2013 Honda Civic. Click image to enlarge
|Manufacturer’s web site
Originally published November 29, 2012
Review and photos by Mike Schlee
2013 Honda Civic
Richmond Hill, ON – When Honda redesigned the Civic for 2012 it was not a home run. Their fans did not go wild and the automotive press was not impressed. Questions began to be raised: “Has Honda lost their way?”; “Can the Civic hold on to the title of bestselling car in Canada for a 15th straight year?”, “What will the top selling car be in 2012?” Well, the answer to that last question is still the Civic. In fact, the Civic currently has the largest sales lead heading into November that it has had in the past eight years. Suffice to say the Civic will remain #1 for a 15th consecutive year and reports of its demise were premature to say the least.
But Honda is not resting on its laurels. During the press presentation for the 2013 Civic, Honda stated they listened to dealers, customers, and reviewers. They recognized that improvements were needed for the Honda Civic and so they did just that: improve it—all within a single model year, too, almost unheard of. Basically, Honda is owning up to a lackluster 2012 Civic design and good on Honda for fixing things immediately. Honda isn’t dumb. They know that the Canadian-built Civic means big business for them. In its 40-year history, 3.6 million Civics have been built in Canada and 1.7 million have been sold in our country alone. So to ensure continued success and to continue ruling the sales charts in Canada for at least 16 or 17 years, Honda went back to the drawing board.
First up was the exterior. After the incredibly edgy 2006 Civic redesign, the 2012 effort felt lackluster. The overall look of the Civic seemed more dated than the outgoing model and the blocky slab-sided front and rear bumpers looked especially out of place. For 2013 the Civic addresses all these issues with what Honda calls a new open-mouth front bumper design. In Touring trim this includes integrated fog lights that are accented by a lower grille with a chrome accent. Honda claims the front fascia takes cues from 2013 Accord and I can definitely see it.
Out back, the redesign isn’t quite as successful as an otherwise tastefully applied styling exercise is ruined by a chrome strip that connects the two taillights along the lower trunk lid. It all seems too busy to me, which is a shame as the new taillights, which look like inverted Toyota Camry taillights, are a huge improvement over the old lamps. The integrated reflectors in the bottom of the rear bumper help offset the slab-like appearance of the old bumper as well.