Honda debuts "honed" 2013 Civic
November 12, 2012
Here it is, folks – the highly anticipated "emergency refresh" of the decidedly disappointing ninth-generation Honda Civic. You know, the model that made the entire automotive media wear a collective frown. And the car that was dropped from the Consumer Reports 'Recommended' list. Critically speaking at least, it's been a bad year, Civic.
The vast majority of updates for the 2013 model are skin-deep, and Honda says the Civic has been "honed to make the segment's best-selling car even better." Up front, there's a new lower front fascia with a prominent chrome accent bar and a black honeycomb grille, along with new headlamps. The whole schnoz features more sculpted, shapely lines that flow up into the more curvaceous hood. At the back, Honda has redesigned the bumper and diffuser, and the chrome accent up front is mimicked at taillamp level. In fact, those rear lights themselves have been redesigned and now carry over onto the trunk lid. A host of new alloy wheels will also be offered.
Honda has not yet divulged any other details regarding the "safety, feature, comfort, chassis and interior styling enhancements" that will round-out this 2013 Civic, but it's clear the changes are an attempt to whittle the Civic's way back into critics' good graces. We definitely hope that some work has been done to the mechanical components you can't see, as our biggest complaint regarding the ninth-generation model was that it lost the great-to-drive dynamic that has historically been one of our favorite things about the Civic. Interior materials and overall fit-and-finish will hopefully receive a healthy once-over, as well.
Either way, it's impressive that Honda has reacted this quickly, pulling ahead a planned mid-cycle redo after the current generation had just one year on the market. It's an unprecedented showing – we can't recall the last time a mainstream car received such substantial year-over-year changes. What makes it even more unusual is that all of the hand-wringing among pundits doesn't seem to have affected sales – through October, Honda has cleared its decks of 276,196 Civics in the US – a 38.8-percent increase over last year.
Scroll down for Honda's brief press release detailing the styling tweaks to the 2013 Civic. The full smattering of details will hit the Interwebs as part of the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show festivities, with the car officially going on sale on November 29, the same day it gets its auto show reveal. Stay tuned.