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2013 Honda Civic Touring

Posted Jan 25th 2013 11:57AM

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Getting the Benchmark Back on Track



When you consider that Honda has produced 3.6 million Civics in Canada to date and sold 1.7 million Civics to Canadian consumers, they've got to be doing something right. But after catching some serious heat from critics on the last generation, can the quickly refreshed 2013 Honda Civic be the answer the driving public has been waiting for?

We decided to find out how Honda has addressed the concerns expressed over the much criticized ninth-generation Honda Civic (which was dropped from the Consumer Reports 'Recommended' list). Oddly enough, the Civic still continues to be Canada's best-selling car (regardless of its negative press) and after our brief First Drive at Honda Canada, we welcomed a chance to spend a whole week with the substantially updated 2013 Honda Civic to see what all the fuss is about.




Far from being an extreme makeover, the revamped exterior continues to retain the Civic's familiar shape while kicking up Honda's often conservative styling a few slight notches. Our Touring trim tester also featured a set of stylish 17-inch alloy wheels, which were standard equipment.

Honda's redefined design language has translated very nicely
into an improved looking sedan.

The most visible cosmetic changes to the 2013 Honda Civic include its open-mouth front bumper (with chrome accent bar) and an attractive honeycomb grille set between its Accord-esque style headlamps. The overall design delivers a lower stance and a slightly more upscale appearance, meaning the 2013 Civic is a step in the right direction. Honda's redefined design language has translated very nicely into a improved looking sedan.




At first glance the interior looks largely the same as the 2012 model, but upon closer inspection we found out it's actually all-new. Inside, drivers are now greeted by a new set of premium materials including leather trimmed doors which Honda has designed to elevate the Civic interior and compliment the revised instrument panel. Honda has thankfully ditched most of its strange textured plastic parts in favour of more detailed soft-touch materials.

Honda has thankfully ditched most of its strange textured plastic parts
in favour of more detailed soft-touch materials.
Honda continues to employ the Civic's quirky split level dashboard, but after spending a little more time with it, we kind of adjusted to its love-it or hate-it dash layout (although it was a challenge to photograph). The over-sized digital speedo still seems oddly placed above the analogue tach, but we'll admit the gauges are easy to read even in bright sunlight. We also found that the Civic's futuristic dash could be considered a bit overwhelming with its bright glowing Eco "landing lights" found pulsating on each side of the upper speedo gauge, which glow from blue to green as you get more, well, eco-friendly. If there's a way to turn this feature off to avoid distractions, we sure couldn't find it and it's worth noting one of the TV spots focuses on this feature alone.




You can also change the five-inch Multi-Information Display (i-MID) to display everything including: stereo information, Bluetooth status, trip computer and even set your own custom wallpaper background. The centre console has also been improved upon from the previous model, as we're glad to say the touch and feel of the gear selector and handbrake easily rival those of its closest competitors.

Heated front seats are also included on LX trim and up and auto climate control is standard on EX and above.

A number of other options have also been upgraded for 2013, as a rearview camera is now standard on EX trim and above with multi-angle view for those equipped with navigation. Heated front seats are also included on LX trim and the auto climate control is standard on EX and above. The addition of redesigned heated cloth front seats joins the option list, which used to require leather seating. However, we noticed the seat heaters in our test car took quite a while to warm the backside after we finally found the switch.



Under the new hood, our Civic Touring tester housed the same 1.8-litre port-injected i-VTEC four cylinder as the last model, producing 140 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque through Honda's five-speed automatic transmission.

While, this mill pushes the Civic around fairly well, the reason people buy Civics is for fuel economy of 7.1 L/100km city and 5.0L/100km highway on regular gas. When activated, the Eco mode button (located just left of the steering wheel) conveniently changes the shift points in the transmission, adjusts drive-by-wire input and also slows down the operation of the air-conditioning unit for those concerned with hardcore fuel-savings.

Our Civic Touring tester housed the same 1.8-litre port-injected i-VTEC four cylinder as the last model, producing 140 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque

The 2013 Civic also delivers improved ride from a better tuned suspension, and we found it offers an acceptable level of comfort while still retaining relatively responsive handling. Honda engineers tweaked the 2013 Civic to have a much quicker steering ratio and paired that with thicker stabilizer bars and all-new suspension bushings, differences that can actually be felt in the 2013 over the outgoing model.

The Civic is also now one of the quietest cars in its class, as there's been considerable improvement and focus put on reducing cabin noise over the previous model. It's great to see the use of new acoustic-laminated front windshield, side windows and added noise insulation make its way into an affordable package and cruising around these features are effective.



Honda says the 2013 Civic has been "honed to make the segment's best-selling car even better," and we'd agree there's been strong improvements made based on our time spent with the car. The very well equipped Civic Touring we drove adds up to an as tested price of $24,840 making it only a $450 increase over the 2012 Honda Civic EX-L it replaces. The potent 201 horsepower Civic Si sedan is priced at the top of the range, starting at $26,190.

The 2013 Honda Civic clearly continues to represent great value to Canadian consumers.

But when you consider the striking new styling, added features, improved handling and interior upgrades included at its thrifty $15,440 base price... the 2013 Honda Civic clearly continues to represent great value to Canadian consumers.


Related Gallery2013 Honda Civic Touring - First Drive


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Image Credit: Copyright 2013 Dave Pankew & Mark Pereira / AOL

Category: Budget, Honda, Reviews, Sedan, New-Car-Guide

Tags: 2013, 2013 honda civic, civic, Honda, review, test drive

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2 Comments

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Economist_101

I was Honda crazy years ago. But for some reason all their cars ended up having some "annoying" thing about them that I could not figure out what they were trying to do. In the "old days" I described my reason for driving a Honda as -- they make straight forward "good drivers". Tack and speedo etc nice clear .. nothing fancy .. cool technology that was transparent in execution. Now -- I just don't get it. Acura seems to have if figured out way more and they are the same company. I think Honda has a de-contenting thing going still -- put tires that look nice but actually don't work well -- things like that.

January 26 2013 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
twofoureightzero

"The very well equipped Civic Touring we drove adds up to an as tested price of $18,190"

Looking at honda.ca and I think you've quoted the price of the LX. The Touring seems to come in at $24,840.

January 25 2013 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply