Responding to the disappointment created by the 2012 redesign, Honda has introduced an updated 2013 Civic. Gone are the cheap plastics that had engulfed the 2012 interior in turn for a material that is more inviting. Most noticeable though is the touch of attitude the Civic’s exterior design needed and received.
Besides the four-door sedan there is also a Civic coupe, Civic hybrid, Civic natural gas and high-performance Civic Si. As far as the sedan goes, three trims are offered that include the LX, EX and top-level EX-L. Though the LX is the base model, it comes with an impressive list of standard features that only grows longer in 2013. The new standards consist of a USB port, Bluetooth, climate control and a rearview camera that cannot be found on some competing base models. Civic sedans are powered by a 1.8L i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission.
An automatic transmission is available, becoming standard equipment on the EX and EX-L trims. The ride is composed and comfortable while power is adequate. Buyers will be happy to know however this base powertrain averages 28/39 mpg city/highway with the automatic transmission. Though the Civic is not at the head of the class in terms of trunk space, its backseat can fit adults, which some small cars have difficulty in claiming.
Facing rivals much stronger than ever before, the Civic has had to step its’ game in hopes of remaining one of the first thought-of models when people hear “compact car”. The Ford Fiesta is more fun-to-drive than the Civic and has similar high-tech interior equipment. Another performance-tuned small car is the Mazda3 that comes with lively handling but a cramped second-row. Brand new for 2013, the Dodge Dart can be highly customized plus it has an open interior cabin, but does not offer the best driving dynamics. Volkswagen’s “Americanized” Jetta has a large trunk but poor interior quality when equipped with its’ lower-priced trims. The problem in this class is competition is so fierce that many automakers struggle to find an advantage without having to raise base prices. Yet the 2013 Honda Civic has been able to improve while keeping a good value as well.
By executing a styling-refresh only a year after debuting a new design, Honda has shown they have no problem fixing their faults. With the 2013 Civic, it seems none remain.
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