The Honda Civic was new for 2012, but it took a mulligan. The interior wasn't up to par, and neither was handling. This year there's been a quick turnaround on some big fixes--and we think they put the Civic back at the top of its game, as we show you in this video road test.
When the Civic was new last year, Honda drew flak for cost-cutting--and gave you more reasons than ever to look at the Ford Focus, Chevy Cruze and Hyundai Elantra instead. So the rush to fix the Civic started inside. The hard plastic from 2012? It's been banished, at least from the dash. There's a soft padded surface at the top now, and it looks better, even if the unusual basic shape of the dash hasn't changed.
The basic Civic is powered by a 140-horsepower, 1.8-liter four, hooked up with a five-speed automatic. With fuel economy as high as 39 miles per gallon highway, it's on par with its rivals--and it's quieter now, thanks to some new sound deadening and body structure.
There's also the sporty Civic SI model with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 201 horsepower--it doesn't wow us like the Civic Si of the past, but it is quick. The Civic Hybrid does, with its 44-miles-per-gallon combined EPA rating. And then there's the Civic powered by natural gas--it's rare, but if you have access to CNG, it's worth a look.
The updates to the Civic only make it safer. It's now a Top Safety Pick Plus, according to the IIHS, and a rearview camera is now standard. Hybrids also pick up standard forward-collision warning and lane departure warning systems.
The Civic isn't an inexpensive car anymore--sorry, folks. The LX starts from just under $19,000, but does get standard Bluetooth and power features. The EX is about $21,000 and adds automatic climate control, a 160-watt audio system, and 16-inch alloy wheels. For the full-boat ride, the Civic EX-L starts at about $22,000 and gets a leather-trimmed interior and heated front seats. A Civic SI Sedan starts from just under $23,000, and if you load up a Hybrid model you're looking at just under $28,000.
So what's the bottom line with the 2013 Honda Civic? It's taken a few steps in the right direction. If you're looking at an Elantra or a Cruze, the Civic is back on the must-drive list.
For more information on the 2013 Honda Civic be sure to read our full review here.