By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.0
Until now, it was virtually unheard of for an auto manufacturer to make significant revisions to a vehicle just a year after it debuted. For Honda, the lackluster interior materials, flaccid handling characteristics and high levels of cabin noise found in its all-new 2012 Civic elicited adverse reactions from the media. And while the criticism had but a marginal effect on sales numbers (not mention comparison test results), Honda has endowed the 2013 Civic with all of the refinement and performance expected of a segment leader. Thanks to an expanded list of standard features and sharper driving dynamics, the 2013 Honda Civic is primed to retain the top spot over category heavyweights like the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze and Toyota Corolla.
A unique combination of reliability, affordability and stellar resale value make the 2013 Honda Civic one of the best values in the automotive marketplace. The 2013 Civic is also the clear leader in terms of variety, with an expansive lineup comprised of sedan and coupe body styles, a high-performance Si variant, a 45-mpg hybrid model and an industry-exclusive natural-gas-powered version (limited availability).
Unlike the Mazda3, Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus, the 2013 Honda Civic lineup does not offer the superior sophistication and utility of a 5-door hatchback. Although Honda incorporated such in-vehicle tech features as Pandora Internet radio and hands-free text messaging, technophiles will likely favor the superior infotainment offerings from Chevrolet, Ford, and, believe it or not, Toyota.
To keep pace with a rapidly evolving market, the 9th-generation Honda Civic undergoes a substantial makeover for the 2013 model year. Key revisions include an all-new body structure, standard Bluetooth connectivity, refreshed front and rear styling on sedan models and more premium, soft-touch materials inside.
Driving Impressions A number of modifications to the chassis, suspension and steering have transformed the 2013 Honda Civic into a surprisingly adept performer. The lion's share of the credit for this above-average...... drivability goes to the next-generation ACE II body structure that's both more rigid and lighter than its predecessor.
BLUETOOTH MUSIC STREAMING
We like being able to listen to the music on our smartphone without having to plug it in, and the Civic's standard Bluetooth Audio system is notable for how quickly it connects and begins playing.
Standard in all trim levels is a 5-inch LCD monitor that displays music and mileage info, plus navigation info on vehicles so equipped.
While its unusual dash layout might not convey the more upscale ambiance of new and newly relevant nameplates like the Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus and Chevy Cruze, the 2013 Honda Civic continues to be one of the best compact cars in terms of interior space, storage and outward visibility. Its ergonomics are nearly flawless and most of the controls are a cinch to operate. New soft-touch materials on the instrument panel and upper door trim replace the bland look and hard plastics that gave the previous cabin a low-budget feel.Exterior
Since last year's underwhelming redesign failed to resonate with style-minded buyers, Honda's design team went back to the drawing board to create all-new front and rear styling for the 2013 Civic sedan. The new look is defined by a wide lower grille opening, a taller trunklid and a rear horizontal chrome trim piece similar to that of the 2013 Honda Accord. While these modest cosmetic alterations might escape the eye of the casual observer, it's hard to argue against sticking to a styling strategy that's helped keep the Civic at or near the top of the sales charts for many years running.
With the stripped-down DX model grade out of the picture, every 2013 Honda Civic includes a 5-inch full-color multi-information display, rear backup camera with guidelines, Bluetooth, a sliding center armrest, integrated Pandora Internet radio, and a USB port for portable music players. Opting for the mid-tier EX trim nets a power moonroof, 16-inch alloy wheels and automatic climate control, while the range-topping EX-L includes such niceties as leather upholstery, heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Civic's wide array of active and passive safety features are included as standard issue across the line. Civic Hybrid variants up the ante with a new Forward Collision Warning system that alerts drivers of a potential impact.
Optional features for the 2013 Honda Civic are acquired by stepping up to higher trim levels. Among the most prominent features are a touch-screen navigation system with FM traffic information, auto-on/off headlights, a multi-angle backup camera, and a 6-speaker premium audio system.
With no direct injection or turbocharging, 140 horsepower, and five speeds not six in the manual and automatic transmissions, the 2013 Honda Civic has the simplest powertrain of the newest compact sedans. Nevertheless, it delivers exceptional fuel economy and plenty of power. The mileage-maxing HF trim features the same powertrain, but adds two highway miles per gallon with a lower ride height, aerodynamic body pieces and low-rolling-resistance tires. The Civic Si, in sedan and coupe form, delivers 201 horsepower through a 6-speed manual transmission.
1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder
140 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
128 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/36 mpg (manual), 28/39 mpg (automatic), 29/41 mpg (Civic HF automatic)
2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder
201 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
170 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 mpg
1.5-liter inline 4-cylinder + electric motor
110 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
127 lb-ft of torque @ 1,000-3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 44/44 mpg
1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder, natural gas
110 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
106 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA
The entry-level 2013 Honda Civic LX carries a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of just under $19,000. Opting for the hybrid model tacks an additional $6,000 to the bottom line, but includes a higher level of standard equipment. A fully-loaded EX-L sedan with navigation comes in at a very respectable $24,500. Competitors such as the Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus and Mazda3 start in the $17,000 range, though none of which can match the Civic's comprehensive roster of standard features. Be sure to check our Fair Purchase Price at the bottom of this page to see what others in your area are actually paying for the 2013 Honda Civic. Down the road, we expect the 2013 Honda Civic to maintain the strongest 5-year residual values in the segment.
By Civic Happy on Friday, November 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,900overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "just great"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"for sure would buy again, Traded a 2014 Altima for this after owning the Altima for weeks and have been happy every day since I got the new Honda. Would for sure suggest this car if the size works."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By JenCheck on Thursday, November 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,580overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great fuel economy, nice looking, great A/C"
Cons: "ugly upholstery, missing some "extras""
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love Hondas. This is my third Civic, and they have all been great cars for me. My first was a 1998 HX, purchased new, then I bought a used 2001 EX, and now this 2012. I love the car very much. Negatives: the steering is not nearly as tight as it was in my 2001 Civic. There is quite a bit of play in it. The stereo controls on the steering wheel are not conveniently placed. They are on the front of the wheel, so you have to take your hand off the wheel- exactly what they are designed to avoid. I have heard a lot of complaints about road noise and cheap looking interior plastic, but I have no complaints about either. I don't like the look of the upholstery much, though. It is missing some little extras I feel it should include, such as a cover for the cup holder in the front and a holder for sunglasses (my husband's Accord has both, and I feel the Civic EX should also. How much could those things possibly cost the company to include?) It has some pretty bad blind spots. Also, the trunk is MUCH smaller than in either of my previous two Civics. These are all very minor, though, and really don't detract from my enjoyment of the car. The positives: The fuel economy is great, and the display tells me what my exact mpg is at the moment, as well as an overall reading. I love the way this car looks. It is a coupe, and is sleek and sporty, with nice lines. It is also very small, which I like. I never have passengers in the back seat, so interior room is not an issue. It has a very tight turn radius, and the climate control is fantastic. The AC works really well even with the Econ feature on, so I just leave the fuel-saving Econ feature on all the time. I love driving this car, and I think it is beautiful."
By pelicans55 on Friday, November 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Technology, Handling, Overall Quality"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Recently bought the 2014 Honda Civic EX Sedan. Have owned many Honda Vehicles. This one is among the best. The technology is fantastic. From the back up camera, lane watch, Honda link. Just fabulous. The car handles well. Just enough sportiness to keep it fun, yet very comfortable. Test drove the Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla, and Kia Forte. No comparison, Honda so much better. Would highly recommend."
5 people out of 10 found this review helpful