CleanMPG Previews the 2013 Honda Civic

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG]Regarding the 2013 Civic, Honda Gets Its Mojo Back

    [fimg=right][/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Dec. 2, 2012

    A major mid-model year refresh in just one year?

    2013 Honda Civic LX - $18,165 to start (LX with a 5-speed stick) while providing the same 28/39/32 mpgUS city/highway/combined rating when equipped with the 5-speed AT.

    To see the “latest newer new” 2013 Civic in person knowing it was just a year ago when the previous all-new 2012 Civic was released is amazing. It is not just the fact that the interior appointments have been completely redone with an all-new dash shape, brightwork additions, headliner, dash and seat materials but that the exterior has been thoroughly revised as well. This includes a new grille, new hood, chrome pieces added up front and behind and that the rear fascia has been completely redesigned.

    I am sure you are thinking so they changed some exterior shapes and added a nicer interior for an additional $200 OEM. This is far from the case as the hood redesign alone takes an entirely different stamping process and the wheelbase has been increased by almost 2 in! The new chassis structure including the front, profile (even the door skins have changed!) and rear exterior to accommodate the new sheet metal is not something you would “EVER” see in a one year model change and in the case of some OEM’s, they do not even change this much on an all-new model from a previous generation after 5-years or more on the road!!! Honda not only completely revamped the chassis which I will describe in even more detail below but added class exclusive standard features to every trim that will make others head back t the drawing board vs. Honda having to. And remember this was completed in just one year. NOBODY other than possibly Hyundai could have pulled this off in just a year after a major release. And I say “possibly” Hyundai because I have seen some magic performed from them with an all-new engine showing up just 6-weeks after being panned by some major automotive press a few years back.

    While I am enamored with the 2013 Civics all-new interior, I am only luke warm to the exterior changes other than the all-new and sharp grillework. Personal tastes aside, Honda just pulled “moon shot” in a single year showing to the world that Honda’s Research and Design teams are as capable as they ever were.

    An all new honeycomb mesh grille for all Civics is just the start.​

    Many of us have questioned Honda’s resolve to build some of the best automobiles available in recent years (previous 8th generation Accord and the 2012 9th generation Civic are two miscues that come to mind) all the while thousands of others including most here were questioning Honda’s abilities when it comes to doing something big, bold and in many cases even beautiful. Honda does indeed have its mojo back and the rest of the industry should take note given this amazing one year model makeover to one of C-segments perennial best sellers.

    The Details

    In just one model year the all-new Civic has received extensive interior, exterior and chassis design changes and upgrades including advanced new available safety technologies. While Honda calls the all-new newer 2013 Civic the benchmark in the C-segment, we’ll call it “one of the best” instead of one of the laggards when it comes to basic appointments and refinement.

    The top-selling Honda Civic returns for 2013 with a host of design upgrades and a multitude of new standard features, while still providing competitive efficiency that has made the Civic a CleanMPG “Top Pick” for over a decade.

    The 2013 Honda Civic Sedan receives all-new front and rear exterior styling, along with extensive interior styling upgrades on all models. Retuned steering and suspension sharpen the Civic's handling, while extensive body and chassis upgrades improve the ride comfort and interior quietness.

    New for 2013 is that every Civic model arrives with standard equipment that includes Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, Bluetooth Audio, a rearview camera, color i-MID display, USB/iPod connection, Pandora Interface, an SMS text feature, steering wheel audio controls, exterior temperature gauge and sliding center-console armrest. Even with hundreds of dollars of standard features added, the 2013 Civic arrives with only a modest $160 increase in MSRP across the lineup!


    The only place Hodna did not touch was its already reasonably competitive all-aluminum, 140 HP and 128 lb-ft. of torque 1.8L mated to either the standard 5-speed manual or optional 5-speed automatic transmission. The AT is only an $800 upgrade vs. most of its competitors charging $1,000 or more for the same.

    The Civic HF, Natural Gas and Hybrid Sedans return with their 29/41/33, 27/38/31 and 44/44/44 mpgUS city/highway/combined ratings respectively still in tact.


    As briefly described above, the 2013 Honda Civic has received a host of changes that far exceed the typical mid-model year refresh. The front and rear styling of the 2013 Honda Civic Sedan has been completely altered with a far more premium look, including sheet metal changes that include an all-new taller hood with deeper shut lines or creases. Up front, a new open-mouth lower bumper with a horizontal chrome accent add to the Civics appeal but it is the black honeycomb mesh grille that provide the Civic with a competitive face up against the toughest modern C-segment competitors in the world.

    Out back, a new rear bumper design and new rear trunk lid are capped by a upscale horizontal chrome trim piece. The all-new design of the jewel-like taillights now carries into the trunk face although I liked the 2012’s simpler tail lamp lenses better. The rear bumper features integrated reflector treatments and a new lower diffuser panel finished with an attractive honeycomb mesh vent. Restyled wheels on all models of the all-new newer 2013 Civic are nice but only the EX’s and Natural gas models (off the 7th gen Accord maybe?) are truly attractive.

    Chrome trim across the back adds refinement while lower embedded reflective elements add safety.​

    The 2013 Civic's body has a new front floor, side sill, A-pillar, upper wheel housing and front bumper extension.


    This is where the Civic rises to a prom queen candidate. Extensive refinements in design and construction gives the all-new newer 2013 Honda Civic lineup a far more premium feel. Finally Honda got it with an all-new tricot stitch print headliner, new soft-touch materials on the instrument panel and upper door treatment, and revised textures across the instrument panel and center console. Brightwork accents in the interior only add to its all-new newer higher-quality feel and appearance along with new seat fabrics.

    For the first time, Civic is available in both cloth and leather with an all-black interior.

    Inside a 2013 Civic EX while at the LA Auto Show earlier this week.​


    The 2013 Honda finally includes as standard Bluetooth HandsFreeLink on the LX! In addition, all trims now include a rear view camera with guidelines, Bluetooth Audio, rearview camera, color i-MID display, Pandora Interface, USB/iPod interface, SMS text message function, steering wheel audio controls, exterior temperature gauge and a sliding finished center armrest.

    Navigation with voice recognition and FM traffic is available with the EX, EX-L, Hybrid and Natural Gas models.


    From the discussion above, the 2013 Civic's body is more rigid than the 2012 with more high strength steel enhancing handling and improving noise isolation. A reworked Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system reduces friction and is now provided with a ratio (14.89 from 16.1) more akin to a purposely built autocrosser than a road worthy compact sedan. The track and wheelbase have remained yielding the same interior passenger and cargo volume of 94.6 cu. ft. and 12.1 cu. ft. respectively.

    Stiffer wheels, stiffer front springs and a thicker front stabilizer bar with new Teflon-lined mounting bushings are designed for more fluid suspension action and a flatter, more responsive cornering attitude according to Honda.

    The rear suspension also receives a thicker stabilizer bar, increased spring rate, new Teflon-lined stabilizer-bar bushings, and reworked suspension bushings to increase both bump- and roll-motion stiffness. With its retuned MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension, handling linearity, responsiveness and overall vehicle composure have been increased, while at the same time improving ride quality and the characteristic Honda fun-to-drive feel. For 2013, front brake-rotor diameter on automatic-equipped Civic LX, EX and EX-L Sedans and Coupes is up .8 in from 10.3 in to 12.1 in while the 7.9 in rear drums carry over.

    A large number of new noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) countermeasures work together to reduce road, engine and wind noise in the 2013 Civic's interior. This includes a stiffer front subframe, new thicker windshield and front door glass, and additional soundproofing material in the dash, floor, doors, and rear tray to help reduce unwanted road noise, and provide a more serene ride and quieter cabin.

    All of this was completed with the addition of 99 pounds.


    This is where the Civic really moves out ahead of the curve… New safety technologies built into the 2013 Civic include the application of the next-gen Advanced Compatibility Engineering II (ACE II) body structure, which includes additional front end structures designed to help increase occupant protection by dispersing crash energy in narrow overlap frontal crashes, and should help the Civic obtain a top rating in the new small-offset crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Also new are SmartVent side airbags, side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor nearly two years ahead of regulatory requirements, and the availability of Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems, which make their compact-class debut in the 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid.

    The only item missing on our wish list is the addition of std. knee for both front passengers and outward rear seat side airbags similar to those that have come on every Chevrolet Cruze since 2011.


    An area where Honda still falls far behind its rivals is the warranty coverage with its 3-year/36,000-mile new-car limited warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, a 5-year/unlimited-mile corrosion limited warranty and on hybrid models a 15-year/150,000-mile emissions warranty when the vehicle is registered and normally operated in California and certain states that have adopted California Zero-Emission Vehicle regulations.

    You only need to look at the Hyundai Elantra and upcoming 2014 Kia Forte’ to see what a “Best-in-Class” warranty looks like.

    Previous awards for the 2012 Civic and outlets you should now find highly suspect given those same awards…

    The 2012 Honda Civic received's “Best New Cars of 2012”, Kelley Blue Book's "10 Best Green Cars of 2012" and one of the "Best Family Cars of 2012." In addition, KBB named the Civic Natural Gas a "2012 Best Redesigned Vehicle." The Civic Natural Gas was also named "2012 Green Car of the Year" by Green Car Journal. To bad for them…

    2013 Honda Civic Pricing and On-Sale Dates

    ModelOn-Sale DateStarting MSRP
    Civic SedanNovember 29, 2012$18,165
    Civic CoupeDecember 5, 2012$17,965
    Civic Natural GasDecember 10, 2012$26,465
    Civic Si CoupeDecember 12, 2012$22,515
    Civic HybridJanuary 23, 2013$24,360
    Civic Si SedanJanuary 23, 2013$22,715
    Civic HFFebruary 6, 2013$19,765

    All told, I cannot wait to eventually drive this all-new newer Civic as the interior is finally right where it needs to be and the efficiency is where it has always been. Right at or at the top ;)

    A 2012 Civic EX Coupe in LA

    Final top off fill details. 62.0 miles and 79.2 mpgUS displayed -- 66.2 miles actual (per Google maps)/.739 gallons = 89.6 mpgUS actual.​

    The 2013 Civic is back and with all the changes is once again a contender for more than just its fuel economy ;)
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  2. Indigo

    Indigo Witch with wry sense of humor

    I am glad that Honda de-cheapened the interior. The HCH is still about $2,500 too expensive.
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Are there still slats in the bottom of the front grill? It's going to be hard to block the top honeycomb.
  4. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    That $18K starting price for the coupe is going to put a lot of manufactures on notice for the <30 year old market. Lets see I'm looking at a Focus, Cruze, Scion, or should I buy the Civic coupe? Want to bet many will go for the Civic?
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  5. bullwinkle428

    bullwinkle428 Well-Known Member

    The black interior now available in each trim level of the 2013 Civic reminds me very much of the interior look of VW's TDI Golfs and Jettas, which is a very good thing!

    VW's interiors along with the great fuel efficiency of the diesel engine have been nearly enough to tempt me to the "dark side", although that 70-cent premium for diesel fuel provided enough of a deterrent to purchase. It's nice to see I can get that same "look" in a much more reliable package!

    The tough part will be trying to decide whether to go with an EX, or wait to check out the Hybrid or HF variants.
  6. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    26465 for the CNG. :-[
  7. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    I checked out the loaded Civic at the show and damn I thought it was the nicest interior in that class.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    What you are going to see during the Rose Bowl parade... The all-new newer 2013 Honda Civic.

    The 2013 Honda Civic - "Things Can Always Be Better"

    Made possible by Honda...


  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi priusCpilot:

    It probably was! I like the Elantra interior for its curves and modern looks but practicality has to go to the Civic. I love the Civic two tier or "zone" display and am glad they kept it.

  10. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    Civic Hybrid rear looked nice in that Vid. I can only hope the battery issues have been sorted out on the Honda line. Maybe Li-Ion is more forgiving to lesser software?

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