2013 Honda Civic

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$7,946–$17,030 Inventory Prices
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Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2013 Honda Civic. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    25-33 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    140-hp, 1.8-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Sharper looks
  • New interior design, quality
  • Many standard features added
  • Gas mileage
  • Standard backup camera
  • Optional collision warning system

The Bad

  • Higher mpg costs more
  • Main transmissions are five-speeds
  • Drum rear brakes on lower trims

Notable Features of the 2013 Honda Civic

  • New front and rear styling (sedan)
  • Revised suspension and steering
  • Overhauled interior
  • Coupe or sedan body styles
  • Manual or automatic
  • Performance and hybrid versions

2013 Honda Civic Road Test

Joe Bruzek

The 2013 Honda Civic is the stylish, high-quality compact that should have come out for 2012, now offering unheard-of standard features and innovation. It says to Hyundai: Let's rumble!

In a drastic and surprising move, Honda significantly reworked its Civic sedan just one year after a complete redesign. Honda listened to complaints about the 2012's so-so value, ho-hum quality and simple styling, then pulled off a complete 180 for the 2013 model year. As we detailed in our review here, the 2012 didn't make huge strides in surpassing its body type competition, but it was still good enough to place second in Cars.com's compact comparison, finishing behind the Hyundai Elantra, a value juggernaut.

Newly standard features include a backup camera, Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity and numerous smartphone integrations, including Bluetooth streaming audio, text message functions and Pandora internet radio. Let me reiterate: That's all standard equipment on the base Civic. (Compare the 2012 Civic with the 2013 Civic, Elantra and Chevrolet Cruze here, and see the results of our 2012 compact car comparison here.)

Additionally, the interior shows off higher-quality materials, while the exterior has significantly more character. The driving experience has improved as well. The enhancements come on the now-base LX trim level for just $160 more than the 2012 LX. The 2013 base price starts at $18,955, including destination charge, with a manual transmission. The b...

The 2013 Honda Civic is the stylish, high-quality compact that should have come out for 2012, now offering unheard-of standard features and innovation. It says to Hyundai: Let's rumble!

In a drastic and surprising move, Honda significantly reworked its Civic sedan just one year after a complete redesign. Honda listened to complaints about the 2012's so-so value, ho-hum quality and simple styling, then pulled off a complete 180 for the 2013 model year. As we detailed in our review here, the 2012 didn't make huge strides in surpassing its body type competition, but it was still good enough to place second in Cars.com's compact comparison, finishing behind the Hyundai Elantra, a value juggernaut.

Newly standard features include a backup camera, Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity and numerous smartphone integrations, including Bluetooth streaming audio, text message functions and Pandora internet radio. Let me reiterate: That's all standard equipment on the base Civic. (Compare the 2012 Civic with the 2013 Civic, Elantra and Chevrolet Cruze here, and see the results of our 2012 compact car comparison here.)

Additionally, the interior shows off higher-quality materials, while the exterior has significantly more character. The driving experience has improved as well. The enhancements come on the now-base LX trim level for just $160 more than the 2012 LX. The 2013 base price starts at $18,955, including destination charge, with a manual transmission. The bottom-dollar DX trim is gone, and HF, EX, EX-L and performance-oriented Si trims sit above the LX. A Honda Civic Hybrid is detailed separately in our Research section here.

The 2013 Honda Civic LX that I drove for this evaluation is a long-term test car that Cars.com purchased to evaluate over a year of ownership. You can read about our purchase process here.

Boring Surgically Removed
The front and rear used to be plain and unexciting. This still ain't a Ferrari, but compared with the 2012, the new styling is a huge step forward. The 2013's hood is more bulbous, while the grille and lower styling feature more chrome accents and a look that's more thought-out and stylized than the 2012's dull rectangular shapes.

In back, the Civic sports borderline false advertising in a rear that has the appearance of more-expensive autos, like the Accord midsize sedan. Its taillights now extend onto the trunk lid, and a chrome bar connects those higher-quality taillights that feature additional depth and quality.

The 2013 Civic improves in every area over the 2012 — except for one pesky gripe that's easily remedied: the wheel covers. Standard steel wheels, not alloy wheels, with plastic wheel covers are the norm for this car class, but the Civic's wheel-cover design is hideous and ruins the progress made by the exterior's other upscale appointments. I'm looking for a set of 2012 wheel covers to replace our 2013's — ones that actually cover the wheels instead of show off the ugly steel.

Upscale Interior
It doesn't take more than a glance to realize the 2013's cabin has much nicer materials. Two easily identifiable differences include chrome trim surrounding the buttons and a soft-touch dash pad above the glove box that has high-quality stitching, like a premium or luxury car. The overall interior design hasn't changed much, and it's the same generous size as 2012.

Closer inspection reveals a huge list of changes we could easily bore you with — just know that it's a substantial improvement in quality and style for very little more money.

The center dashboard materials are darker than before, giving a higher-quality appearance than the previous light-painted plastic. The textures are also more uniform — they were hugely inconsistent in 2012 — and the new consistency makes the interior desirable instead of merely livable.

The center dashboard's buttons show how far Honda went in sprucing up the interior, with redesigned radio, climate-control and configuration buttons. The new panel has ridges and depth instead of flat, plain surfaces. The climate controls are even trapezoidal, a more stylized design replacing the 2012's square buttons.

Higher-quality upper doors have softer-touch materials that are more comfortable for resting arms on long trips. The bump in quality even continues above occupant's heads, as a higher-quality woven headliner replaces 2012's cheap "mouse fur."

The same generous seating comfort and interior room carry over from 2012. The front seat posed no problems for my 6-foot-tall frame, nor did the backseat, with good head and legroom and a flat floor. The trunk remains on the smaller side compared with competitors like the Elantra and Cruze. The LX and HF's rear seat folds in a single piece, while more-expensive EX, EX-L and Si trim levels get a 60/40-split folding rear seat.

Redefining Value
There isn't another compact car on the market with as many significant features for the money as the 2013 Civic. Sure, an LX with an automatic transmission is a $20,000 car by the time the paperwork is signed, but that includes a backup camera, a USB input, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, and Pandora internet radio and text message integration with compatible phones. That's on top of 2012's standard air conditioning, steering-wheel audio controls, power windows and locks, and keyless entry.

The high-tech features are also easy to use, which isn't always the case. Simple prompts are key for pairing phones and music players, and it proved easy to configure my smartphone in the Civic. The integrated text messaging feature actually worked with my Samsung Galaxy S3, even though Honda's website said that phone wasn't compatible with the feature. It's one of the first cars where the feature has actually worked with my phone. The car reads incoming text messages over the stereo and notifies drivers when a text comes through. My phone wasn't compatible with the respond feature, but phones that are can send a default text response, like "I'm driving," back to the sender.

The concept of a higher-content base car with a higher starting price may be new to Honda, but Chevrolet took a similar approach with the Cruze and has seen great sales success. The Cruze may not have a standard backup camera or advanced phone functions like the Honda Civic, but it does offer features the base Civic doesn't have, including automatic headlights and satellite radio. Those convenience features are available only on more-expensive Civic trim levels. Compare all 2013 Civic trims here.

Backup cameras as standard equipment will likely be mandated soon by the government in all cars for safety reasons; official dates and ruling are still pending.

Ride, Handling & Acceleration
One of our previous complaints included the Honda Civic's tendency to lean into corners, which is diminished for 2013. Stiffer front springs and larger anti-roll bars help quell the nasty body roll of the 2012. There's initial roll on the 2013, but the body quickly settles and has composure that makes the handling much more predictable.

The Honda Civic still isn't fun to drive, like the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus or Mazda3, despite new suspension and steering systems, but some improvements were made to noise, vibration and harshness, and they're substantial strides. The 2013's interior exhibits less wind and road noise thanks to a thicker windshield, a stiffer front subframe and additional sound-proofing. A standard carpeted trunk lid finishes the previous bare sheet metal nicely while minimizing unwanted road noise from the rear. The Civic's main engine is still a 140-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder in LX, HF, EX and EX-L trim levels, with a choice of a five-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission in the base model only — all other trim levels use the five-speed automatic. The engine is well-suited to the Civic and provides adequate acceleration. An Econ mode slows engine and transmission response for better gas mileage, but it also makes the car pokier.

EPA gas mileage ratings for the automatic transmission are 28/39/32 mpg city/highway/combined for LX, EX and EX-L models, while the extra-efficient HF version is rated 29/41/33 mpg thanks to aerodynamic enhancements. The manual-transmission LX is rated a lower 28/36/31 mpg. High-performance Si trims can only be had with a 201-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The Si is rated 22/31/25 mpg.

Safety
The 2013 Honda Civic was granted the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest accolade: Top Safety Pick +, where the "+" represents a top score of Good in the new small-overlap frontal crash test, along with top scores in traditional frontal, side, rear and roof-strength tests. The Civic's 2013 redesign included new structural engineering aimed to improve front end collision protection. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn't tested the Civic yet.

Standard safety features include federally mandated frontal airbags, electronic stability control and antilock brakes. There are also front-seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags. The standard backup camera has guideline markers to indicate the vehicle's width, though the lines don't turn with the steering wheel to indicate direction — or pair with backup proximity sensors. See all the Honda Civic's safety features here.

See how child-safety seats fit in the Honda Civic here.

2013 Honda Civic in the Market
There was nothing really wrong with the 2012 Honda Civic, but it was a cookie-cutter, boring sedan that did everything all right but didn't stand out in one particular category, like the fun-to-drive Ford Focus or value-laden Hyundai Elantra.

Now with a full tank of value and style, the 2013 Honda Civic is much better prepared to take on the segment's best with an arsenal of ultra-competitive standard features. Combined with Honda's rock-solid reliability, the 2013 Civic is back on top of its game.

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2013 Civic Video

The Honda Civic has returned from a rather snoozy 2012 rested and ready to excite. Cars.com reviewer Joe Bruzek says Honda's return to the drawing board for 2013 has paid off, most notably on the inside.

Latest 2013 Civic Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(4.0)

Practical and fun

by Thad from Denver, CO on August 8, 2018

This was a great car while I was in college. It was fun to drive, but also fiercely reliable. I would recommend it to anyone who likes to drive a sporty car with a stick but needs a practical every ... Read full review

(5.0)

Reliable Car. Value for money. Zero Maintenance.

by ABP on July 30, 2018

Honda Civic can run smooth for years without any issues if regularly getting the oil changed. Value for money in terms on features and comfort and performance. Provide great mileage consistently. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2013 Honda Civic currently has 0 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2013 Honda Civic LX

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
acceptable
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Overall Evaluation
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Honda

Program Benefits

Carfax vehicle history report

  • Limited Warranty

    7 years / 100,000 miles

    1-year/12,000-mile non-powertrain warranty begins after expiration of original warranty (3 years/36,000 miles) or on date sold as certified (no deductible); 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty begins from the original in-service date (no deductible)
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 80,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 182 point inspection and reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Civic received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker