Sometimes a car company can make a mistake when launching a new product that resonates across the entire automotive industry. Such was the case with the 2012 Honda Civic, a redesign of the extremely popular compact sedan and coupe that simply missed the boat when it came to features, styling, and market position. Honda's misjudgment of what small car buyers were looking for, combined with supply issues stemming from the terrible Japanese earthquake, as well as economic questions surrounding the recent economic crisis, all took their toll on the Civic. This lead the brand to hastily pull together and re-engineer the vehicle for the following model year.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2013 Honda Civic.
01. The 2013 Honda Civic Is An 11th Hour Do-Over
As we mentioned in the introduction, the shocking reaction of the media and previous Honda Civic owners saw Honda hurrying back to the drawing board in order to pen a rapid refresh of the car. The result was the 2013 Honda Civic, a vehicle that has seen substantial attention paid to each of the areas identified as problematic, primarily those that suffered due to cost cutting by an automaker concerned that new vehicle buyers wouldn't be willing to shell out for a high-end small car in the aftermath of an economic downturn. The 2013 version of the Honda Civic also adds in many of the features that were simply missing from the 2012 model, further placating content-hungry compact fans who were puzzled by the down-market version of the iconic Civic that they had been presented with the year before.
02. The 2013 Honda Civic Features Updated Styling
One of the first things Honda did when redesigning the 2013 Honda Civic was update the four-door version's looks from dowdy to handsome. The new Honda Civic sedan is more in line with its larger sibling the Accord in terms of its front fascia, featuring a mesh grille, a buffed-up hood, and a more aerodynamic bumper treatment. Along the sides, the profile of the car remains quite similar to that sported by the 2012 model, but out back the tail lights and reflectors give additional width and heft to the small vehicle's design. Overall, the 2013 Honda Civic fits much more smoothly alongside the current crop of compact options vying for entry-level dollars.
03. The 2013 Honda Civic Offers A Revised Interior
The 2013 Honda Civic makes even more substantial improvements to its passenger compartment. This is especially true with respect to the materials used throughout the vehicle's interior, such as on the door panels, the dashboard, and controls. Gone are the hard plastics that dominated the 2012 model's cockpit and in there place are softer, more pleasant to touch surfaces that go a long way towards elevating the Honda Civic above bargain-basement status. The seats are now more comfortable, and are swathed in higher end fabrics front and rear, and although a two-tiered dashboard remains a stark reminder of Honda's idiosyncratic design language for its most popular car, the center stack has been re-worked for better usability.
04. The 2013 Honda Civic Comes In Sedan And Coupe Body Styles
The 2013 Honda Civic is offered in a pair of body styles. The Honda Civic sedan is the most common version of the car, and it provides substantial legroom when compared to rivals from Ford and Chevrolet, as well as a generous 12.5 cubic feet of trunk space. The Honda Civic coupe is aimed at drivers seeking a sportier image, and although it sacrifices about one cubic foot of trunk space compared to the sedan (as well as a fair amount of room for back seat riders), both versions of the car come with a folding rear seatback that helps expand trunk space into the passenger compartment.
05. The 2013 Honda Civic Is Available In Four Different Trim Levels
The 2013 Honda Civic starts out in LX trim, which includes steel wheels, power windows and door locks, cruise control, a standard rearview camera (displayed via a five-inch LCD screen), a CD player, and Bluetooth connectivity. The EX edition of the Civic adds 16-inch rims, a louder stereo system, and a 60/40 split for the folding rear seat, and EX-L versions of the car introduce heated leather seats and fog lights. It is also possible to order the Civic in HF trim, which is equipped in a similar fashion to the base LX model with the addition of a number of fuel-saving aerodynamic and rolling stock features.
06. The 2013 Honda Civic Is Motivated By A Four-Cylinder Engine
The 2013 Honda Civic features no major changes in the engine bay, with 2012's motor carrying over largely untouched. The Honda Civic's base motor - found from LX to EX-L to HF versions of the car - is a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder mill that produces 140 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission remains standard across the board for all versions of the car exception the HF and EX trim levels, which receive the car's optional five-speed automatic at no extra charge. Fuel mileage for the Honda Civic checks in at 28-mpg city and 39-mpg highway, with the HF trim adding an additional one and two miles per gallon to each respective measure.
07. The 2013 Honda Civic Delivers A Smoother, Quieter Ride
Although under the hood the 2013 Honda Civic might be identical to its 2012 predecessor, the vehicle's chassis has been given an update in order to address the lackluster handling and ride that were a feature of the older model. The introduction of new swaybars front and rear - featuring fresh bushings - has tightened up the vehicle's ability to deal with corners, and steering is slightly faster than in the older version of the automobile. In addition, Honda has stuffed the Civic with more sound deadening in order to keep things quiet in the passenger compartment, an effort that is especially noticeable when traveling at highway speeds.
08. The 2013 Honda Civic Is Also Offered In A Sporty Si Edition
The 2013 Honda Civic Si has enjoyed a reputation as a fun, affordable, and efficient compact sports car. The Honda Civic Si is available in both coupe and sedan editions, and the vehicle is built around a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that has been tuned to provide 201 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is the only gearbox available with the Civic Si, and the vehicle's suspension system has been tweaked to provide stiffer, and more robust handling when snaking through twisty bits of road. The Civic Si can reach 60-mph from a standing start in just a tick under seven seconds.
09. The 2013 Honda Civic Provides A Hybrid Option
For those more concerned with saving the planet than being first on race day, the 2013 Honda Civic continues to be available in Hybrid form. The Honda Civic Hybrid swaps in a gasoline / electric drivetrain that consists of a four-cylinder, 1.5-liter engine and a battery-powered motor that combine to produce 110 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque. Managed by a continuously-variable automatic transmission, the Civic Hybrid returns fuel mileage of 44-mpg in stop and go driving and 44-mpg on the highway, which is quite impressive for its class. Buyers are forced to give up only a small amount of trunk space to house the battery for the electrified Civic, and the Hybrid model is available in sedan form only.
10. The 2013 Honda Civic Comes With Comprehensive Safety Equipment
The 2013 Honda Civic is loaded with airbags, including dual forward units, side impact airbags that are mounted to the driver and front passenger seats, and side curtain airbags that deploy along the entire length of the passenger compartment. Anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and traction control are also included free of charge with the Honda Civic. Those who are seeking active safety gear will have to spring for the fuel efficient Hybrid trim level, which offers a standard lane departure warning system as well as a forward collision warning system.