By Cars.com EditorsApril 24, 2013
About the 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.
(upbeat music) Hi, this is Joe Bruzek from cars.com. This is the 2013 Honda Civic. Now, this is the Civic that should've came out in 2012 when the Civic was all new.
The 2012 wasn't a bad car it was just kind of boring and didn't have a real edge in value like the Civics had previously. Honda went back to the drawing board and significantly changed the car inside and out, and underneath. So, let's take a look at what they changed and if they pulled it off. (upbeat music) Honda really outdid itself on the inside where there are significant standard features in the base model. Now, with destination you're looking about the high $18,000 range for an LX, which is now the base trim level. So, for $160 more than last year you get a backup camera, Bluetooth, Bluetooth streaming audio, and numerous advanced smartphone integrations. Now, if your phone's compatible that is, like Pandora, streaming internet radio and text message features where a text message will read out loud through the car stereo. Like I said, your phone has to be compatible. (upbeat music) Even though these are higher end features in a compact car as standard equipment, they're not done (indistinct). They're executed very nicely, the backup camera has a very high quality of display but it doesn't have backup sensors or guidance lines that change with the steering wheel. Now, the rest of the high tech features like the smartphone integration with Pandora and the text messaging, those also work very well. And it's easy to sync up your phone to do that and not a lot of cars make it as easy as the Honda. <v Automated Voice>Cars.com reviews the 2013 Honda Civic. Along with the new features there are significant changes in how the interior looks. There's new higher quality materials and an overall more cohesive look than before. Now, they've really focused attention on the center stack area. This is all new, every button is new, it's more stylized and of higher quality. The Civic's safety has also been increased with new front sub-frame that better protects in front-end collisions, and it's paid off because the 2013 Civic earns the insurances too for highway safety's most prestigious safety award, and that's their top safety pick plus, which includes the small front overlap test. Which is proving very difficult for a lot of cars to pass. (upbeat music) Honda did a great job classing up the front and rear styling, you can see more about what's changed in our 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show video. But there's one area that just doesn't quite match the rest of the styling, and that's the wheel cover on the base LX. It doesn't do a good job of hiding the ugly steel wheel behind it. Now, all the other trim levels get alloy wheels, but this is an easy change. When it was redesigned in 2012 the Civic lost a lot of its fun-to-drive character. Now, Honda aim to put that back into the Civic for 2013 with an all new suspension. And while this one isn't quite as fun to drive or as tossable as the Mazda 3 or Ford Focus, or Dodge Dart, it is much better controlled than a 2012. Whereas the 2012 would lean really badly in corners, the 2013 has an initial lean and then it settles really quickly, and it's much more composed and much more fun to drive than the 2012. The 2013 is much quieter than the 2012 on the highway, as far as wind and road noise, and that's on purpose. Honda added thicker glass upfront and numerous sound absorption materials around the cabin and in the back, to quiet the highway wind noise. And it works, it's a much quieter experience and more pleasant to drive at 60, 70 miles an hour. (upbeat music) The 2013 Civic is the same great big compact car on the inside, and especially in the back with its flat floor with no hump for exhaust. These dimensions are unchanged from 2012. Now fully loaded with value and style, the 2013 Civic is back on top of its game ready to take on the best in the segment. (car engine rumbling) (tires screeching) (car engine rumbling)