The Refreshed 2013 Honda Civic
Depending on who you ask, the totally redesigned 2012 Honda Civic was either a solid success or a moderate misstep. With 331,872 vehicles sold, the Civic took the crown for best-selling compact car in 2012, but there were plenty of complaints from reviewers and drivers that the upgraded Civic wasn’t enough of an improvement over the previous model. While the sales numbers that the 2012 Civic achieved might easily have tempted a lesser automaker into complacence, Honda has gone back and refined its classic compact into the all-around great sedan that it should have been last year, and the 2013 Civic is the welcome result.
A New Look and Feel, Inside and Out
The new Civic isn’t radically different from last year’s model, but the details add up to a definite improvement in style. The new look trades in utilitarian blandness for a more sporty and fun appearance, thanks to a distinctive front end featuring metallic accents that kind of look like a smile if you stare at it for too long.
The 2013 Civic features an interior that feels positively upscale, and the swathes of hard plastic that marred last year’s model have been swapped out for higher-quality materials. Thicker glass and more insulation add to the upscale vibe by making the interior significantly more quiet.
The list of convenience features has also been expanded for the new model. A 5-inch infotainment display is now standard on the Civic, as are features like a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, and a CD/iPod sound system.
More Safety and More Fun
The 2012 Civic had very solid safety scores, but this year’s model will face a new challenge from the IIHS: the narrow-offset crash test. Most vehicles have failed this new test pretty miserably, but Honda has redone the structure of the Civic’s front end in the hopes of getting a solid score this year. The powertrain on the 2013 Civic is unchanged from last year, but updated suspension and steering give a more engaging and responsive driving experience. Competition in the compact sedan market is pretty tight, but these updates easily put the Civic among the top choices in the segment.