By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
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 John (CA) on Saturday, May 18, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, great technology, pretty fast"
Cons: "exterior is good looking but could use some improv"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Just bought this car the other day and i am loving it! I only use the eco when i want to slow down or dont want to use a lot of gas but i notice it does not accelerate as fast and i dont feel that "kick" , and it doesnt purr like it does without the eco. When the eco is turned off, i am always leaving people in my dust at red lights, the engine also sounds and feels awesome. The handling and turning is a delight aswell with this car. This was my first new car."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Phil (FL) on Saturday, April 27, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,100overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "design, handling, charm, reliability"
Cons: "needed add on's for the ex model, accelaration mpg"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This review is for the 2013 model. Designers brought back Honda fans', myself included, love of superior detail, the convenience of peppy agility, and good gas mileage. The 2013 Civic is fun to drive and charming. Turns are made on a dime. Although the car doesn't boast impressive numbers for horsepower, the car actually feels fast because of it's compact size and precise handling. The detailed interior and convenient controls, comfort of the seat, and perfectly-sized steering wheel make the driver trust that the car is there to serve him or her--not the other way around. The interesting color combinations, including dash displays, are easy on the eyes. All of these positive qualities converge to make the Civic feel extremely reliable and worth holding onto. This is exactly what I wanted when I considered purchasing a Honda. There are some opportunities with the Civic, but they are minor. The Ex sedan should have come with splash guards, side molding, and fog lamps. I had to make some extra purchases which brought the price up and reminded me that Honda's are a bit pricey. Also, the Ex should have keyless entry and start. The Bluetooth worked with my older android phone, but then stopped. I spent a couple of hours trying to work this out, but was unsuccessful. The gas mileage estimates are accurate, but I have had to accelerate much slower than expected to achieve the awesome gas mileage. Everything taken together, I would highly recommend this car to people of all ages."
13 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Sal (CA) on Sunday, April 21, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good sound quality, great ext/interior appearance"
Cons: "Too much road vibration and wind noise inside"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Sitting inside a 2012 civic ex coup for the first time was like sitting inside a cockpit of an airplane. Mainly because of the dashboard has so many buttons to play with, and from the center of the dashboard it is tilted forward and is facing more towards the driver side, making the interior unlike any other car in the same price range. I love my from inside and out, but what bothers me the most when I am driving my car is that there is too much road vibration and wind noise inside the civc, when reaching speeds of fifty miles or above. For such reason, it makes commuting uncomfortable. With the powerful 360 watt speakers equipped in the car will make driving enjoyable, additional subwoofers need to be added to give the car an incredible sound quality. With such amazing sound quality you will be shocked and potentially space out. The coup appears amazing from the exterior with the limo tinted windows, but the coup does not give the flexibility for the passengers to access the back seat easily. Want more horsepower for racing, then this is not the car for you. With 145 hp, I never felt it was didn't had enough horsepower."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By mike (CA) on Saturday, April 20, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfort in gas saving"
Cons: "less power"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"you trade in power for money saved on great gas mileage. I don't mind driving with less power if it means having extra cash in my wallet. I don't have to drive and stare at the gasoline gage with a frown anymore like I do when I drive my suv. peace of mind is worth more than money! but here you get both."
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Lark (CA) on Friday, April 12, 2013
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Upgrade - My approximate mileage is 15,550
Pros: "Comfortable ride, smooth gearbox, sound/bluetooth"
Cons: "Closer to base model Civic performance"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"These 2012 Si's should hold up in resale value as they provide Honda reliability with a little more kick than an ordinary Civic. But this is far from a sports car; suspension is too soft. Lots of float and body roll on curves and tight turns accompanied by numb steering feel. Upgrades to 200 hp and more torque for 2012 are nice but the "punch" you're supposed to feel (V-TEC just kicked in!) at high revs is a let down. The odd thing about this drive is "rev float". Foot off the gas and clutch in, the rpm's do not drop until mutch later than a normal shift. I don't know if this was designed to help people find a gear or something, but it's very annoying. Advantages include a smooth-shifting manual gearbox plus good entertainment and technology package, however interior design is a bit awkward and uses materials that are very much on a budget."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Arts1 (TX) on Thursday, April 11, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,200overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great pricing"
Cons: "Poor design"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I have owned several Civics previously & was not expecting the issues encountered with this model year. The auto trans. has hard shifting and clunking, the interior materials are showing premature wear, even the performance is not what I am used to. My dealer said the trans. is normal for what it is doing, and perhaps I should trade this Civic for a redesigned 2013 model year."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful