Watch a Fox Reporter Botch a Review of the Civic Type R
When people who aren't into cars try to sound informed... it normally goes like this.
Ed Wallace of Fox 4 News, based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, is billed by the station as a "car critic," but a recent review of his establishes him as anything but. Put on assignment to discuss the new Honda Civic Type R (which arrived in the U.S. market for the first time earlier this year), Mr. Wallace's review of the car, uploaded earlier this month by the network to its YouTube channel, has since garnered online attention for its volume of misinformation. At times, the car jargon he utters makes his segment reminiscent of an outtake from the original Fast and the Furious film.
"It will get up and fly! But it's meant, I guess, for street racing, because it comes with low-profile racing tires," says Wallace, in reference to the Civic Type R's Continental SportContact 6 tires and 20-inch wheels. These tires, despite being sport tires, are nowhere near a legitimate racing tire, such as a Hoosier A7, due to their 300 treadwear rating. For reference, the slick A7 tire has a treadwear rating of 40, and are not recommended for street use.
"When you go to downshift," says Wallace, "it will automatically start revving the engine up so you can't over-torque it! I think that's so Honda doesn't pay a bunch of warranty claims on broken motor mounts."
Although Ed is correct that the Type R automatically rev-matches for drivers to prevent damage, it is not due to concern for engine mounts, but instead, the clutch.
While Wallace's portrayal of the car as a Subaru WRX competitor is not entirely wrong, as both appeal to similar age and sex demographics, it does display a lack of knowledge on why someone would choose one car versus the other, never mind its disregard for brand loyalty. It may be the pedant in us, but it does grind our gears to hear a hot hatchback described as a "big, high-end hot rod."
"Typically, the warranty claims wipe out whatever profit on the car they might have had to begin with," continues Wallace, "even on the NSX in the old days, I can account for people that actually blew their engines in their NSXs, and they were about $27,000 in the box to replace them. Honda typically bought the first one, the second one, you were on your own."
Contrary to his statement, the original NSX was known for superb reliability for a car of its type when it came out, and we were unable to find any information supporting his claim that the C-series V6 used in the NSX cost $27,000 new.
We are willing to give Mr. Wallace some benefit of the doubt, with the pressure of having to film a live broadcast potentially causing him to misspeak, but we have a suggestion to Fox 4 and Ed for the future: Record your review in advance, and air it once it has been fact-checked. Otherwise, the internet will turn your misstatements into running gags.