February 22, 2013
Destination: Portland, Oregon
Atractions en route:
Review and photos by Brendan McAleer
2013 Honda Civic
If you’ve any doubt about what Canada’s favourite car is, just take a look around you. It’s a hair past seven PM on a Wednesday night and as the last dregs of Vancouver’s rush-hour ebb back into suburbia, we find ourselves unexpectedly in a convoy. No fewer than six Honda Civics of varying years, colours and trim levels surround my 2013 tester – a top-level Touring sedan.
With 64,962 new owners on the road for 2012, the Civic marks fifteen years of being top of the list for car sales; this is a very important car. As you’ve likely read in any recent review of the refreshed 2013 model, it’s also a bit of a reset for the big H. A complacent Honda seemed to coast into 2011 with a mildly updated and somewhat decontented model – one that promptly received a critical drubbing.
Competition in the compact class is cutthroat these days. Like a high school honours student getting their first big fat “F” in university-level calculus, Honda found itself surrounded by keenly aggressive competitors and had to put a little more effort in.
2013 Honda Civic Touring. Click image to enlarge
I picked up my tester at the beginning of the week, and initial impressions were slow in coming. Curbside, the Touring’s new, more aggressive front fascia and machined-face alloys add back some of the edge that was dialled out of the 2012, and the interior is certainly a nicer place to be. Even so, short commuting isn’t really showing much in the way of dynamic improvements, though Honda notes several changes to the suspension.
To find out if Honda’s update has really put the Civic back in its place as star pupil, we need a little better test. Time to load up and head out on the highway to Portland, where they say the dream of the ‘90s is still alive.