most any lawyer will tell you so, in my opinion. If you think your rant has merit, hire a lawyer and sue the dealer. But we are CarTalk, not CarLawyerTalk.


While I am very empathetic regarding the OP’s situation, I fail to see any actual evidence of “deceptive business practices” on the part of the dealership. Additionally, I fail to see any justification in your statement about being afraid to drive it. In addition to seconding the suggestion about checking the tire pressure, I have another idea for the OP, namely… Why not sell the car if you don’t like it?

Unless the OP grossly overpaid for the car in the first place, a private sale would likely lead to getting most of that purchase price back, or at least losing a LOT less than $4k.

Honda Civics have a well-earned reputation for excellent reliability (despite the bizarre opinion of someone who claims that they need to have their axle shafts replaced every 27k miles), and they are very popular with young guys. If you advertise it for sale at a fair price, you shouldn’t have much of a problem in selling it. Then, you can shop for another car and–hopefully–take an extended test drive before purchase.


My mom, about your age, likes to do this too. She took a $30,000 bath on the BMW that I tried to convince her not to buy, in large part because she refused to test drive it more than around the block and didn’t notice how bad the seats were. She learned an expensive lesson. You’re fortunate that the lesson you learned isn’t quite so expensive. Sell the car yourself - you’ll likely get close to what you paid for it. Then go do real test drives on other cars and pick one that works for you.

To be very blunt, if you did this and I owned the dealership I’d slap you with a defamation lawsuit just to make you and your sign go away. If I was feeling nice, I’d drop the lawsuit once you agreed to stop publicly blaming me for your bad decisions.

You are the one who chose not to test drive the car sufficiently. You are the one who has a problem with the ride when hundreds of thousands of others do not. You screwed up, and the dealership has no obligation, legal, moral or otherwise, to fix what you broke.

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I, myself prefer a firm ride. That said, my wife “volunteered” my services to help a single woman in our church shop for a car. She bought a new 2013 Honda Civic. I didn’t have any problem with the ride. I thought it rode quite comfortably. Our friend still has the Civic six years later. At the time, we also tested an Accord. The Accord did ride a little more smoothly, but our friend chose the Civic because it was easier to maneuver it into her garage which she has to access off an alley. This friend also makes long trips from Eastern Indiana to Connecticut and is comfortable.
Some years back, we sold our 1993 Oldsmobile 88 and bought a new 2003 Toyota 4Runner SUV. The ride was certainly stiffer than the Oldsmobile. In fact, if you just ride around the block in the 4Runner, you’d think you were riding in a wheelbarrow. However, on long trips, we have found the 4Ruuner to be very comfortable. I can make the 400 mile trip to visit our son and his family and I don’t feel tired after making the trip and I am 77 years old.
Now, I have never owned a Honda Civic. Before I retired, I drove Honda Civic Hybrids from my institution’s fleet to conferences 150 miles away. I had no problems with the ride. However, I didn’t have enough legroom. I am 6’2" tall with long legs. My research partner who is 5’4" found the Civic very comfortable to drive, and her personal car is a Civic.
My suggestion is to make sure the tires aren’t over-inflated and take the Civic on a 150 mile trip and see how you feel after the drive. If your previous car was a softly sprung larger car, you may find the Civic less tiring on a longer drive.

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Please go out, read the tire size, and tell us what it is. You might be able to put on better tires and wheels.

That said, you have nothing to blame on the dealer, as far as I can tell.


Yes! The tire size (and the wheel size that goes with it) is a very important variable. If this has the steel wheels and original tire size, that’s the better combo for comfort. Higher priced Hondas have alloy wheels and lower profile tires - making for a less comfortable ride. And many of the “young guys” who like Hondas put on big alloy wheels and low profile tires, to the car’s detriment if you want comfort.

Olivia, what is the tire size? Can you tell if the wheels are steel or aluminum alloy? That info will help us help you.

Your time would be much better-spent trying to sell this car to a young person.

If it’s any comfort - my sister bought a new Subaru maybe 18 years ago. The first few days she had it, the sounds were irritating her - different from what her old car was like. (She is a piano tech and very sensitive to sounds and vibrations.) She tried to return it and of course it wasn’t something the dealer would do. She resigned herself to it, got used to the new sensations, and still has the car and likes it very much.

Seat comfort is another thing that can take a while to get used to.

As a former dealership executive and owner, I don’t believe that anything your dealership does for you at this point would make you happy. You and I are close in age. You purchased a compact, modern car. A car like that is simply not going to have the smooth, quiet, isolated ride that you and I like. A couple months ago I satisfied that desire by buying a 1962 Cadillac. I’m eccentric, and that approach is not for everyone. I think you’d be a lot happier with something like a Buick Lacrosse. You simply bought the wrong car and it’s not the dealer’s problem to solve.


@OliviaVerde. You are in the same age bracket I am. If you do replace your Honda, don’t buy an old person’s car. People like us should be driving young person’s cars.
If I didn’t have to rattle around in a minivan, I would be driving a Mazda Miata. The heck with the harsh ride. It’s fun to live it up. I only have the minivan because I have to transport musicians and their instruments.
I would advise sticking with the Civic. It’s a young person’s car. You and I are young. For heaven’s sake, don’t go get a ‘geezer mobile’.

Several years ago, we had a series of posts from a woman who was very unhappy with the ride of her new 2-door Toyota Yaris. Unfortunately, none of her “complaints” had any validity because she had test-driven a 4-door Yaris, which has a longer wheelbase and a smoother ride. She even found fault with the upholstery pattern of her 2-door Yaris. Yup! You guessed it… Even the upholstery is different on the 4-door model. So, that woman essentially shot herself in the foot by not shopping “properly”, and she had to learn to either get to like the car that she had bought, or to take a loss on trading it in.

That woman also told us that her previous car–a Geo Metro (or, it may have been the identical Suzuki Swift)–was the most perfect car ever made. :roll_eyes:

Upon further questioning, she finally admitted that she is a person who can’t readily adapt to changes–of any kind.

Always research the model reviews 1st on the computer. Always test drive them, testing brakes, hitting bumps, checking transmission, sportier model cars do have stiffer suspension sometimes. Maybe its your roads you’re driving normally on too. Most modern cars don’t have that old floating - steering boat feel anymore.

i like our 15’ civic. yes its firm. we had 195/15 tires and the car felt twitchy. i put on a set of 205/16 tires/rims and it feels less twitchy. i was not expecting to really feel any difference. the oem tires are probably not great quality and i think the 2nd set is a step up. certainly not premium tires though

@Triedaq You are a few years older than I, and I consider myself elderly. What kind of vitamins is Mrs. Triedaq giving you?


Oh, please, Don’t give Mrs Triedag any good ideas. :smile:

Buying new tires is a good time to “dial in” the car to your liking. Tires vary a lot in terms of many criteria. Ride, comfort, noise, etc. are reported on in Consumer Reports and at the tirerack.com site.