2013 Honda Civic EX-L
The 2013 Honda Civic EX-L follows up on the previous year’s version that took honors for top selling compact car in 2012. As in previous years, the industry looks to the Honda Civic as the leader in the compact car sector. The 2013 Civic EX-L has some significant improvements over last year’s model with a racier design, excellent fuel economy and attractive pricing. The 2012 Civic won Kelley Blue Book’s “Best Family Cars of 2012″ award along with KBB’s “10 Best Green Cars.” The car was also an IIHS “Top Safety Pick” for 2012.
Civic Review Contents
The 2013 Honda Civic EX-L looks sportier than last year’s version with new front and rear end. The new vehicle has stiffer body structure and a tweaked suspension for improved handling. The shock absorbers have higher tension and the brake rotors are larger.
Honda added many new standard features for the Civic with only a modest rise in price. The interior materials show a marked upgrade over 2012. The dash is attractive and the controls are all where one would expect them.
The 2013 EX-L sells for an MSRP of $22,265 and it is well worth every penny.
A 1.8-liter, V4 SOHC i-VTEC engine provides the 2013 Honda Civic EX-L with 140 horsepower @ 6500 rpm and 127 lb-ft of torque @ 4300 rpm. The 16-valve motor utilizes multi-point fuel injection, drive-by-wire throttle and five-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel economy is excellent with 2013 EPA ratings of 28 mpg/city, 36 mpg/highway and 31 mpg/combined. The vehicle boosts a Partial Zero-Emission Vehicle (PZEV) from the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
The drive-by-wire throttle system improves responsiveness by electronically linking the throttle pedal to the intake manifold throttle valve.
Like previous Civics, the 2013 model is a marvel when it comes to handling including steering and braking. The front-wheel drive vehicle utilizes power-assisted, motion-adaptive rack-and-pinion with a 14.89 ratio. The curb-to-curb turning diameter is 35.4 feet.
The power-assisted brakes are firm and provide excellent control of the vehicle.
In terms of acceleration, the four-cylinder engine certainly has its limitations but those that want something sportier can choose the Si trim. While the vehicle has limited overall power, it is very responsive to the throttle thanks to the drive-by-wire system.
Honda made excellent improvements that provide a great ride for a compact car. The sedan does a good job of absorbing road shocks with firmer suspension and stronger roll bars. The overall body structure underwent changes to improve rigidity.
The ride is relatively quiet and lacks the interior noise of the 2012 model.
The interior of the 2013 Honda Civic EX-L sees the addition of improved materials and overall layout. The 2012 model got many complaints over the strange dashboard and general unappealing design.
In 2013, the instrumentation is actually quite impressive showing that company is highly responsive to customer feedback. The controls all have convenient and intuitive placement and the cabin is both comfortable and sophisticated. The location of the speedometer allows the driver to check velocity easily with minimal distraction from the road.
The driver has a height-adjusting seat with leather-wrapped tilt and telescoping steering wheel. The illuminated steering wheel has mounted cruise, i-MID and phone controls. The EX-L has front heated seats, heated power side mirrors and automatic climate control.
Honda’s Satellite-Linked Navigation System uses voice recognition controls and provides FM Traffic data. The system ties in with the XM Satellite Radio that includes a 90-day free trial. Drivers will like the multi-angle rearview camera that includes guidelines for parking and rear driving. The i-MID uses a five-inch LCD customizable viewing screen.
Other standard entertainment and convenience features for the EX-L include Bluetooth phone connectivity and streaming audio, Pandora Internet Radio, USB Audio Interface, MP3 player, text messaging function for i-MID and Bluetooth, and six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system.
The 2013 Civic EX-L has comfortable front and rear seats with acceptable headroom for a compact car. The rear seats, though, have somewhat limited legroom.
Cargo space is about average but there is a lot of room for small item storage.
The 2013 Honda Civic is one of only two compact vehicles that scored an overall grade of “Good” in crash testing by the International Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). While the Civic is an IIHS “Top Safety Pick” for 2013, other competitors did not fare so well and Toyota’s vaunted Camry even scored “Poor” in IIHS tests.
Vehicles that scored “Acceptable” included the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord coupe and Nissan Maxima. The Hyundai Sonata and Volkswagen Jetta sedan received a “Marginal” grade.
In crash tests by the NHTSA, the 2013 Honda Civic four-door FWD scored four out of five stars in rollover tests. The vehicle did not undergo frontal or side crash tests. The EX-L provides dual-stage, multi-threshold front airbags and SmartVent front side airbags. Side curtain airbags utilize a rollover sensor to help prevent head and neck injuries.
Front belts use automatic tensioning system that restrain driver and passenger across the chest and lap. For children, the car includes childproof door locks, and lower anchors (second row outboard) and tethers (second row all).
Electronic systems provide increased stability, traction and braking. The Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system with Traction Control compensates for driver steering errors to keep the car on the road.
A security system features remote entry and trunk opening along with an immobilizer for the direct ignition system.
The 2013 Honda Civic EX-L is an excellent pick for consumers who want a top-of-the-line compact car at an affordable price. The new model model has significant improvements over last year’s version without much increase in cost for customers.
Compared to the basic LX and EX trims, the EX-L offers features like leather steering wheel wrapping and interior trim, fog lights, auto-on/off halogen headlights, heated front seats and satellite navigation system.
Fuel efficiency is first rate and the vehicle handles superbly like previous Civic versions.