"I purchased my 2013 Honda Civic LX in April 2013. While the car impressed during my initial test drive (I was coming from a 2010 Honda Fit), numerous issues regarding the car have cropped up since then. My full review:
VALUE = 9/10
Honda did a great job loading this car with standard features. Even on my base LX model, I have steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth phone connectivity, Bluetooth streaming audio, text messaging, Pandora internet radio, and even a rearview camera. These features being offered as standard equipment are unheard of in the compact car class. Additionally, the car is affordable, and Hondas always have had excellent reliability and resale, making it a great value. The car gets 30+ mpg without even trying. The only reason why this score isn't a 10/10 is because the Pandora integration can sometimes be very finicky, and doesn't always work as advertised.
DRIVING DYNAMICS = 6/10
My 2013 Civic LX rides very smoothly. It absorbs bumps with an almost Germanic thump, and road noise is impressively hushed for a compact sedan. The light steering makes parking and maneuvering in tight spaces easy. This makes it an ideal A-to-B city car that can get the job done around town and on the highway. Ride comfort is very good.
What isn't very good is the car's handling, which is decidedly average. The car gives the impression of being playful with responsive, quick steering and a five-speed automatic transmission that is equally responsive. However, the steering is overly light for spirited driving, and is completely devoid of feel (something Civics in the past always excelled at). Additionally, there is a pronounced amount of body lean, and the stock Firestone "Fuel Fighter" low rolling resistance tires have a comically low amount of grip. Power from the 140 hp four-cylinder engine is adequate. An ECON mode dulls throttle response in exchange for better fuel economy.
RELIABILITY = 10/10
Typical Honda. That is to say, reliability has been excellent. Over one year and 29,000 miles, and no unexpected repairs have needed to be performed on the vehicle (only standard scheduled maintenance).
DESIGN = 7/10
Exterior: The Civic is a handsome looking car from the outside, if a bit bland at certain angles. The front of the car features an Accord-like chrome grille, and a chrome bumper that helps to give it some personality. The rear features snazzy looking taillights connected by a chrome bar that widens the look of the car. The side profile is a bit bland, with black plastic window trimmings and odd 15" wheel covers undoing what the car gets right in the front and back. Overall, a handsome looking, completely inoffensive vehicle, and probably the best looking compact car on the market.
Interior: The interior design is futuristic and cool. Honda's two-tier dash layout now includes a 5" iMID display as standard equipment. This display provides information regarding Bluetooth phone information, radio information, and fuel economy, and also contains the rearview camera. The steering wheel controls are easy to use, as are the standard radio and HVAC controls.
Interior materials quality is a mixed bag. The door panels up front, and the dash pad on the passenger side, are made of soft touch material that feels pleasant. The rest of the dashboard is made of hollow, hard plastic that does a wonderful job of creating glare from the iMID display at night, even at low brightness settings. Seat fabric feels okay, while armrests are barely more than the seat fabric covering hard plastic, with little to no padding. The steering wheel is an area of success, with an appealing design, a small diameter, and nice bolstering extensions.
QUALITY = 7/10
Overall fit and finish is above par. Materials are about as you would expect for this class, but don't go above and beyond the status quo. The car feels durable and solid in its construction.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE = 4/10
As stated before, the car is loaded with numerous "techie" standard features. The trunk is practical in size, although it does have gooseneck hinges that crush your cargo. The rear seat is a one-piece folding type (60/40 split fold rear seats can be had on the EX and EX-L models, a curious omission here). Folding the rear seatback requires pulling a lever in the trunk while reaching all the way in to push the seatback down; a simple lever within the car would have been a more comfortable solution.
Long term comfort is an issue with this car. Overall seating position is very low, even when adjusting the seats to their highest point. This, combined with the low roofline, makes ingress and egress cumbersome. Getting into the Civic basically involves falling into the seat, whereas getting out feels like picking yourself up from sitting on the floor. Once in the front seats, the hard, flat cushions limit comfort on long trips, and there could be more legroom. Space for rear passengers is extraordinarily cramped. If someone 6-feet tall or taller is sitting in the front seat, legroom becomes appropriate only for small children. Headroom is restricted in all locations regardless of seating configuration, but particularly so in the rear.
OVERALL = 6/10
An average car for those that want a solid, reliable, dependable A-to-B vehicle. If you plan on taking long road trips, you'll be let down by the Civic's lack of comfort and impractical back seat. If you value driving dynamics, you will be disappointed by the car's middling handling and disconnected feel.
While there's something to be said for a smooth ride, reliability, fuel economy, and resale value, there are more comfortable and better driving cars in this class. The Dodge Dart, Kia Forte, Ford Focus, and especially the Mazda3 are all worthy alternatives to consider. If you value that trademark Honda reliability and resale value, Honda's own Fit is cheaper, gets better fuel economy, is more roomy and versatile, and has much better handling."
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