Honda dealerships were told that the Civic compact will get a major mid-cycle change this fall, according to one of its high-ranking officials. It was only 18 months ago that this model was launched. Honda is making this move in order to improve the Civic in time for the 2013 model year.
The Wall Street Journal had criticized the Civic’s interior that now looks cheaper as well as its other downgrades in content. The model is also no longer included in Consumer Reports’ recommended list.
John Mendel, American Honda Motor Co.’s executive vice president, said that the company had initially scheduled a midcycle freshening for the Civic in 2013. But Honda executives recently said that a change will arrive by the end of this year. This would already be an achievement in itself since majority of automakers would do a mid-cycle change only three years into a five-year cycle.
Typically, midcycle changes consist of minor changes to the front and rear fascias as well as some minor interior updates. According to a dealer source, the revisions to the 2013 model year version would be more significant than that. With this latest move, Honda confirms that the significantly revised Civic will arrive at about the same time as a redesigned Accord.
Even with the bad reviews and inventory shortages that came as the result of the Japan earthquake in March and the flooding in Thailand, the Civic continues to be one of the contenders for the title of top-selling compact car. Honda sold 221,235 Civics in 2011, much lower than its usual 300,000-plus figure. Last January, Honda sold 21,883 Civic units, which earns it the recognition as the leader in the segment.
Beneath the 2012 Honda Civic’s aerodynamic skin is the carmaker’s commitment to its foundations of safety, style, comfort, fun-to-drive performance, durability, quality, refinement, and convenience. What you get is a car that isn’t only a smart choice when new, but also when you talk of long-term ownership.
The new Honda Civic has advanced safety systems that include the Advanced Compatibility Engineering or ACE body structure, which is exclusive to Honda. It is used for vehicle-to-vehicle crash compatibility and frontal collision energy management. It also features many other standard safety equipment, including dual-stage, multiple-threshold airbags for driver and front passenger, two-row side curtain airbags, side airbags for driver and front passenger, Vehicle Stability Assist, anti-lock braking system with Brake Assist, and Motion-Adaptive EPS or Electric Power Steering, which is a system that helps you steer towards the ideal direction in order to mitigate understeer or oversteer situations.
According to internal crash test information, the new Civic should achieve excellent marks in the federal government's NHTSA or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration New Car Assessment Program, as well as earn the IIHS or Independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety designation as "Top Safety Pick."
Additionally, every Civic model was designed to give you a fun driving experience, with its MacPherson strut front suspension, its front/rear stabilizer bars, and its multi-link rear suspension. The Motion-Adaptive EPS also improves steering response at lower speeds and gives you outstanding feel at higher speeds. Moreover, with the EPS, the engine experiences no parasitic power loss, which is common with any conventional hydraulically boosted steering system. The EPS benefits both fuel economy and power output.
The new Honda Civic also has standard 15-inch diameter wheels and all-season tires, with the Civic EX and the Civic EX-L models having 16-inch wheels, and the Civic Si models having 17-inch wheels (with an option for performance-oriented summer tires). These give you a satisfying combination of all-weather grip and riding comfort. The Civic Si Coupe and the Civic Si Sedan further expand this fun driving experience with a new, larger displacement engine that delivers 201 horsepower and a specially tuned suspension.