2013 Honda Civic Refresh is Better in All Ways, Almost

2013 Honda Civic Refresh is Better in All Ways, Almost

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.

GALLERY: 2013 Honda Civic


  • DARN! This sucks. No powertrain changes! I was hoping for Honda’s “Earth Dreams” power train! Finally Direct Injection with dual mode engines that can act as regular OTTO cycle when you want power and Atkinson cycle when you want hybrid like MPG out of a regular engine! CVT transmission.

    But NO, Honda decided to do an ’emergency refresh’, yet the changes are not worth it. Style changes, suspension tweaks, safety technology and body structure improvement are all great but that doesn’t translate to real world value all that much.

    You’d be smart to wait for the 2014 year of the Civic. That is when they new powertrains will come out (hopefully).

  • Phil

    haters will hate … the rest of us will continue to enjoy our favorite canadian built compact; civic. the improvements made for 2013 are answering all concerns found on the 2012 model, and the R18 powering the non-si civic is left unchanged… but is nontheless an excellent engine. i own both the 8th and 9th(2012) civic, and love ’em!

  • PissedOff!

    This is stupid, why would they change the model, after 1 yr… i have 2012 Civic. I feel like they lied… “2012 model will be the model for the next 2-3 years…”

  • I like how the ’13 Civic looks especially the back and the tighter suspension is great. But it would have been great if they introed the new engines this year.
    I myself have a ’99 Civic

  • Because they wanted to wow everyone. Where did you hear that? When I contemplate buying stuff I always look at what’s next, what will replace the thing I buy and if I want to wait or not. I started hearing about the revised ’13 Civic maybe 5 months ago.

  • I don’t see any changes…. They fired their designer and can’t find anybody who can make Civic really interesting from inside and outside???

  • Jack71

    A new powertrain and engine means new bugs and issues to work out.  You never want to buy the first model year of a major design change.  You want to wait a year and let them work out the kinks.  Just ask all those who bought the 2004 Acura TL and had to deal with nightmarish transmission problems. 

  • Yup they should definitely only update the drivetrains when they are reasonably tested for reliability and confident about their tech. But there haven’t been any news of when Earth Dreams engines will come to the econoboxes, no roadmap