By on May 27, 2013

2013 Honda Civic EX, Exterior, Front, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

People assume that car companies know their competition’s every move, as if there was some sort of mission impossible crew sent in every weekend to monitor R&D progress. While some less-than-ethical information exchange goes on, on the whole, a car manufacturer like Honda finds out what the competition’s latest widget looks when we do. Need proof? Look at the 2011, 2012, 2013 Honda Civic. The 9th generation Civic was intended to début as a 2011, but the financial implosion caused Honda to go back and re-work their compact car as a 2012 to keep prices low. In the perpetual game of auto-leapfrog, Honda miscalculated the direction Ford, Hyundai, Kia (and perhaps even Nissan) were headed. The result was bashed by Consumer Reports and raked across the coals by most of the press. Did buyers care? Apparently not. The 2012 Civic was purchased in impressive quantities by real-people. Honda could have found solace in their sales, but instead they did something unusual: they re-re-redesigned the Civic for 2013. Say what?

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The 2013 Civic isn’t just a second-year options package shake-up, and it isn’t even a mid-cycle color and trim shuffle. The changes after only a year on the market land somewhere between a refresh and and a redesign-on-the-same-platform. How can I call it a redesign? Well, if Lexus can call the “new” LS a new car… But I digress.

While I didn’t hear as many complaints from my comrades in the auto-biz about the Civic’s curb appeal, Honda took the opportunity to graft a chrome smile from the 2013 Accord onto the Civic, redesign the bumper covers (front and rear), add smoked tail lamps, new wheels and finished everything off with a trendy honeycomb grille. While I didn’t have a single issue with the way the old Civic looked, I have to admit this one looks better, especially from the front or back where Honda spent some cash to have the tail lamps cross onto the trunk lid giving the Civic’s heinie a more premium feel. From the side it would seem that noting has changed with the same four-window silhouette, but the difference is in the glass: it’s thicker this year for improved sound isolation.
2013 Honda Civic EX, Interior, Dashboard, Stitched, Vents, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Interior

The problem with the 2012 Civic wasn’t the exterior. And, in my mind, it wasn’t the interior design OR the interior plastics quality. Yep, you heard me right with that. The old Civic’s plastics weren’t great, but they were easy to clean, textured attractively and I just didn’t expect anything different from an $18,000 car. What I did have a problem with was a lack of color-matched bits and ill-fitting panels. Our 2012 tester’s four main dash components sported four different variations of the same target color. For 2013 Honda cranked the thumbscrews on the parts suppliers and all the colors in our Civic EX were the same.

In addition to the color change, Honda had an eye on touch points, swapping out the hard doors and dash “faces” for squishy injection-molded units with fake stitching. Keeping costs d0wn, the same gauge cluster and dash structure remain from last year as well as the dash parts farther from your reach, but they have all been re-cast to texture-match the new bits. Even the radio’s plastics have received a color and texture upgrade to look classier. The change has brought the Civic from slightly below average to a solid contender, although I think I prefer the style of the Elantra, Sentra and Focus to the Civic’s dual-level dash.

2013 Honda Civic EX, Interior, Dashboard, Steering Wheel, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Honda continues to put fairly exaggerated lumbar support in the front seat backs, something you don’t find in many of the competition. The extra support was perfect for my back, but since it isn’t adjustable, you should get plenty of seat time before you buy to be sure you can live with the shape. For my average six-foot frame, the seating and driving position proved ideal enough that despite sharing driveway time with a 2013 Mercedes CLS63, I found myself choosing the Civic for longer trips during our week. Say what? The Civic’s compliant suspension and seat ergonomics were better on my back than the $120,000 Merc.

As with most cars that have families in mind, the Civic’s rear seats are close to the floor and the door openings are wide and tall making ingress/egress easy with or without a child seat in tow. Honda has a reputation for function over form, and that pays dividends in the rear with a high roofline that allows a more upright seating position, more than can be said of the Elantra. Fold those 60/40 rear seats down and you’ll notice an area Honda didn’t touch: cargo. The Civic’s trunk pass-through is still somewhat small and oddly shaped preventing larger items from riding along. The trunk’s 12.5 cubic feet is in line with the Focus and Corolla, but a few Cubes behind the Elantra and Sentra. When it comes to bag carrying, the Sentra has a further trick up its trunk: a 24-inch roller bag can ride vertically in the Sentra’s cargo hold allowing you to carry a surprising seven carry-on sized rollerbags, try that in your Panther replacement.

2013 Honda Civic EX, Interior, Radio, Infotainment, Controls, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Infotainment

The Civic’s reputation is a huge feature that can’t be ignored in a review. Honda has long been known for reliability, solid build quality and high resale value. That’s great, but like many shoppers I care more about plugging my iDevice in and pairing my phone. Thankfully Honda got the note and for 2013 Bluetooth phone integration and audio streaming are standard, as is Pandora smartphone integration. As of the time we drove the Civic, the Pandora app integration is only compatible with Apple iPhones, but word is an Android app is happening at some point. Unlike BMW’s iDrive, you don’t need a Honda app to use streaming radio, you just download the Pandora app and the car knows what to do. If you want to see the system in action, click on the video at the top of the review.

As before, the 160-watt four-speaker audio system is standard on base models while EX models toss in A-pillar tweeters. Also unchanged is the somewhat funky split-level nature of the system where the radio controls are in the center of the dash but the display is integrated into the dual-level instrument cluster binnacle. If you feel particularly spendy, you can add Honda’s easy-to-use but quite expensive $1,500 nav system to the Civic EX or EX-L. The touch-screen unit does bring a bevy of voice commands to the party, but for the price, I’d skip it. If you are debating between the EX with nav and the EX-L without, go for the L without. 2013 hasn’t brought any significant changes to either system, although thanks to software changes from Apple and Honda, you can now use your iDevice’s native music browsing interface to select your tunes. Is that safe? Who knows, but it is handy.

2013 Honda Civic EX, Engine, 1.8L 140HP Four-Cylinder, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Drivetrain

If you had hoped 2013 would bring a variant of the new EarthDreams engine from the Accord, you’re not alone, I had fantasies about that as well. It’s not that the 1.8L, 140 horse four-cylinder engine in the Civic is a bad mill, in truth it’s smoother than the diesel-like nature of any gasoline direct-injection engine, the problem is the power to fuel economy ratio. Especially with that Accord sitting on the same lot. The four-banger is still mated to Honda’s 5-speed manual or 5-speed auto which seem designed to highlight the low 128lb-ft of twist. The broad ratio spread of the 5-speed trying to balance off-the-line acceleration with highway fuel economy leave the Civic feeling strangely breathless when you’re hill climbing or passing. The lack of a 6-speed transmission or a CVT (Nissan claims their CVT has a ratio spread similar to a 7-speed auto) is a serious omission and largely the reason the Civic is a full 1.5 seconds slower to 60 than a Focus, more than 2 seconds behind an Accord and even 0.2 slower than the less powerful CVT-equipped Sentra. We were unable to get our hands on the Elantra for a 0-60 test in time, but other outlets tell us its faster as well.

The cog swappers may be old school, but they do manage to deliver good EPA numbers. Our 5-speed automatic Civic wore a 28/39/32 (City/Highway/Combined) rating and managed to get a TTAC real-world score of 33.5 MPG in mixed driving. It’s rare that any vehicle get over the EPA combined score in our testing, so this is particularly noteworthy. The Fusion SE delivered its 31MPG combined last time we tested it, the Corolla claims 29MPG combined but we scored 28 last time we had one, and I’m sure you’ve heard about Hyundai’s MPG woes. The new Sentra scored the highest in the group we tested at 36.2MPG and the Cruze 1.8L the lowest at 27, you can thank the CVT in the Sentra for that number. Speaking of CVTs, the 2013 Accord EX tester scored 32.5 on the same commute thanks to Honda’s new cog-less swapper.

 

2013 Honda Civic EX, Interior, Split-Leven Instrument Cluster, Gauges, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Drive

I didn’t think the last Civic was a sloppy mess out on the road, but other reviewers weren’t so kind. One has to be mindful of the competition when comparing, and that’s why I scratched my head. The Corolla is ancient and drives like a Tonka truck, yet it’s the sales leader, the Cruze’s steering is so numb and overboosted its like driving an RC car. (The Corolla is proof that car shoppers are lemmings, except for our readers of course.) I liken the old Civic to the new Elantra since it straddled the middle between firm and soft, sporty and not with plenty of “numb” tossed in for good measure. The Focus attempts sporty with firm springs and a well-tuned chassis, but electric power steering makes sure that every compact car has a healthy dose of Novocaine when it comes to steering feel. At issue was the Civic’s rep as a fun to drive subcompact with plenty of feel, sharp dynamics and feel, 2012 killed that in favor of trying to be everything to everyone.  To make the Civic “crisper” and satisfy the forum-fan-boys, Honda swapped out every bushing they could get their hands on and tweaked everything that was tweakable. The changes certainly give the Civic the starched collar it lacked last year, but do little for ultimate grip or steering feel. Grip is something you can fix yourself with new rubber, but steering feel should just be mourned because it’s not coming back.

The other thing Honda underestimated about the competition was how far they would go in terms of noise isolation. Hop in a Cruze and it’s as quiet as an entry-level luxury car, the 2012 Civic? Not so much. To fix the issue Honda jammed as much foam as they could find in the wheel wells, firewall area and under the carpet. They swapped the window glass out for thicker material all the way around and spent some extra time to resolve dashboard squeaks. The difference is nightand day, while the Cruze is still the quietest in the bunch, the Civic is on par with the Focus and Elantra (well ahead of the Corolla.)

2013 Honda Civic EX, Exterior, Rear, Tail lamps, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Most refreshes do little to alter the substance of the product, so the 2013 Civic is all the more impressive. It also begs the question: if Honda could do this just one year later, why didn’t they just go here in the first place? We may never know.

Refinement costs money, but thankfully Honda seems to be eating most of the expense as the 2013 model is only $160 more dear than last year. Considering the added feature content and the more upscale interior and exterior, dealers can start saying “and, it’s a Honda” at the end of the sales pitch instead of “but, but, it’s a Honda!!” as customers walk next door to the Hyundai dealer. OK, I kid, but the distinction is important, it takes the Civic from a purchase you had to justify to your car buddies, to one that is solidly competitive and understandable. At $18,695, the Civic LX (automatic) is finally within a few bucks of the $18,650 Elantra GLS.  At that point it comes down to aesthetics and brand preference. I prefer the way the Civic looks to the new Elantra (although I’m told I’m crazy by our Facebook peeps), but I am also mindful that the Elantra carries a better warranty and a comparably priced Elantra or Sentra still offer a few more standard goodies.

There’s just one more elephant in the room. I drove the Civic and the new Accord back to back, something that I suspect many a shopper will do. (You know, because they are on the same dealer lot.) I know it’s a slippery slope to compare a car with its larger stablemate, I posit the Civic’s biggest threat is its big brother, and for good reason. The Civic/Accord comparo is even more apt if you’re considering a $20,815 Civic EX (like our tester) or the $22,265 EX-L. Jumping up to an Accord LX gets you dual-zone climate control, an 8-inch infotainment screen, backup camera, more interior room, more refinement, a bigger trunk, and 2-second faster sprint from 0-60. That’s before you think of the value of having an Accord badge on your trunk vs a Civic. What’s the toll for this jump? A cool $1,665 (or $36 a month on a four-year loan) and the loss of the EX model’s sunroof. What about economy you ask? That’s the kicker. Thanks to Honda’s new engine and CVT, the Accord averaged 32.5MPG on the same commute as our Civic, just one MPG less. If you’re looking for basic transportation, the Civic LX model is finally able to sell on more than just Honda’s brand, but if you’re drawn to that Civic EX, take a ride in the Accord before you sign on the dotted line.

Hit it or Quit It?

Hit it

  • The comfortable interior is a serious improvement from 2012.
  • Honda’s reliability and resale value reputation can’t be discounted.

Quit it

  • Both transmissions are one-cog shy of competitive.
  • Power and fuel economy are behind the competition.
  • I’ve never been a fan of the non-standard gauge layout.

 

 Honda provided the vehicle, insurance and gas for this review

Specifications as tested

 0-30: 3.47 Seconds

0-60: 9.78 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 17.46 Seconds @ 79.8 MPH

Average Observed Fuel Economy: 33.5MPG over 751 miles

 

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97 Comments on “Review: 2013 Honda Civic EX (Video)...”


  • avatar
    jmo

    You mentioned the thicker glass, but how well did the deal with the noise issue overall?

    How does the ride compare with the Focus?

    • 0 avatar

      Focus is noiser. However, it also feels sporty (mind, I only looked at the hatchback), which makes noise somewhat expected. So it’s all in a wash — IMHO, of course, and Alex may have a different take

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        2013 Ford:

        Sound level @ idle (dB) 39.5
        @ Full throttle (dB) 75.0
        @ 70 mph cruise (dB) 66.5

        2012 Civic

        Sound level @ idle (dB) 45.0
        @ Full throttle (dB) 77.6
        @ 70 mph cruise (dB) 71

        It’s surprising that Honda executives would have approved a car that was so much louder than the competition. I’d be interesting how the benchmarked the NVH improvements they needed to make in 2013. Considering the logarithmic nature of the decibel scale, they made some rather significant changes if it’s quiter than the Focus.

        • 0 avatar
          JMII

          Ironically the quietest car we have ever owned was a ’93 Civic EX. That car had triple door seals and the overall shape resulted in very little wind noise. Of course compared to my current 350Z just about every car is “quiet”.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Unless a 93 EX had a lot more sound deadening than my 93 LX, you good sir need to own some quieter cars. The tire roar from that Civic would give me headaches on the interstate.

        • 0 avatar
          afflo

          Are these from Edmunds?

          Scion tC: (often lambasted for interior noise)
          Sound level @ idle (dB) 43.2
          @ Full throttle (dB) 74.7
          @ 70 mph cruise (dB) 68.8

          Cruze: (complimented for noise suppression)
          Sound level @ idle (dB) 44.1
          @ Full throttle (dB) 74.3
          @ 70 mph cruise (dB) 65.7

          I had a Mazda3 for a month as a rental car – I have to admit, I was pretty blown away by the noise suppression, though I was overall far less impressed by the car than I thought I would be.

          Db @ Idle: 41.9
          Db @ Full Throttle: 72.3
          Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 66.5

          But I digress…

          People will continue to buy Hondas and Toyotas, and not because they’re sheep, or because they don’t see what strides have been made by Hyundai, Chevrolet, Kia, Ford, and the other underdogs suffering under a long-term cloud of suspicion. Even a Civic is now a $20,000 bet. They are being asked to put their money on the line, and hopefully get 5-10 trouble-free years (or more) from the car.

          If I were leasing, and turning the car in after 3 years, or knew that I would just swap it and roll-over the outstanding balance, then sure, I’d take a chance on an unproven. Car buying isn’t a charity where you just take a chance on a tarnished name for sh*ts and giggles. I want to know that the manufacturer has a history of cars that are consistently long-term performers.

          It doesn’t guarantee that I won’t have a lemon that was built by a hungover crew on 6 de Mayo. It doesn’t guarantee that I’ll get 150,000 out of a transmission, or will someday be driving around wondering if the car will EVER just die. It DOES put the odds a bit more in my favor.

          /2011 Scion tC, 43,000 miles, paid off. A 4-cylinder Japanese car with a manual should last until the 2nd coming.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            “A 4-cylinder Japanese car with a manual should last until the 2nd coming.”

            But, that’s just simply not true. The quality gap isn’t that big anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            afflo

            I had a 2003 GMC Sonoma that was garbage out the door. I learned my lesson on giving Detroit a chance on that one. Now, I was personally blown away by the difference in apparently quality in a 2010 Focus (a shameful contraption by almost any standard) and the 2012 Focus. Frequent official travel plus the JFTR requirement to rent economy cars means that I get to sample a wide range of entry level vehicles.

            It’s promising, no doubt. My soon-to-be-Brother-in-Law’s Kia Sedona is promising. The real test is about 10 years, and Hyundai/Kia know this, with their 10/100K warranties. If the new “We think we have it figured out now!” Detroit and Seoul cars stand the test of time, consumers will be justified in wagering their earnings on them. Until then, Honda and Toyota will continue to ride their well-earned reputations and the companies that gave us the Excel and Citation will continue to have an uphill fight.

            That’s life. Bloggers, commenters, and other quasi-journalists will continue to whine about how Consumer Reports is biased, but I don’t see them ponying up any cash to buyers to cover their risks of cars from tarnished brands.

          • 0 avatar
            segfault

            “A 4-cylinder Japanese car with a manual should last until the 2nd coming.”

            Tell that to the Matrix/Vibe owners who have faulty manual transmissions.

        • 0 avatar

          I freely admit that I may be wrong on this (also sampled wrong, irrelevant model years).

          • 0 avatar
            SherbornSean

            Can someone document this? A B&B regular has admitted he may be wrong. First time I’ve ever seen it. Kudos!

            What’s next? Will someone write: ” Gee, I never considered another perspective before, you have a great point.”

          • 0 avatar
            Beerboy12

            I was going to say there should be no discernible difference between a compact hatch and a sedan these days but…

        • 0 avatar
          jeffzekas

          Where do you get sound ratings online? It seems that no one ever puts this info in articles (which is important to me, because my wife is partially deaf, and refuses to buy another car with a noisy interior).

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            Of course you can join Consumer Reports online, which IMO is money very well spent. I don’t spend over $300 on appliances or anything unless I’ve exhaustedly researched it. I’m lots of fun at parties.

            Also check out TrueDelta. Michael Karesh is a former TTAC writer who didn’t agree with CR’s methodology, so he started his own site. I suggest you join (it’s free) so you can send in your vehicle’s history reports every 3 months and add to his data.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        The one time I had a Focus rental, I found the NVH refinement grossly overrated in reviews. It rattled and there was noticeable wind and tire noise. This was a sedan too.

        For the 2012 Civic to be significantly louder is pretty scary.

        The Cruze lived up to its reputation for quiet though. I found it on par with my aging BMW E39.

        • 0 avatar

          My ’08 civic with 55k can be loud when pushed, but it doesn’t have any squeaks and rattles, or other noises that are due to wear. And the engine, in particular, feels refined. My friend’s ’10 Focus with around 35k has suspension wear noises.

          The ’13 Civic looks MUCH better than anything ’06-’12, especially the rear.

          Thanks for a thorough review.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      The Focus sedan is about the same in terms of noise as the ’13 Civic, the ride is slightly softer.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      The comments about the Focus are interesting. I found it to be very quiet on my (admittedly brief) test drive, with a well-damped ride. It felt like a $30k car. I don’t have experience with the new Civic but a friend’s previous-gen is noticeably noisier (as is my Mazda3).

    • 0 avatar
      AJ

      Speaking of glass and Civics… my daily driver ’09 Civic was recently in a hail storm. The hood and top were dinged up pretty bad, but the windshield didn’t have a single crack in it. Too bad that the car wasn’t all glass. :)

  • avatar

    The same-lot thing works the other way. We once went in and compared Accord, Civic, and Fit. It was in 2009, so different models were present, and specific results are not important today, except to mention that oddly enough Fit stacked up very nicely, only ruined by ridiculously expensive factory Navi.

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    Looks much less awkward than any civic from the past 5 or so years.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    One problem I have with all Hondas is the front seat. They just don’t support my legs enough. I’m 5’9″ 190 lbs and stocky. So on long drives I’m very uncomfortable. It’s worse in a Civic than Accord and it’s also a problem with Acura. I’ve never heard anyone else complain of it so it’s just particular to me I suppose.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      +1. I am about 6″ and thin and find the Civic seats to be a deal breaker.

    • 0 avatar
      afflo

      The seat in the Honda Fit is horrific. That car is a mobile torture device (I’m 6’1 with a short torso and long limbs). The one in the Accord coupe doesn’t bother me. I drove my brother’s ’10 Civic and it was okay, though the driving position was strangely awkward.

      The downside of Japanese cars is that they often don’t account for long-legged drivers. Civics used to be much better in this regard than they are now. That was one of the biggest selling points for me in the tC: expansive legroom, and lots of clearance around the knees.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Let me ease your worries:

      I always complain about lack of thigh support in smaller cars (and even many larger Japanese/Korean ones).

      The 2012+ Civic has addressed this. I’m 5’11″ 185lbs and the front cushions are VAST. Both lengthwise and widthwise. I’ve done 3 drives out to Indiana and back now, and the Civic compares favorably not only to the leather captain’s chair in my old MPV, but to the adjustable-everything leather buckets in my parents RX350.

      These are the best car seats I’ve ever sat in, including my gf’s old Volvo S60! Sounds crazy but it’s true (for my body shape).

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’ve driven a few Chevrolet Cruzes—though not with the dismal base 1.8-liter engine—and I think the car was designed to drive and feel as solid as a larger sedan, which is not true of the Civic. Also, where you’ve mentioned that the Civic’s biggest threat is the Accord, conversely, the Malibu’s biggest threat is the Cruze. Of course neither one of the two Chevrolets offers competitive fuel-economy.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    I just looked at the Civic EX yesterday, and we test-drove a 2012 and a 2013 back to back a few months ago. Not that bad, but it’s expensive for the EX. I stepped up to an Accord LX.

    When I opened the 2012′s doors and sat inside, I literally said out-loud, “Ew…. poverty.” That interior was just depressing and ghetto as hell! The 2013 isn’t that bad, but they really need to do something about the big black triangle on the front pillar.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Though it is a downgrade from the 06-11 Honda Civic, I don’t mind the black triangle as long as it’s aligned properly. I’ve seen several examples of the Chevy Cruze (which is my favorite compact) whose C-pillar triangles were misaligned with the windows…made even more noticeable by the silver trim that underlined them.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      Thanks for the comment, you proved my point by stepping up to the Accord LX, its probably the best bang for the buck at the Honda dealer right now.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Agreed on the front triangle. Don’t usually notice those things, but for some reason it really looks off on the Civic. Possibly because otherwise the car looks very nice.

      Can’t see why they don’t do a 6-speed manual, it can’t cost much more than the 5-speed. I suspect the take rate on the manual is so low that they can’t be bothered. Too bad.

      • 0 avatar
        rwb

        The Honda 5-speed manual is excellent, best-in-class. Returns on MPG with a 6-speed would probably be marginal as it’s easy to beat EPA figures as-is.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      In 2002, I shopped for a Beetle, but found it a bit small. Then I test drove a Jetta – same thing. I ended up leaving with a Passat, which, although unreliable, was a much nicer car for the money. I guess the same is true for the Civic/Accord.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    “…if Honda could do this just one year later, why didn’t they just go here in the first place?”

    Cynical cost cutting. Honda knew how to make it better all along, but they were arrogant and badly underestimated the competition; they thought no one would notice so they didn’t have to step up the refinement. They held back to increase their margins rather than send the better product to market.

  • avatar
    carguy

    While the Accord may look tempting for a Civic buyer, the Fit is is an ever worse position. The Fit gets 27/33 mileage and the Sport model is about $18,500. Step up to the larger Civic LX and your mileage will improve to 28/39 and the cost is just $300 more.

    As manufacturers manage to get the same mileage out of mid-size cars than compacts and sub-copmacts, I really don’t see the appeal of smaller cars. Maybe if you live in a crowded metro area smaller is easier to live with but for most buyers moving up a size makes perfect sense.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Easier to live with in a crowded metro area shouldn’t be dismissed. I agree that the Fit is in a really tough position, since the Civic is probably small enough for a crowded area. The Accord and other midsize cars are pretty damn big though. Staying in something the size of a Civic does make a difference.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The FIT is a far more useful car. I find nothing more useless than a small sedan, and Honda can’t seem to manage to sell a hatch Civic here.

      The Accord is a gigantic boat of a thing these days, and no hatch in that either.

    • 0 avatar
      afflo

      The Fit has its issues – they’ve seriously crippled it in a number of ways (power, amenities, general quality of interior materials) in order to keep it from cannibalizing the Civic.

      If a Fit had higher quality seats, the same 140-hp engine as a Civic, and available features like leather, moonroof, etc., nobody would buy a Civic unless they DEMANDED a sedan.

      Unfortunately, it’s severly underpowered, with the absolute cheapest interior they could manage. My Fiance’s Versa Hatchback may be a bore to drive, but its interior is far more comfortable and thought out than either generation of Fit.

      (Though I hear the newest Versa’s are a huge step backward).

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        The Fit isn’t decontented to protect the Civic. It’s decontented because it’s made in yen and sold in USD.

        • 0 avatar
          joeveto3

          We have a Fit Sport AT, and the real world mileage is a lot better than the ratings suggest. That being said, it’s hardly a lovefest. It’s zippy and fun, and incredibly useful. On the open road, it’s a torture chamber — Loud, with a jackhammer ride induced by the short wheelbase and “sporty” wheels.

          Our daughter’s 2006 Corolla is a far better car to drive any significant distance (I.e. beyond the corner store).

          I can’t get past the Civic’s goofy instruments. Remember when they used to be simple, legible, excellent?

          • 0 avatar
            AMC_CJ

            I was with a girl for some years who had a 04′ Corolla LE. We’d take it on trips because the mileage was better then my car (back in college when both of us were poor).

            I thought that was such a terrible car. Cramped, uncomfortable. My father rented one recently on a week long trip and had the same complaints.

            I wouldn’t think the Fit could be any worse then that car. We thought of buying one, but when the time came around there was so much better out on the market by then. Glad we waited.

      • 0 avatar

        I was dissapointed my Fit has a front passenger 1L gas container that (can) bump the front passengers knees. Very dissapointing (FWIW: My Fit is a Brazilian one)

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Great review Alex. I think the ’13 is much better looking than the ’12. Now that the Prius is getting rid of the idiot center display, perhaps Honda can ditch the bilevel. It’s stupid.

    With all the critique of the Corolla, sometimes people are just buying on price. A Corolla at $4-5k off for a highly competent appliance is a sweet deal. No shame in that.

  • avatar
    bd2

    A much needed improvement at the exterior and interior (while the materials are better inside, the dash design still needs further work).

    While the Civic sold well prior to this fast-forwarded improvements, Honda at the same time had to put a significant amount of $$ on the hood of an “all-new” model.

    Those incentives have been cut sharply with the refreshed Civic albeit Honda probably ate some of the cost of the improvements (tho the depreciating yen has also helped with regard to pricing).

  • avatar
    Tosh

    …”although I think I prefer the style of the Elantra, Sentra and Focus to the Civic’s dual-level dash.”

    A REAL car person such as myself is CERTAIN that the bi-level dash is a disgusting, gimmicky, distracting disfigurement. NO SALE. NO RECOMMENDATION.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      I appreciate the functional aspect of it, it does keep your eyes on the road more than having your speedo and radio display set lower in the dash. The look is my issue, it is function over normalcy more than function over form.

      • 0 avatar
        AFX

        If you want a real winner of a dash design google a 65 Buick Wildcat, better have eyeballs on your kneecaps to read the speedo.

        Also, anyone complaining that 5 speeds isn’t enough on a car like this should be forced to drive an early 2000′s Corolla with a 3-speed automatic, especially up a steep mountain road. With a shift point from 2nd to 3rd gear at around 47mph it sounds like the engine is either going to blow up in 2nd, or bog down completely in 3rd, as it keeps shifting up and down. RRRRRRRRRRR-BWAAAAAAA-RRRRRRRRRR-BWAAAAAAAA. Driving one at 75mph on a long trip is fun too, as the engine sounds like it’s near redline the whole time, and the lack of insulation in the car makes your head at the end of the trip feel like you just walked out of a Who concert in the 70′s.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        I believe you, I’m sure it’s functional. But it ain’t right as they say back home. The huge tach is ridiculous. 2 generations ago the Civic had a simple, functional, informative IP, as God intended Honda’s to have. Was it broke?

        Hell, even the Corolla’s IP is better looking…

  • avatar
    krayzie

    Honda should take a page out of how sporting goods firms are doing with retro-ing old sneakers and clothing manufactured with modern construction and materials. Even Japanese toy companies are doing this to make a boat load of money.

    Honda could just simply take their entire late 80′s to mid 90′s line-up, retro them in exact form but modernize everything underneath. I guarantee they will sell like hotcakes!!!

    Even an old EF Civic looks infinitely better than this abomination. :D

    • 0 avatar
      afflo

      Retro? The Motorcycle arm of the company is on that!

      http://www.cycleworld.com/2012/11/12/2013-honda-cb1100-first-ride/

      My favorite Honda design disappeared in 1989 – the fastback 3-door Accord. There are precious few 3 door fast-back hatches on the market these days!

  • avatar
    Prado

    This review is pretty spot on in my opinion. I’m in the market and have driven the Civic EX (identical to the one in this review), Accord Sport and several competitors. The Civic is a good car with 2 areas that it lacking in. 1) power/drive-train … it feels like a run of the mill economy car power wise. 2) available amenities. If you can afford a little more, it seems like you can get a lot more with the Accord. As far as ‘in class’ competitors the new 2014 Kia Forte is a home run that I would chose over the Civic (Review request Alex!). The Forte EX with the 2.0 has a power/weight ratio comparable to most midsize cars making it not feel like an economy car and the premium/tech packages gives you as many features or more than the typical midsize car does.

  • avatar
    sketch447

    Alex, your final paragraph was remarkably astute and you’re probably the only automotive journalist who had the guts to write it. The Civic has become bloated and overpriced and its worst enemy is now a base Accord.

    With its most popular options (4-door, autotranny), the Civic hits $20k. Sure, Honda often discounts it. However, on ANY day of the week, you can land a similarly equipped Focus, Corolla, or Forte for at least $1,200 less. (Elantra? I dunno–they’re in high demand it seems.) The only compact that seems to mirror the Civic in price is the Cruze. But GM evades that issue by marketing the Cruze as a more sophisticated and upscale offering, or a more economical choice (Cruze Eco).

    But the Accord is the true Cain to the Civic’s Abel. For barely $2k more, you can get a vastly bigger car with no huge drop in fuel economy. And this is a problem that all car companies face. Some time ago, I was shopping for a Focus. The Focus had just been redesigned and a base stick was going for $16k or so. I ended up buying a Fusion stick for $2200 more. What did I get for that extra cash? A bigger engine, a considerably bigger car (especially in the back seat), an extra cog in the stick-shift, and (at most) a 15 percent fuel economy penalty. I can live with that!

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      A new compact hasn’t been justifiable over a midsize for an awfully long time. $2-3,000 between them was meaningful in the days of 9% loans and cars that didn’t last but as you figured out it’s a very false economy today.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Not bad, for sure an improvement over the previous version. What I consider to be the leader in this class is the Mazda3 with the Skyavtiv engine. How does this compare? I have driven a friends Mazda3 and found it to be well put together and a solid little car.

  • avatar
    CelticPete

    The issue for Honda hasn’t really changed in 10+ years IMHO. The economy cars they make are really underpowered for automatic transmissions.

    With a stick – a Civic is okay. With an auto you really need the torque. Even that .2 liter of displacement makes a difference. What’s weird is that years of “good’ reviews of the manual in car mags and the like convinces people that they are nice cars with the autos. They are just not..

    I’d certainly go with the Mazda or Ford over the Civic.

    And yes the reason for the big sales is in fact the sheep effect. Resale value is so overrated. You incur ongoing costs (fuel/repairs/insurance) with a car that makes the small difference in resale values (usually less then 10%) relatively insignificant. This is especially true if you look at how you can often get say a Dart cheaper from one of the american brands up front..

    It’s not logic that Toyota and Honda make money on – it’s reputation. Once burned by a bad domestic people just don’t want to try again..

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Another point for the Accord: It looks much better than the Civic.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    “…but steering feel should just be mourned because it’s not coming back.”

    Great line, whether meant for Civics or cars in general.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    Nearly 10 seconds to 60 is pretty grueling. I can only imagine that passing on the interstate or getting into traffic quickly is a chore.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    “The Civic’s trunk pass-through is still somewhat small and oddly shaped preventing larger items”
    Honda… put the hatchback on the market, please!

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    Really GREAT review. I have owned Civics and Accords in the past (wonderful cars), and I was becoming a little concerned from reading recent run-of-the-mill car reviewers that Honda had picked up some bad habits from Detroit. Not so, it seems.

    I think, possibly, that the unusual mid-cycle partial redesign may have been caused by supply issues related to the tsunami.

  • avatar

    Great review, Alex.

    It does appear to be much improved. You’re right that there was really nothing wrong with the first iteration, but… whenever I could get people to just *try* a Focus before buying that 2012 Civic (“no really, it will seriously surprise you, just go drive one”), they bought the Ford.

    I think I sold 4 or 5 Focuses just by doing that in 2011-2012, but there were many more folks who couldn’t be convinced to test-drive anything else. Brand momentum is a powerful thing, and Honda (and Toyota, and Subaru, and for that matter BMW) still have plenty of juice left — and will as long as the cars remain decent propositions in and of themselves.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Excellent review Alex, I found your comments about the 2012 to mirror my ownership experience closely.

    I bought a 2012 LX Sedan with a stick shift this February, used with low miles at a price I couldn’t refuse. I had read all the negative reviews, and the improved 2013 was already released. This car was a super clean little 1 year trade-in (little old lady got an automatic instead for her bad knee) in a very pleasant maroon over beige so I pulled the trigger.

    The ride is VERY smooth for a Civic, at the expense of handling. The car wallows a fair amount in corners, mid corner bumps really upset it. A departure from Civics of yore, but for a daily driver, I prefer the smooth ride.

    The driver’s seat is absolutely sublime. I crack off 10 hour drives to Indiana and back to NY on a monthly basis. These seats are better than both the leather captains chairs in my old MPV and the 8 way power adjustable seats in my parents’ RX350. The back seats are probably the roomiest and most comfortable in the compact class. I also like the airiness of the cabin. The Cruze I test drove was like sitting in a coal bin crossed with a pillbox by comparison.

    My biggest complaint is road noise. It is very dependent on road surface, when on smooth blacktop the car is plenty quiet. However on concrete it really howls. I’m glad they addressed this.

    The interior plastics look nasty in grey on the 2012s, but I never find my beige dash/door plastics to be offensive. What I would like is better elbow padding on both the doors and on the center console armrest. Just a 1/4 inch of high density foam would transform it!

    Glad to see Honda reacting, even when sales of the 2012 were so strong.

    Ultimately when buying my ‘maligned’ 2012, I knew that it would be reliable, achieve more than the EPA rating (I get 38 mpg calculated by hand going 74mph), and would have fantastic resale.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    In 2010 we were shopping for a car for our daughter. She had originally wanted a Beetle, then a CRV then a Mazda 3. Well, I like VW Beetles but I’m glad we passed on them that time, the CRV – well, she wanted the max’d out one and we didn’t want to spend that much. So, we were looking at the Civic and the Mazda. The Civic had a cheap feel, and after the quickest test drive I’ve ever done (now, we had bought (new) 2 vans and an Accord from this dealer) we were hoping for a killer deal, nope. So, rode over to the Mazda dealer, found the “perfect” one, 2.5 GT, leather, sunroof, hell – rain sensing wipers! and it – after talking to the dealer was only 1K more and we got 0 for 60! Honda was .9 for 60. And Mr William’s is mistaken, having ridden in a Civic back seat and Mazda 3, the 3 IS bigger.
    It’s been 3 years now, we have had zero problems, car gets 27-28 mpg driving mix of city and country roads.

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    Interior “refinement” in this class of car is nothing but an illusion/misnomer. Whatever extra gleam the plastics of a Honda interior provide, are a minor and ultimately irrelevant factor. I was perfectly happy with the interior of a rental Avenger.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    I still don’t understand car reviewers fascination with “soft touch points” on cheap cars, or any car for that matter, especially touch points where nobody actually touches the vehicle.

    Who touches their dash that often, and who cares if it is pillowy soft or not? Cheap and durable is good, especially for this segment of car where most things are neglected.

    As for the forward cogs in the gearboxes, I think 5 in slushbox or row your own form is just fine for a car designed for mostly city going detail. If you want more scoot and more gears, opt for the SI model.

    • 0 avatar
      AMC_CJ

      Personally I’d opt for metal points on the interior, but we know that’s not going to happen.

      I’m very picky on a car’s interior. The “soft” touch stuff looks a lot better, even if you don’t touch it. It was one of the big selling points of the 2012 Mustang we bought. Simple interior, but nice materials. Not to mention that squishy stuff won’t rattle and make all kinds of noise several years from now when things loosen up.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      The only touch points I truly care about being soft are the armrests and steering wheel. Don’t care if the dash is hard or not, as long as the surface texture looks good. The 2012 Civic’s plastics looked absolutely horrible. Nasty colors, nasty textures. Doesn’t need to be that way. And other manufacturers were offering nicer interiors and “more scoot and more gears” for similar money as that Civic.

      • 0 avatar
        grzydj

        Excellent points by both AMC and 30-Mile.

        I think what happened with the ’11/’12 Civic was Honda didn’t anticipate how strong the competition was going to come on in this segment. While Kia/Hyundai have made huge strides with quality and craftsmanship, they still lag behind in resale value.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Sure looks like Honda underestimated the competition, and they banged out this refresh really quickly. Still wondering what the hell Toyota was thinking with the Corolla and their stubborn refusal to improve any of its problems. Maybe if CR had deservedly shot it down in flames like they did the Civic…

          • 0 avatar
            SherbornSean

            We should keep in mind that when Honda started to design the 2012 Civic, the US was deep in a recession with very low car sales. It was a reasonable assumption that new car buyers would be more focused on price than on material quality.

            Fast forward to 2012, and Honda quickly realized its mistake and did two things: 1. pumped up the incentives on the 2012s (well high for Honda) and 2. put in this quick refresh.

            Just smart business.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            I won’t pretend to know what marketing decisions were made by Honda HQ, so I can’t respond to that. But the 2012 was a tepid refresh that brought little new to the car, felt noticeably cheaper, and still cost $19K for an basic LX automatic. Not really a raging bargain and not really “smart business” from a company that has traditionally made cars that felt and drove like they were worth the price premium over their competitors.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Well, kudos to Honda for actually addressing problems so quickly, because if Corollas are bought by lemmings, so too were 2012 Civics. It was such a cheap & lazy mess that I wouldn’t even bother cross-shopping it with an Elantra, let alone a Focus. This refresh changes that, although it still looks like most of the spunk & distinction of antecedent Civics is gone. Wasn’t much left in the 2006-2011 either, to be honest.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Well this lemming is happy with his 2012 Civic, as more time passes and I see how fast Focuses are losing their value (local dealer was blowing used 2012s out for $13k with 20-30k miles), not to mention the dual clutch transmission woes, and now I’m hearing of wheel bearings going bad. Ford’s DI is also an unknown at this point, we’ll see how that plays out in 5 years or so. I don’t trust the Cruze’s small turbo motor hauling around a 3100lb car for 150k+ miles. Elantra had zero appeal with its swoopy styling inside and out, Baruth wrote about a rental that had noticeable interior wear after less than a year of rental duty.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        No insult intended; I don’t think you are a lemming. That was more a response to Alex’s comment in the article that a Corolla (a dated but reliable & practical vehicle) is somehow a lemming’s choice compared to the 2012 Civic (a similarly dated but reliable and practical vehicle), even though they follow a nearly identical formula.

        It sounds like you enjoy your Civic for all of the respectable left-brain reasons. Lately I’ve wanted just a little more flavor in my daily driver and am willing to risk a few more reliability problems to get it. I currently drive a MkV VW, so I’ll see if the gamble ends up being worth it. If it isn’t, I might end up in another Civic :)

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Yeah I was questioning myself when I signed the papers on the Civic, did I really want such a snoozefest of a car? The more I drive it the better I feel about the decision. I actually just got my dream job now after the fact, so I think I will keep the Civic as the frugal and reliable daily driver, and will start scheming up an interesting second vehicle (E38 BMW? Offroad equipped SUV?)

          I tried out the Corolla when I was out shopping, an brand new automatic LE would have cost as much as my 11k mile 5spd Civic. But an automatic Corolla is just a whole new level of sterility, and the seats weren’t as comfy as the Civic. I do see the Corolla’s appeal, as the person who bought it new for $15k can turn around and sell it in 3 years later for $13k.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            The seats alone are worth getting the Civic over the Corolla. Honda makes a good seat.

            Thinking of a real 4X4 as well (I miss my backcountry haunts), to replace the VW once it reaches the 10 year mark and I have a hard time trusting it. We have a little Toyota econobox (zzzzz….) for extreme frugality, so that will offset the gruesome fuel costs.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Trying to get a Honda buyer to try something else is akin to getting pump prices back down to $2.00 per gallon. Just not going to happen easily. A good friend with a 2005 Civic has needed both front sway bar links replaced, a replacement automatic transmission, the interior door panels are actually falling off the doors, it’s rusting badly and now it needs a timing belt to the tune of a grand from the dealer. She actually thinks this is all normal routine stuff and her car only has 80k miles. None of my W-body cars from 2000 on up have needed anywhere near this many repairs in only 80K, have never needed a timing belt because they use chains, never lost a transmission with anything under 200K and aside from the usual intermediate shaft at 100k and the intake gasket recall on the 2000 Impala have been pretty darn impeccable. The interiors also held up considerably better.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      That’s not particularly surprising given what I’ve seen with a Civic of that generation. The 90K aggregate of maintenance and repair costs were much higher than I expected, and frankly higher than some German cars (even if you include the monetary value of the free maintenance up to 50K on some German cars).

      One of the cars I’m talking about also had the soft cloth interior door panels falling off on more than one door.

      When I think of the prototypical Civic, I think of the 5th and 6th generation ones in the 90s — the golden age of Japanese cars in the US (same for the prototypical Camry with the timeless design). The 6th gen ones I’ve ridden in recently are holding up better than the decontented 7th gen ones ponchoman is talking about.

  • avatar
    jcloks

    I purchased a 06 civic lx when it first came out and the A/C in it could not keep up with the Las Vegas heat. I had to trade it in after nothing was found to be wrong with it. Honda told me the hot/cold air coming from the vent was a design for better fuel economy. I was told “we are Honda the Green Company.” I have seen this same issue all over the net with owners in AZ, TX and NV. Has this issue been resolved? I had co workers that also had same issue here in Vegas and they also traded their civics 06+.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I live in coastal San Diego, so it isn’t much of an issue for me, but I know what you mean. If I’m in the desert inland, the lack of A/C at stop lights isn’t impressive in my 2007 Civic Si. How typical of green technology is it that I use lower gears to keep engine speed up to 3,500 rpm so I can have ice-cold A/C? That must save the planet over having used a larger compressor.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      My 2012 Civic is absolutely frigid, our 2007 Honda Fit has pathetic A/C in comparison. I have to blast it on maximum fan speed for the cabin to eventually cool down to a somewhat cool temperature. The Fit does have a lot more glass area and the interior is black vs beige, but that is only a factor, it can only explain so much.

      In general, this generation of Civic seems to be stronger in traditional American strong points: comfortable ride, roomy and big seats, good HVAC. It lost the sporty handling, and some of the Honda-ness that used to be baked into the cars (my family owned an 82, 85, 1990 Civics). In other words, the Civic grew up. The Fit retains some of the Honda ‘spark,’ as does the Civic Si I suppose.

      This Civic still has some core Honda competencies: fuel efficiency, a fantastically smooth engine (and excellent manual shifter), good visibility and ‘airiness,’ and it is a packaging wonder. The interior feels roomier than any other compact, despite a shortened wheelbase compared to its own predecessor.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    What kills these little turd cars is that when you wander onto a Honda lot you have overlap between Civics and Accords, there is also some overlap between Corollas and Camrys at youl local Yoda dealer.

    I don’t care about fuel economy that much that I’d rather spend the next 4-5 years crammed into a compact penalty box when I can have a much larger car for almost the same amount of money.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “…crammed into a compact penalty box when I can have a much larger car for almost the same amount of money.”

      I think you may be surprised by just how comfortable and nice the ‘penalty boxes’ have gotten. As far as being ‘crammed into’ them, I find my Civic to have larger seats and more knee space than my gf’s 2012 Camry. Once you factor in trunk space and rear legroom and total passenger volume, then yes your point has merit. But for a commuter car, the new breed of compacts is downright luxurious compared to the segment even 10 years ago.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        That’s because the new breed of compacts is yesterday’s mid-size. The current Corolla looks ginormous compared to the Corollas I remember many years ago. Compare it to a 1990 Camry (the one that’s the same as the first gen Lexus ES), for example.

        Similarly, compare the current Civic to an Accord designed in the 80s. Hell, I’ll do it for you:

        3rd gen (ca. 1987) Accord:
        Wheelbase 2,601 mm (102.4 in)
        Length Hatchback: 4,440 mm (174.8 in)
        1986-1987 Sedan: 4,549 mm (179.1 in)
        1988-1989 Sedan & Coupe: 4,564 mm (179.7 in)
        Width Hatchback & Coupe: 1,694 mm (66.7 in)
        Sedan: 1,712 mm (67.4 in)
        Height Hatchback & Coupe: 1,336 mm (52.6 in)
        Sedan: 1,356 mm (53.4 in)

        2012 Civic:
        Wheelbase 2,595 mm (102.2 in) (hatchback)
        2,670 mm (105.1 in) (sedan and hybrid)
        2,620 mm (103.1 in) (coupe)
        Length 4,300 mm (169.3 in) (hatchback)
        4,504 mm (177.3 in) (sedan and hybrid)
        4,472 mm (176.1 in) (coupe)
        Width 1,770 mm (69.7 in) (hatchback)
        1,755 mm (69.1 in) (sedan, coupe & hybrid)
        Height
        1,590 mm (62.6 in) (hatchback)
        1,435 mm (56.5 in) (sedan)
        1,430 mm (56.3 in) (US hybrid)
        1,397 mm (55.0 in) (US coupe)
        Curb weight 1,177–1,260 kg (2,595–2,778 lb) (coupe)
        1,183–1,270 kg (2,608–2,800 lb) (sedan)
        1,294–1,304 kg (2,853–2,875 lb) (hybrid)

        Note that the Accord was considered a compact by the EPA back then, but the next generation was a mid-size, and now it’s considered a full-size. The EPA determines this by interior volume — I believe there was a point where the BMW 7-Series was considered a compact by the EPA. I know the 5-Series was just barely considered a compact instead of a subcompact in the 80s.

  • avatar
    bkmurph

    “I prefer the way the Civic looks to the new Elantra (although I’m told I’m crazy by our Facebook peeps) [...]”

    You’re not crazy. The Civic almost certainly has larger windows and better visibility, and therefore looks better from a rational perspective.

  • avatar
    Hemi

    I was in the market for a new car and was put off by the last generation Accord. I was excited for the 2013 and came very close to buying a 13 Accord Sport CVT. On the test drive the vehicle had 7 miles and made some alarming clunk from the trans. We walked away from the Accord. The new Civic to me was disappointing for the price and comfort inside. I liked the Chevy Cruze LT a lot better. Honda and Toyota need to step up the game with the Civic and Corolla. I found the Civic to be uncomfy and pricey for what it is. I liked the 13 Accord but didn’t wow me, especially with the Genesis rear…. I ended up buying a 13 Charger RT…. My wife owned a 03 Accord V6 coupe and loved the Charger over the new Accord as well….

    I miss the older Civics and Accords from the early 90s to the early 2000, great styling, interiors and reliability.

    I drove the new Civic, Cruze, Elantra, Corolla and Focus. The competitors have stepped up their game and I was shocked.

  • avatar
    segfault

    The seat fabric on the 2013 Accord LX looks good from a distance, but feels rough, hard, and sandpapery, not unlike a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu. The Civic’s seat fabric felt much better. Just one reason to consider the Civic over the Accord.

    I’m talking about the Civic here, but this really applies to all compact cars: Honda will have to step up on the content of the next-generation Civic. Crappy seat fabric notwithstanding, the Accord has a lot of content like standard alloy wheels across the entire line, available lane departure warning, radar cruise control, and keyless ignition, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      I’m amazed at how nobody mentions the absolutely terrible base cloth in the Accord. If it was the Camry, we’d never hear the end of it.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Actually, I remember other reviews specifically mentioning the high quality of the Accord’s fine “broadcloth”. (sic)

      It does look good and it’s meant to keep rears planted in place – much better than leather – and unlike the old “mouse fur” some people are used to.

      Much superior to the baser Camry with its obviously cheap cloth. Base Camrys are rental car quality, whereas virtually all Accords are sold to individuals.

      “The upholstery in our car was among the nicest material choices we’ve recently seen, replacing Honda’s old mouse-fur material with something resembling high-quality broadcloth.”
      http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2013-honda-accord-four-cylinder-manual-test-review-well-rounded-sedan-page-2

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I haven’t liked the looks of the Civic in a few years, and now I do. This one is so much better than the previous iteration it’s laughable. When I saw a 2013 from the back, I assumed it was an Accord til I got a better look at the scale of it.

    Much improved! Though the fake-digitized-analog clock is a bit chintzy, and the thing is sloooow as hell. Maybe I’m just used to too much engine.


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