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.