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First photos: 2013 Honda Civic

Despite this unprecendented redesign, the current Civic is still the best-selling compact car in the U.S.

By Clifford Atiyeh Nov 12, 2012 11:02AM
Honda posted the first photos of its redesigned 2013 Civic on Monday, two weeks ahead of the car's debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Beyond the angular, more Accord-like front and rear fascias, Honda said nothing of the inside, which had been widely derided by car critics for being littered with hard plastic. The 2013 model will likely sport a padded dash, among other higher-quality materials as seen in the Civic-based Acura ILX.

In fact, the rest of the current car's guts -- its harsh ride, excessive wind noise and tinny-sounding doors -- were enough to make Consumer Reports pull the model from its "Recommended" list. The model, as many critics agreed, was evidence that Honda had cut quality to save money, especially when compared with more stylish, better-equipped competition such as the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra.

But those are car critics. Car buyers, unperturbed by all the fury, continued to lap up the 2012 Civic like hummingbird nectar, making it the best-selling compact car in the U.S. all year. Was there really a problem?

Shown in these photos is the top-level EX-L, which features more chrome bits and fancier wheels.

Honda wasn't happy, though, and took the rare step of fast-tracking the Civic's midcycle refresh years ahead of schedule to tackle the concerns -- which, in my important critical opinion, were valid. In late October, the company directed its U.S. dealers to reduce inventories of 2012 Civics by 60 percent to clear room for the 2013 model, scheduled to go on sale Nov. 29. That means buyers will get even better deals as the current models are forced out.

It bears repeating that the Civic retains an unusually versatile lineup. Shoppers can choose from a coupe or sedan, manual or automatic transmission and trims ranging from the pared-down, fuel-saving HF to the sporty, 201-horsepower Si. Three powertrains are available: gasoline, hybrid and natural gas -- the only production natural gas car that's not a van or a truck.

All this alone is impressive -- as are the sales -- but the 2013 Civic needs a stronger core that will see it compete on a higher scale. Happy Civic owners, if they care at all, just might notice the difference.

[Source: Honda]

73Comments
Nov 12, 2012 1:56PM
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What the author fails to mention is that the "nectar lapping public" may prefer Honda's stellar reputation for reliability over the average at best of Ford and Hyundai's. Many of us prefer low cost of ownership and high reliability over the "better equipped and more stylish" competition.
Nov 15, 2012 2:58AM
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Congratulations, Honda has updated the Civic to look exactly like almost every other car on the road today---Bravo!

 

What ever happened to style and uniqueness like when you could tell the exact make and model from a quick glance at the shape, grill, or tail lights?

 

Nov 15, 2012 5:10AM
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well people I believe in the comments posted by the people who actually are honda owners I for one work on cars all day every day at my work and see the issues on all the cars and yes I agree that honda's interior and features probably don't match up to other cars their reliability is unmatched and you figure with all the other issues that I face from day to day I am happy knowing that my honda which is a 98 honda civic lx is still on the road while other cars which are 10 years or more newer than mine are in my shop getting fixed for numerous issues so to sacrifice quality and interior etc.

is worth it to me

Nov 15, 2012 5:25AM
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We own a 2000 civic base model only extra a automatic transmission car curretly has 270,000++ miles and still gets 40 to the gal. while no longer pretty it is suoer dependable
Nov 15, 2012 2:31AM
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Oh yeah!!  I forgot to mention, I get @42mpg in town, 48-50 hwy!!!  We fill up maybe once every 6wks or so.  Only maintenace we've had done are our regular "check-ups".  We never thought we could find a car that compared to our previous Toyota, but our Honda Cicic Hybrid has surpassed anything else we could hope for!
Nov 15, 2012 2:24AM
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We bought our Honda Civic Hybrid brand new off the lot in 2007, and love it as much today as we did the day we got it!!  As a matter of fact, my little sister loved ours so much, she bought herself a new one this year!!  I love the new 2013, but would be difficult for me to part with what I've got!! 

 

Thank you for such an all-around (perfect) car!

Sincerely,

 

A true Honda fan!

Nov 15, 2012 5:49AM
Nov 12, 2012 1:17PM
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Wow.  Honda might have actually figured out how to make a good looking car.  I just hope the interior doesn't have the same "rental car" quality that the outgoing model has.
Nov 12, 2012 2:51PM
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IMO The last high quality Civic that Honda made was in 2005.  In 2006-2011, when that new generation came out, the styling was a hit but IMO the interior was low rent. The current 2012 Civic is mediocre on exterior styling and the interior is mediocre as well.  I would rather have a car that has decent looks with a decent interior over a refined powertrain anyday. I spend most of my time in that interior. I suppose this is why my 2005 Civic EX Special Edition still occupies a spot in my garage. I owned a 2010 and was disappointed with the interior's quality and sold the car. I bypassed the current generation and hope the new generation addresses those issues.  Meanwhile, my 2005 will soldier on just as my 1989 CRX did that I sold before buying the 05. Both absolutely 100% reliable and with proper maintenance showed no signs of faltering anytime soon (the 89 RX is still on the road on a daily basis!). Honda, you'd better get the 2013 right or you'll lose more of your long time loyal customers.

Nov 15, 2012 7:15AM
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I have a 2003 Civic with only 60,000 and I love, love, love it.  Anyone with an older Civic has a great car.  The newer ones don't measure up.  I know because I work for Honda. 
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