2013 Honda Civic - front three-quarter view

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.
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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 www.hondanews.com.