It’s no secret Honda was rushing an update to its maligned Civic to market, but the result was kept under tight wraps – until now. Our spy photographer recently caught a 2013 Civic sedan out in the wild with precious little camouflage.
Given that Honda’s updates come a year after the ninth-generation Civic launched in our marketplace, it’s not surprising to discover much of the car’s exterior – notably its greenhouse -- is carried over. The front clip is new, and bears a close resemblance to the company’s new 2013 Accord – the front fenders are a little more rounded, the hood bulge a little more pronounced, and headlamp assemblies – including projector lamp units as shown here – no longer blend seamlessly into the grille aperture. The bumper fascia is also new, as is the scalloped lower air dam.
Similar revisions grace the 2013 Civic’s tail. New tail lamps echo those of the Accord, stretching into the decklid, but its arrangement – brake lamps on top, turn signals on the bottom – is the inverse of the Accord. A new bumper fascia attempts to add some curvaceous flair beneath the trunk lid, but its corners are rather slab-sided for aerodynamic reasons. We wouldn’t be surprised if the white tape at the lower edge of the bumper obscures red reflectors – if so, it’s yet another cue cribbed from the new Accord.
Much of the criticism surrounding the 2012 Civic was aimed squarely at its interior – or, more importantly, its lackluster trim materials. These photos provide little evidence of the 2013 Civic’s interior makeover, though one image does show the car will continue to utilize its two-tier gauge cluster arrangement. Sources close to the program tell us there’s been a concentrated push within Honda to spruce up the look and feel of the cabin.
Although Honda’s revamping its global powertrain strategy, we wouldn’t be surprised if the 2013 Civic initially does without any major mechanical revisions. There is a chance direct fuel injection could trickle into the lineup much like it did on the 2013 Accord, but perhaps at a later date. The same goes for a revamped version of the one-motor IMA hybrid system, which we hear will ultimately wind up in the Insight and Civic Hybrid.
During a recent interview, Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of American Honda, imparted to us his desire for the Civic to become a benchmark of the crowded compact segment once again.
“We really wish to be the best in that segment; we really wish to be the benchmark in that segment again," Iwamura said. "This is a lesson we’ve learned – we have to be the best.”
Will the updated 2013 Civic live up to Iwamura’s lofty goals? We’ll find out shortly, as the car is expected to debut later this year at the 2012 Los Angeles auto show.