Taking criticism to heart, Honda has rolled out a refreshed version of its popular Civic model just one model year after the original launched.
Given less than favorable reviews by many and even blacklisted by Consumer Reports, Honda took the unprecedented move of re-jigging the Civic to meet with the lofty expectations media and consumers have grown to expect.
More than just a facelift, the re-styled Civic also gets a reworked interior, improved safety, added features, and a better drive. About the only thing that isn’t changed is the engine, which continues to make 140 hp and get 28 mpg city and 36 mpg highway for a combined 31 mpg rating for the manual transmission model, while the five-speed automatic is rated at 28/39/32.
Along with the exterior changes, with style elements borrowed from the larger Accord, the Civic gains an updated and upgraded interior. Most noticable is a new dash material, replacing the old eco-beige with a grooved black surface similar to what you might find in a BMW. Other updated include a black dash insert, chrome detailing, brushed aluminum vent surrounds and upgraded seat materials.
Standard equipment has also been significantly improved with all models now featuring Bluetooth, Pandora, SMS text messaging, a USB plug, steering wheel mounted audio controls, one touch turn signals and an i-MID display screen with a back up camera.
New features will also be available, with Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning available on the Civic Hybrid.
Overall, the experience behind the wheel has been improved, with stiffer springs and less body roll, not to mention a steering ratio that’s seven percent quicker than on last year’s model. It’s not just sportier either, with a more premium drive thanks to a quieter cabin that Honda says is now on par with mid-size sedans. Helping to achieve that level of quietness is increased sound deadening and thicker glass.
A final update is an important one for anyone shopping for a safe vehicle. Honda has upgraded the crash structure of the Civic for 2013, with reinforcements to help it meet the new and even more strict Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick Plus rating.
All Civic models will receive a mild price increase of $160, with a new entry price of $16,365 for a 5-speed manual and $17,165 with a 5-speed automatic. Well-equipped EX models start at $20,655 while EX-L models retail for $22,105.
Civic Sedan models are available at Honda dealers today, while the coupe will arrive December 5th with Si and Hybrid models to follow.