2013 Civic receives substantial exterior and interior styling changes and improved safety credentials
30 November 2012

The new, 2013 model Honda Civic, shown at the LA motor show today, probably counts as one of the quickest major facelifts in the history of the auto industry. The then-new 2012 Civic lasted just 12 months before US press criticism inspired Honda to redesign the bonnet, grille, bumper, rear bumper, boot lid and rear light clusters.

Inside the Civic also gets a re-designed dashboard, closer in style to that used in the European Civic, with upgraded plastics. Honda also threw extra equipment at the Civic, including forward collision detection, a touchscreen display and a rear-view camera.  

Bizarrely, the 2012 Civic is said to be the best selling compact car in the US so far this year, so Honda’s huge efforts seem to have been pleasing the press more than the public. Although the company admits that the rather spartan 2012 model was engineered during the financial crisis and aimed at what was expected to be a price sensitive market. 

Honda has also upgraded the Civic’s frontal crash structure with the something called ACE (Advanced Compatibility Engineering). This move is intended to preserve the Civic’s safety ratings in the face of new US crash tests which use a smaller area of overlap in offset crash tests. Rather than half of the car’s nose absorbing the impact, the test now uses a smaller area of the car’s nose, concentrating the crash loads onto a smaller area. 

Our Verdict

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is an impressive achievement and a worthy rival to the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, but it isn't quite up to class-leading standards

Join the debate


30 November 2012

So the new Civic is the best selling compact in the States this year, and yet Honda instigates a major facelift simply because the press doesn't like it?

I don't get it, but given the lead times involved in bringing these changes to market, I expect these changes were signed off even before the 2012 model was launched as part of a planned upgrade. 

One wonders what's in store for the European model which I suspect isn't selling too well. Maybe it's over here that a facelift is most badly needed? 

30 November 2012

That'll teach them for trying to pass off a face lift as a major revamp.


Hydrogen cars just went POP

30 November 2012

Least the US gets proper rear suspension, instead of the antiquated torsion beam we get

30 November 2012

What a shame that Honda have totally lost their mojo. Hideous cars with less than groundbreaking tech. This isn't the Honda we used to know and love.

30 November 2012

Honda has a lot of catching up to do to get anywhere near the top of the pile. Legendary reliability and some resilient brand following aside Korean products beat most Japanese cars and frankly the rest of the competition as well.


Hybrid is the way forwar!

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    It's got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again