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.
Show full PR text
2013 Honda Civic to Debut at Los Angeles Auto Show With More Youthful and Premium Styling

2013 Civic styling honed to make the segment's best-selling car even better

TORRANCE, Calif., Nov., 12, 2012 – Honda today revealed the first look at the much-anticipated 2013 Honda Civic Sedan, in advance of its debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 29. The refined styling of the 2013 Civic Sedan, which goes on sale at Honda dealerships on November 29, will encompass a host of safety, feature, comfort, chassis and interior styling enhancements that will further define the top-selling Civic as the best car in the compact class.

The more upscale and premium styling of the 2013 Civic Sedan's front end includes a new open-mouth lower bumper with a horizontal chrome accent and a sportier, black honeycomb mesh grille, anchored by new integrated fog lights on upper trims. The grille is flanked by new clear-lens corner lights to provide a more premium look. The 2013 Civic's more sculpted front end flows into a new, more deeply faceted hood, complemented by a collection of sharp new wheel designs.

In back, a new rear bumper design and new rear trunk lid are capped by a clean, horizontal chrome trim piece. The all-new design of the jewel-like taillights now carries into the trunk face, providing a more finished and upscale look. The rear bumper features integrated reflector treatments and a new lower diffuser panel finished with a honeycomb mesh vent.

"The 2013 Honda Civic exterior refinements infuse Civic with a more youthful, premium style. Coupling these with additional changes beneath will ensure that Civic maintains its top-ranked status," said Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of product planning for American Honda.

Heading into 2013 with styling and content additions, the Civic's fun-to-drive nature and core attributes of safety, spaciousness and fuel efficiency remain intact. As the compact segment's retail sales leader, the Honda Civic continues as the benchmark for consumers looking for the smart purchase in a very competitive segment.

Full details of the 2013 Honda Civic will be revealed on Nov. 29 at 10:05 a.m. PST at the Los Angeles Auto Show. For photos showing the styling direction of the 2013 Civic, visit

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Subtle, yet it works. I like it much better than the 2012. I really hope they did something with the interior as well.
      Lex Lee
      • 2 Years Ago
      Definitely a wake up call for Honda. They should have done it right the first time. Next car: CR-Z
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lex Lee
        CRZ should never have been a stupid hybrid, heaven forbid Honda put an updated K20 into it, instead of that pathetic hybrid drive train. If i wanted a shitty hybrid i would have gotten a Civic (hybrid), Insight, or Prius. Before I get labeled a **** talker, I am on my 3rd Honda product, I'm just greatly disappointed by their products over the last couple of years.
      • 2 Years Ago
      The front reminds me of the Accord model that just got replaced. Particularly the headlights.
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think this one beats the corolla in styling for sure. Hopefully they added some sound deadening/nicer interior features, that has always been the civic's downfall.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz, another Honda snore mobile. All they did was rip off a Kia. Why buy this POS?
      • 2 Years Ago
      Trolls are saying Honda copied KIA. This is false. I would say the Forte front end is a copy of the 2006 Civic.
        • 2 Years Ago
        The entire Forte was basically a copy of the 2006 Civic.
          • 2 Years Ago
          On the outside the Forte is better looking version of the Civic. Much, much better.
          • 2 Years Ago
          I do agree the forte koupe is better rendition of Civic's Si. But it doesnt change the fact they basically copied Honda for sales, in the end still falling well short of Honda's figures.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I thought this was a KIA article at first...
      Malou H
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am so tired. Of people complaining about how it looks. Its a civic. A civic is a civic and nothing else. Why is everything supposed to slowly turn into a race car. Its a econ metro car. Its a moving box. It was made to be. Mission accomplished. All that stuff you see in movies your supposed to do that to it. It doesn't come that way. Spoiler: it wont do so good in the slalom test. ANY amount of "sporty" is a bonus. Its not expected deserved or guaranteed. I don't want to hear about the competition being the reason. Its just you trying to change a thought already thought by a company for 30 (or so) years. A lot of people think Honda needs to change to compete. I do too. They should make a sports car a sport scar and focus on making this more affordable. With 3 new super cheap cars coming that can hold 5 people and are slightly smaller. Id just work on that.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Still ugly, still boring, Still better cars on the market for the same money. So much for the "emergency refresh"
        • 2 Years Ago
        • 2 Years Ago
        Because compact cars are such arousing cars to look at. The only compacts I consider good looking are the Cooper (which is way out of the Civic's class, as far as price goes), Golf (which is a hatchback, so I'm not sure if that's a fair comparison) and the Focus hatch (again, hatchback.) But even then, none of them are very attractive IMO.
      • 2 Years Ago
        • 2 Years Ago
        Okay, don't buy it. I would always buy an Honda in comparison to any of the European or american competition, or even from the corean brands... That said, i respect your opinion. But it's your opinion. Probably, thousands of people - including myself - definitely disagree with it, as I own an Euro Civic FK2.
          • 2 Years Ago
          I would buy a European spec. Civic in a heartbeat, the North American version is just appallingly awful and unimaginative. While you guys got an early 2000's model that looked like a space ship, we got a boring 4-door sedan that was about as imaginative as a box of corn flakes. You cannot compare the two cars, really.
      • 2 Years Ago
      So, it's a baby Optima now?
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