Car Review: 2013 Honda Civic refreshed once again

Even though it was redesigned last year, the Honda Civic underwent a refresh for 2013.

 Photo: Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, March 11, 2013 — Refreshed for 2013, the new Honda Civic is a competitive option in the world of compact cars this year. It’s a comfortable ride meaning lots of room inside. Even better though is its good gas mileage and high safety scores.

The Honda Civic EX-L

The Honda Civic EX-L

Remember too that the Honda Civic was actually just redesigned last year, so this refresh comes after some criticism that the Honda folks took seriously, such as styling that offers an upgrade with a sporty look and an interior that is more grown up.

Honda fans will also smile at the mechanical changes like a recalibrated suspension and steering and a new body with an impressive addition of frontal impact protection, not to mention the changes in the front-seat side airbags.

Competition for the 2013 Honda Civic is the Ford Focus, Mazda 3 and the Hyundai Elantra and for the Hybrid Civic version, one might look at the Toyota Prius C or the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid.

The 2013 Honda Civic comes in both coupe and sedan versions, and the Civic coupe and sedan have three trims: the LX, EX and the cream of the crop EX-L. On the sedan version, you can also opt for the HF trim, which is more fuel-efficient.

The LX model comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, power accessories, a one-piece fold-down rear seatback, and cruise control. You also get a number of techy features like the five-inch screen, rearview camera and fun stuff like the Bluetooth phone and audio connect and SMS text messaging functions.

On the HF sedan, the base features are much the same as you get on the LX sedan, but the added features include fuel efficiency, low-rolling-resistance tires and aerodynamic cast-aluminum wheels as well as a rear spoiler.

On the EX model, the added features are 16-inch alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, a sunroof, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks.

On the EX-L, there are the fog lights, heated mirrors, leather upholstery, and heated front seats.

If you opt for what is called the Civic Natural Gas, you get that in one trim only, mirroring the LX features.

For the 2013 Civic Hybrid sedan, there are two trims: the base with the same list of features as the sedan EX Civic options; and the Hybrid that will also give you a forward collision and lane departure warning system. On the high-end “Leather” trim Hybrid add the extras from the EX-L.

Under the hood, it is standard front-wheel-drive on the 2013 Honda Civic with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, giving out 140 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. For the transmission, you can select from a five-speed manual or the five-speed automatic with a note that the HF and EX trims are standard automatic.

2013 Civic Hybrid carries a 1.5-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine and electric motor with a combo that offers 110 horsepower and 127 pound feet of torque. There is also the continuously variable automatic transmission.

The standard safety features on the this year’s Honda Civic include stability control, antilock brakes with four-wheel discs on the EX, front side and full-length side curtain airbags, the forward collision warning, and lane departure warning systems on the Hybrid.

Inside, expect a dash that offers a five-inch screen that will give you all the information you need in regard to anything audio related as well as a hands-free phone.

Everything inside is easy to maneuver, figure out and use. For folks who are into interior tech equipment this Civic will make you smile since there are plenty of amenities from texting possibilities to Pandora radio.

The sedan has an especially good amount of room in the front seat and even backseat riders won’t complain; plus there is 11.7 cubic feet of space for hauling for the coupe and 12.5 cubic feet in the sedan.

Certainly an easy drive, the 2013 Honda Civic gets a thumbs up for suspension, taking the curves, getting on the highway, and looking good doing it.

Should You Need to Know: Take note that the Honda Civic was redesigned in 2012, but it has had a refresh this year with a long list of standard equipment additions.

Miles Per Gallon: The 2013 Honda Civic EX-L that I drove got 28 miles to the gallon in the city and 29 miles to the gallon on the highway.

Cost: Cost for the 2013 Honda Civic EX-L came in at $24,555.

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1300 articles to her credit in the past 15-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a national radio show called “The Duva Show” where her “The Insider Mag’s” I’m Standing Here segment can be heard weekly between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings.

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and the North Texas Film Critics and writes for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily New, Living Magazine and Valley Scene Magazines as well as www.greensourceDFW. She also spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books. She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association.

Her latest book release is “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma” from www.historypress.net and she will be publishing her ninth book this spring about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.


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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.

 

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