This 2013 Honda Civic video review talks about what's changed from this model's first year on the market and whether those changes were successful. We talk fuel economy, comfort, safety, interior quality and features, and how it compares to other compact sedans.
The Honda Civic was redesigned for 2012 and it was underwhelming. The design was a dulled down version of the car it replaced, cabin quality was worse and it was generally low on innovation. While all its competitors were making huge strides up field, the Civic was basically punting. So, only one year later, Honda overhauled the Civic to make it the car it always should've been.
The new styling isn't a radical difference, but it's definitely more memorable and attractive. The cabin has been improved with better materials, too, though they aren't as good as those in Ford's Focus and the design isn't exactly what we'd call eye-pleasing.
On the upside, the controls are very easy to figure out — even if it might take a bit to get used to the radio display being all the way up next to the speedometer. There's also plenty of storage space, and in fact, this entire cabin is big on room. You might not expect it from a Civic, but it's one of the most spacious compact sedans, especially in the back with its flat floor.
We actually didn't have much problem with the way the last Honda Civic drove. The ride was excellent and the handling was strong. Yet, Honda improved both and bolstered the crash protection, even though it already got 5 stars for overall protection from the government and was an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety pick.
Along with the cosmetic and mechanical improvements, Honda upped the amount of standard equipment. A base $18,000 LX now includes a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio, and Pandora radio. This $21,000 EX really only adds a sunroof, more speakers and rear disc brakes. Heated leather seats and a navigation system are also available. Plus, there are Hybrid, Natural Gas and high-performance Si models.
The regular Civic gets a 140-horsepower four-cylinder that achieves 32 mpg when combined with the optional automatic, making it one of the most efficient compact sedans. The Civic Hybrid achieves 44 mpg, while the Natural Gas should save you money by allowing you to fill up in your garage. The Civic Si gets a 201-hp, high-revving four-cylinder. It's a fun car, but the Focus ST and VW GTI have more guts and are more enjoyable to drive.
In the end, other compacts like the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte and Mazda 3 are so good now that no amount of improvement was likely to make the Honda Civic the slam-dunk choice it once was. But, it can once again be considered one of our favorites in the class, and with its reputation for excellent reliability it is certainly a smart choice.
For more information, please read the Edmunds Honda Civic Review.