Don’t accuse Honda of not listening to its critics. Although the Honda Civic had a complete redesign in 2012, there was considerable criticism regarding the product. The result: considerable tweaking.
Honda’s “refreshing” included a lot of areas. One was in the styling, a change that has the 2013 Civic arriving with a sportier appearance. Inside the car, the somewhat cheap plastics were addressed and replaced by higher quality materials. A sizable list of standard features was also added for 2013.
Much like its bigger brother – the Accord – the Honda Civic is no longer undisputed king of the hill.
2013 Honda Civic
- Performance: 1.8-liter, four-cylinder, 140 horsepower; 2.4-liter, four-cylinder, 201 horsepower; (hybrid model) 1.5-liter four-cylinder 110 horsepower
- Mileage estimate range: 28-36 mpg
- Price: $17,965 to $26,465
- Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain 5 years/60,000 miles; corrosion 5 years/unlimited mileage
The compact car segment has transformed in recent years and that has the Civic fighting amongst a number of rivals for acknowledgement and prestige. And last year’s disappointing redesign didn’t help.
Regardless of how it matches up individually, there is no competitor that provides the diversity of the Civic – the choices are numerous.
The 2013 Civic is offered in both coupe and sedan body styles. Mainstream models come in four trim levels, ranging from the base model LX, EX and top-tier EX-L and Si. The Civic lineup also features a hybrid, a gas-saving HF model (29-41 mpg), and a car that runs strictly on natural gas.
The exterior changes haven’t transformed the Civic into the “stylish” zone, but are a definite improvement. The hood is more rounded and chrome accents have been added to the grille. In the rear, the Civic looks a little like the Accord and its enlarged taillights now reach the trunk lid. Other subtle changes make for an overall better eye appeal.
The standard features have certainly enlivened the interior and include Bluetooth, text message capability, iPod interface, rearview camera, and Pandora functionality. Many of these features are options among its competitors.
Even the unchanged standard Civic engine – 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder with 140 horsepower – is lively when climbing sizable hills and in freeway passing situations. Go for the upgraded Si model (2.4-liter, 4-cylinder, 201 horsepower) and the ride becomes a lot zippier – 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds.
The Civic Hybrid comes equipped with a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that combines with the electric motor to producer 110 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid model has a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which is standard.
For a compact, the Civic provides a roomy and comfortable cabin, and that isn’t always the case in this segment where cramped back seats are common. The trunk space is 11.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity in the coupe and 12.5 cubic feet in the sedan.
Civics historically possesses a reputation for a steady ride, and that hasn’t changed. This compact grips the road with assurance, corners well, but does get a little noisy at higher speeds.
Always a selling point for the Civic is gas mileage, and that continues to run high at 28-36 mpg for most models. What also continues to run high is the sticker price. One pays for the Honda name, evidenced by a price range between $17,965 to $26,465.
Spruced up after its disappointing redesign a year ago, the Civic is definitely looking better and features a lot of improvements that should have been made in 2012.