2013 Honda Civic Touring – Bestselling sedan gets better

The new 2013 Honda Civic has a fresh look and impresses even more than ever. From the outside the changes are small, but add some edginess to this best-selling sedan. For example there is a cleaner more aerodynamic look and a lower situated open bumper design that gives the Civic a more sporty look. The headlight design looks more elaborate and the newly designed rear bumper fascia also features an all-new tail light design that is nicely integrated into the trunk lid. Nice touches include the chrome trim under the grille, inside the lower air dam intake and on the rear fascia, Opt for the higher spec Civics and buyers gain integrated fog lights a lower chrome garnish trim, integrated lower valance with reflectors and 16-inch or 17-inch wheels.

The interior is also refined with higher grade materials and seat fabric designs, a new instrument panel and centre console, new controls knobs for AC and audio systems, leather trimmed doors and nice chrome accents on vents and cup holders on higher levels models. Also new are optional black cloth and leather seats for Civic EX and EX-L trim lines.

New equipment includes Rearview camera (EX and above trim lines), multi-angle view on navigation screen for those with navigation, heated front seats (LX and above) and Auto climate control (EX and above). On the safety front – All Civics will come equipped with a sensor allowing deployment of side curtain airbags in the event of a rollover

Engine wise, the 2013 carries on with the tried and proven 1.8-litre inline-4 cylinder unitproducing 140 horsepower at 6500 rpm with 128 lb-.ft of torque at 4300 rpm. It is no barnstormer- you will have to look at the more performance orientated Civic SI model if you want more power, but the four cylinder motor is economical and smooth in operation. As the Civic is a relatively lightweight 2855 pounds there is not a need for a larger and thirstier 2 liter or 2.5 liter engine.

The transmission is via a 5-speed automatic ormanual gearbox driving the front wheels.

A key benefit of the four cylinder unit is the Honda claimed fuel economy is around 7.1 L/100 km in the city and 5.0 L/100 km on the highway which is fairly good.

Other upgrades include reduced cabin noise, stiffer Spring rates and a larger front stabilizer bar diameter up for increased roll stiffness. Also added are suspension improvements to tighten up responsiveness and reduce NVH. The steering is alos enhanced for more feel and responsiveness.

The 2013 Civic sedan starts at a very reasonable $15,440 for a base DX. We had the high spec Touring model, that’s comes fully-loaded with leather seats, very classy looking black enhanced 17 inch alloy wheels and a host of creature and conveniences comforts. The 2013 Honda Civic Touring hasa base price of $24,840 Freight: $1,455, A/C tax: $100 Price as tested: $26,395.

Step intothe Civic and you can see a lot of care and attention details have been visited by the designers and engineers. The interior of the Civic has been updated with higher quality materials, but is still mostly hard plastic although there is more soft-touch plastic trim panels in front of passenger and across the tops of the door panels. Large windows all around mean the cabin feels spacious and airy.The seat are excellent with lots of lumbar, side bolstering and thigh support. In our Touring edition test car, the seats are finished in rich black leather with contrasting stitching. Both front seats are heated and the driver’s side is power adjustable. (the passenger side is not) and quite comfortable with decent amounts of bolstering.

The small steering wheel falls easily to the hand and is manually adjustable with buttons for cruise control, the media system, phone functions and the driver information screen.

The center console features a touch screen that displays and controls function such as media, phone and navigation systems and also doubles up for the back-up camera display. The controls for the automatic climate control system and other systems are executed very well, being simple and intuitive to use. Speaking of the that camera, by the way, is nice and clear and offers multiple view options.

On board storage is composed of a two cupholders, as small glove box and a handy cubby hole in the center stack with a lid and an open tray at the front of the center console with a handy auxiliary plug and a 12V plug. There are two cupholders up front and a tilt/slide sunroof. In a small bin under the armrest with the USB and another 12V plug. Nice job Honda!

Moving to the rear cabin, the rear seats are also very comfortable withenough legroom and acceptable headroom. Each seats comes with its own headrest and seatbelt. The middle seat folds down to become an armrest with two cupholders. For buyers with kids there are dual sets of LATCH connectors for child seats.The trunk is adequate at 353 litres with a nice low load floor. For further versatility, the rear seats fold down 60/40.Note thetrunk opens only via the key fob. There’s no release button on the trunk lid itself and some people do not like that. Although it is a good security feature I guess.

On the road, the Civic Touring displays pleasant driving manners. This is not a sports car like accelerating vehicle off the line, but provides acceptable driving dynamics for everyday use. There is an econ driving mode – that does increase fuel economy at the expense of performance. The automatic transmission works well and does its jobs smoothly and unobtrusively

The ride is comfortable and the Civic has decent enough handling with just a trace of body roll around hard cornering, but nothing to worry about. You can monitor fuel economy via eco driving bars next to the speedometer– they glow green when you’re driving economically, and move to blue if you’re being slightly inefficient. There is also an instant fuel economy read-out. The brakes seem strong and progressive and safety in general is a high pint in the Civic.

Low points are few, but I must I would say the Civic is tad noisier at higher speeds that it could be.

To sum up, the Civic delivers what it always has, namely quality and reliability and ease of driving. It won’tset theworld on firein the performance stakes or looks as vampy as some of its competitors. However Civic buyers historically look for smartly look for things such as the reliability, fuel economy and strong resale value as core values. Meanwhile itdoes not hurt that the Honda Civic starts at a very attractive price point and builds on that better than its competitors.

For example our fully loaded Touring model has everything you could want in a Civic. Loaded as it is here, it is a relative bargain for what you get, for a few k less than $30,000.
The Civic still delivers the goods and is highly recommended.Auto review by Veeno Dewan.

2013 Honda Civic base priced from $15,440.

Civic Touring model as tested, $24,840 plus Freight: $1,455, A/C tax: $100 Price as tested: $26,395