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 Alex on Sunday, March 02, 2014
I own this caroverall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Honda engineering still at top of game"
Cons: "need to make the car quieter"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought this car new for a long commute and comfortable seats. During the first 20,000 miles I kept accurate records for miles driven and gas consumed and averaged about 39 miles per gallon overall which was very impressive. Then the mileage started to drop to around 37 when I drove straight highway and around 29 in town. Now, at 43K it is getting 30 on the highway and 25 in town... there is no check engine light on but I am going to take it to the shop and have them do a diagnostic. I really have only a few issues with the car, otherwise it is a typically great Civic. I don't like the feel of the electric power steering and it has a lot road and wind noise. I recently went to the 2014 auto show in Portland and sat in every small car out there and nothing has the quality interior of a civic in my opinion. Our last civic, a 1991, was super reliable and this one is the same, except for the mileage issue which I hope is fixable."
By Edwin on Saturday, March 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,595overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas saving for freeway, Backup camera"
Cons: "Not for snowboard"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Starting to own this Civic on 1/10/13 in Monrovia for $20500. With travel from OC area to LA with mostly traffic @35mpg improve to @39mpg when I change work that can have all freeway miles against traffic. It is not a car that 6 feet person will feel comfortable in. For people about 5 feet, it is uncomfortable for their length to step on the gas while sitting tall enough to see the traffic. Fun part with this car is the backup camera. You not only can turn it on with reverse shift, but you can hold the "source"+"menu" button to activate the "secret menu". It allows you to turn on the backup camera while driving forward. Disappointed while I expect the back seat can fold one seat down to put two snowboard, but the space in the gap is not enough for it to fit in. It requires two seat side down for the board to fit."
By Honda on Thursday, February 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Safe, reliable, handles well."
Cons: "Noisy on the highway"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I got this car after my Subaru was totaled in an accident. It handles well in the snow, gets good gas mileage, is comfortable. It is a little noisier than I'd like on the highway. That is my only complaint. Great car for the price! I like it!"
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Happy Driver on Monday, February 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,800overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have a manual transmission and love it. Very zippy once you get past 3rd gear. Great gas milage even without the green button option."
By Ray on Saturday, February 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, performs well"
Cons: "No engine temp gauge, just cold and hot lights."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Have had car almost one year, put 9,500 miles on it, great gas mileage, better then rated on highway. Rides well, handles excellent, has plenty of power. Very pleased with car. only problem I have had is a slight rattle on passenger side sometimes, that didn't rattle when I brought it to dealer to be fixed. Controls are easy to use and are very nice looking, most are on steering wheel, six speaker stereo sounds nice, USB port for my MP3 player which also will play through the cars blue tooth. I like the tiered dash, speed display is very easy to see. Very nice car. Top resale and safety pick."
9 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Loren on Wednesday, January 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,900overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "good gas mileage, nice interior and instruments"
Cons: "weak brakes, anemic engine, wanders"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Let me just say this upfront. I am glad I leased this vehicle and not purchased it. Why you ask? Hows this for a list of negatives: brakes require too much force to stop car, worst sounding stereo ever; no bass, alot of sqeeches and rattles, they hide the coolant resevior way down low so you can't check the level, the car wanders all over the road at highway speeds and requires alot of corrections, badly needs a 6th gear as the engine revs too high at 70 mph or higher. In addition it is a horrible handler and not tossable like the civics of yesteryear. Not a fun car at all.. In my opinion anyway. The things I like: decent MPG. I was getting about 37 with mostly highway driving, and alittle more than 34 in mixed. The suspension does a good job of soaking up bumps and is well isolated. No complaints on the clutch and shifter. They do their jobs well and the clutch has just the right amount of resistance. I really love the instrumentation that is unique for Honda. Visibility is good and interior sound has been improved from previous years. It is really missing the persoality that some cars, like the Fit ooze. I will be glad when my lease term is up that is for sure... Good day."
6 people out of 11 found this review helpful