Quick Spin: 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Honda, Quick Spins

2013 Honda Civic Hybrid

Even after Honda’s Great Emergency Refresh of 2013, it still takes a sharp eye to spot the visual differences between the 2013 Honda Civic and its 2012 counterpart. While annual styling changes used to be commonplace back in the 1950s and ’60s, this has become a much rarer practice in the industry due to the high costs of doing so, and sets the tone for just how important the Civic is in the Honda lineup.

One thing that hasn’t changed for the Civic is the wide selection of models available including the fuel-efficient HF, Natural Gas and Hybrid models. For this Quick Spin, I spent a week with the 2013 Civic Hybrid, which has always been a kind of un-Prius with its more-conventional sedan styling. The Civic’s top-mpg offering now finds itself under fire from newer rivals like the Chevy Cruze (Eco and Diesel) and VW Jetta (TDI and Hybrid). With the growing number of hybrids, diesels and high-fuel-economy gas models car buyers currently have at their disposal, if you’ve been clamoring for more fuel-efficient cars in recent years, now’s the time to be putting your money where your mouth is.

Driving Notes:

  • The only part of the 2013 Civic Hybrid that was left alone, was the one area it could have used a little modernization: Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist system. On the fuel economy front, sandwiching the 27-horsepower motor between the 110-hp 1.5-liter engine and the CVT returns EPA estimates of 44 miles per gallon for city and highway, which is far better than the mild-hybrid eAssist system used by General Motors but not as advanced as other hybrids in this segment. Unlike eAssist, Honda says that the motor can send power directly to the front wheels (but only during deceleration as a way to lessen the load on the engine), but unlike a more advanced hybrid, the Civic can’t accelerate under all-electric power. Honda stepped up its game with a new lithium-ion battery for 2012, but it needs to come up with an equally advanced answer for the rest of the system.
  • The advantage of IMA, though, is a less intrusive hybrid experience. Except for the stop-start system, the only way most drivers will really know this is a hybrid is by how much better it is at the pump. During my week with the car, I was pleasantly surprised at how the Civic never ‘felt’ like a hybrid but returned excellent fuel economy. Based on the in-cluster estimates I averaged just over 40 mpg on the highway, and in the city my numbers were consistently above the official 44-mpg rating.
  • Aside from the powertrain, Honda made numerous small improvements that paid off big time with the styling of the 2013 Civic sedan lineup. The exterior received new fascias, taillights and a modified decklid to give all sedan models a more mature appearance, and the Civic Hybrid probably comes off as the most stylish of the Civic models now with its grinning chrome grille, LED running lights and the clear-lens, light-pipe taillights.
  • Interior updates were equally subtle but make a huge difference in terms of comfort and style, such as the added padding to the door panels for added comfort, the reworked instrument panel with a cleaner, less awkward design and much better HVAC controls. Despite being a big step up from 2012, the 2013 Civic’s interior is still a step behind class leaders (in roominess and styling). All of these interior and exterior changes were most likely already in the product pipeline as a midcycle refresh, so it will be interesting to see how Honda updates this design in another couple years.
  • Starting at $24,360, the Civic Hybrid has about the same premium as most hybrids or diesels in this class, but my fully loaded tester with navigation and leather came out to $27,850. This is still a reasonable price for such a well-equipped car in this market, but for dedicated green-car enthusiasts, it might be a little too close to new plug-in or full-EV models to warrant the price.
  • Considering that a Civic Hybrid buyer could have just as easily bought a Civic Si, I’m not going to harp on the Hybrid too much, but the 110-hp engine and the equally buzz-killing CVT don’t make for an exciting car. Still, going back to the IMA, the true saving grace of this system is that it doesn’t add too much weight. At 2,879 pounds, the Civic Hybrid weighs almost the same as the non-hybrid Civic EX-L. In terms of braking, the weight saving means better performance along with pedal feel that is neither too spongy or frightening.
  • A new feature for 2013 is a lane departure warning system that uses a forward-mounted camera to sense the road lines and flash a bright warning on the upper screen if the car swerves out of its lane. Unfortunately, this camera takes up an unusually vast amount of windshield real estate, which was obvious as I was pulling out into traffic on more than one occasion.
  • When it comes to the idea of small, fuel-efficient cars, I’ve always been in the diesel camp, but I also enjoy taking long road trips. Those with regular city commutes should appreciate Civic Hybrid as much for what it brings to the table (excellent fuel economy) as for what it leaves behind (an overly flashy “I’m a hybrid” design). There is no doubt that this refresh has bought the Civic some time to keep pace with other compact cars, but I think that as much that has changed in this segment in the last few years, Honda isn’t going to have much breathing room in this segment until the next-gen Civic can get here.

2013 Honda Civic Hybrid originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 12:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Honda Civic Tourer to debut at Frankfurt

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Spy Photos, Minivan/Van, Wagon, Europe, Honda

2014 Honda Civic Tourer Spy Photo

Honda will be bringing its new Civic Tourer to next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show, just as we predicted in our spy shots of the new MPV from back in April. The new model, which will arrive in European dealers in 2014, will be built alongside Honda’s Euro-spec Civic hatchback, Jazz (Honda Fit) and CR-V in Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.

Honda first hinted at the Civic Tourer with a concept at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, which is set to do battle with the Toyota Auris and Volkswagen Golf in the European market. The production Civic Tourer will also be shown alongside a refreshed Civic hatchback, yet another NSX Concept variant, a McLaren MP4/4 Formula One car, and Honda’s World Touring Car Championship Civic.

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Honda Civic Tourer to debut at Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 07 Aug 2013 16:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Honda Civic poised to get new Earth Dreams engines

Filed under: Budget, Sedan, Honda

2013 Honda Civic - front three-quarter view with mountains

When Honda executed its emergency refresh of the Civic for 2013, it didn’t do any massive powertrain reworking. But that doesn’t mean new things aren’t already in the works for Honda’s compact. According to Automotive News, Honda has confirmed that it will offer the Civic with a new Earth Dreams powerplant sometime in the future, though details on timing and exactly what sort of engine are unclear as of this writing.

The confirmation comes from Honda’s executive vice president and regional director for North America, Tetsuo Iwamura, who says that the Earth Dreams engine will come when the Civic is re-engineered or redesigned, not during a refresh. There is also no mention of whether these changes will apply to just the standard Civic, or if the Si and Hybrid models will receive some Dreamy new tech, as well.

The entire Earth Dreams group of technologies encompasses more than just naturally aspirated engines with direct injection. A turbo-diesel engine is also part of this suite, as are new continuously variable transmissions and new gasoline-electric hybrid powerplants. Honda launched its 2.4-liter and 3.5-liter Earth Dreams engines in the redesigned 2013 Accord.

“The Civic has to evolve,” Iwamura told Automotive News. “But we have to consider what timing works best.” AN suggests that the Earth Dreams-powered Civic could arrive as early as the 2015 model year.

Honda Civic poised to get new Earth Dreams engines originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Jun 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: 2012 Honda Civic output at half capacity until fall *UPDATE

Filed under: Coupe, Budget, Sedan, Japan, Plants/Manufacturing, Honda

2012 Honda Civic Si

2012 Honda Civic Si – Click above for high-res image gallery

The devastating earthquake in Japan couldn’t have come at a worse time for Honda. The Japanese automaker was just starting to launch its new Civic for 2012, and the compact car is a major part of the company’s portfolio. Any delays or hiccups in the Civic’s launch will surely send shockwaves reverberating through Honda’s balance sheets.

Sadly, supplies of electronics parts and raw materials from Japan are still hampering automobile production for Honda, even in plants outside its home market. That includes the new 2012 Civic, which is assembled in Greensburg, Indiana and Alliston, Ontario.

Speaking to Reuters, Honda spokesman Ed Miller admitted that Civic production will likely be stuck at around 50-percent capacity until the fall of 2011. Industry analysts predict that the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze and Hyundai Elantra will likely fill in any sales void left by a lack of available Civics.

*UPDATE: Honda has confirmed that Civic production will run at 50-percent capacity for the time being, likely until fall. The automaker expects all other models to be back up to normal production levels by August. See the official release after the break.

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2012 Honda Civic output at half capacity until fall *UPDATE originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 26 May 2011 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Honda hopes Civic will inspire you to write a song

Filed under: Etc., Marketing/Advertising, Honda

Sound of Civic logo
Honda is casting the Sounds of Civic social media-based contest as a fun way for you to whip up a little song and possibly win a 2012 Honda Civic of your own. You might accept it at face value, or you may see it as a contrived and cynical attempt at being current and/or relevant. If the ninth-generation Honda Civic excites you into musical rapture, great, submit your song on the Honda Civic Facebook page before June 5th.

Honda has faith in your song-writing abilities. “We know our talented fans will show off their skills and submit some great Civic-inspired tunes,” says Steve Center, American Honda Motor Company’s Vice President of National marketing Operations.

Once the submission window closes, voting begins and runs through July 17th. Eight finalists will be chosen to receive $2,500 in music gear from Sam Ash music stores. The single finalist that receives the most votes will get the car, which could be a handy way to get to Los Angeles to perform as part of the 2011 Honda Civic Tour.

Honda has solicited songs from several artists already, and you can find them on the Honda Civic Facebook page and the Honda YouTube channel. Pointing Twitter at the #soundsofcivic hashtag can also help keep you updated. Check it out, brush up on your scales and arpeggios and have at it with your own composition. Check out the press release after the jump.

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Honda hopes Civic will inspire you to write a song originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2012 Honda Civic recalled already over potential fuel leak

Filed under: Coupe, Sedan, Recalls, Safety, Honda

2012 Honda Civic

2012 Honda Civic – Click above for high-res image gallery

Honda is recalling 1,156 of its recently introduced 2012 Civic sedans and coupes over faulty O-rings that could result in a fuel leak. In the affected cars, a misaligned O-ring that seals a connection in the fuel feed line could result in fuel leaking from the engine.

If any sort of ignition source is present, a fuel leak could obviously result in something quite tragic.

To remedy this problem, Honda dealers will replace the fuel feed line assembly free of charge. The recall is expected to begin before the end of the month; follow the jump for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s official statement.

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2012 Honda Civic recalled already over potential fuel leak originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 10:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New York 2011: Honda Civic Hybrid scores 44 mpg across the board

Filed under: New York Auto Show, Hybrid, Sedan, Honda

2012 Honda Civic Hybrid

2012 Honda Civic Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

It’s not 50 miles per gallon (rest, easy Prius), but the mpg numbers for the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid impress us nonetheless: 44/44/44. That’s city/highway/combined, and it’s a nice jump – especially in the city – from the 40/43/41 numbers sported by the 2011 model.

The New York Auto Show this week has been full of “40 mpg” claims from many automakers, but these have mostly described just one of the three ratings categories (usually highway). To have Honda announce you get an estimated 44 miles to the gallon no matter how you drive deserves a bit of praise. (Golf clap.)

The reason for the fuel economy boost lies, in part, with the upgraded battery pack used in the Honda Integrated Motor Assist system. Instead of the nickel-metal hydride batteries used in previous Civic Hybrids, the ’12 version cruises along with 20-kW worth of li-ion cells. Compared to the NiMH pack, the lithium-ion battery is 5 kW more powerful and also a bit lighter. The gas engine has also been upgraded from 1.3 liters to a 1.5-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder, and the full system offers 110 combined horsepower at 5,500 rpm. There are also some design tweaks on the exterior – nothing too fancy – that you can check out in our gallery below and read all about after the jump.

Gallery: 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid: New York 2011

Live photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

Continue reading New York 2011: Honda Civic Hybrid scores 44 mpg across the board

New York 2011: Honda Civic Hybrid scores 44 mpg across the board originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Apr 2011 17:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New York 2011: Honda brings entire 2012 Civic family to New York

Filed under: New York Auto Show, Coupe, Hybrid, Sedan, Honda

2012 Honda Civic Si

2012 Honda Civic Si – Click above for high-res image gallery

Honda brought the whole family of 2012 Civics to the party at this year’s New York Auto Show. We’ve gotten to feast our eyes on the coupe, sedan, Si, hybrid and natural gas-drinking GX. That’s a lot of new sheetmetal to look at, so we decided to pack them all in one post to make it easy on you.

The 2012 Civic coupe, sedan and GX are all powered by a 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 140 horsepower. In uber-efficient HF guise, the same engines is capable of returning 41 miles per gallon fuel economy on the highway. The standard coupe and sedan are nearly as frugal at 39 mpg on the highway. We’ll have a separate report on the new Civic Hybrid soon, but in the meantime know that it will be rated at 44 mpg combined, an improvement of 4 mpg over last year’s model.

Were it our money on the line, however, we’d trade a few miles per gallon for a bit more driving excitement. The 2012 Honda Civic Si would be our choice, with its new 200-horsepower/170 pound-feet of torque 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Still, this is a compact Honda and, when paired with the six-speed manual gearbox, the Civic Si achieves 31 miles per gallon on the highway.

You can check out all of the new Civics in the galleries below. After that, take a dive into Honda’s official press release after the jump.

Gallery: 2012 Honda Civic Si: New York 2011

Gallery: 2012 Honda Civic Coupe: New York 2011

Gallery: 2012 Honda Civic Sedan: New York 2011

Gallery: 2012 Honda Civic GX: New York 2011

Gallery: 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid: New York 2011

Live photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

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New York 2011: Honda brings entire 2012 Civic family to New York originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Apr 2011 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Honda Civic recalled over fuel tank valve issue

Filed under: Coupe, Sedan, Recalls, Safety, Honda

2011 honda civic

2011 Honda Civic – Click above for high-res image gallery

Honda has released notice of a recall for its 2011 Civic compact. The issue stems from a malignant fuel pump, which may have modules inside that became damaged during production. So far, no accidents or injuries have been reported as a result of the faulty fuel pumps. However, the damaged unit could cause fuel to leak onto the emissions canister in the event of a roll-over crash, potentially turning a bad accident into a fiery tragedy.

This recall comes on the heels of another Honda issue, which involves 2006-2007 Civic Hybrid models. This new voluntary recall affects 18,056 vehicles, and Honda plans to begin notifying owners beginning in mid-April. Peek beyond the jump for the official press verbiage with all the details.

Gallery: 2011 Honda Civic

[Source: Honda]

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2011 Honda Civic recalled over fuel tank valve issue originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Mar 2011 16:19:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Autoblog Podcast #218: 2012 Honda Civic, BMW “i”, Chevy MyLink, and GMC Granite

Filed under: Podcasts, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Dodge, GMC, Honda, Rumormill

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Autoblog Podcast #218 is here, and Chris, Dan, Chris Paukert and Zach return to talk about Chevrolet MyLink, the GMC Granite’s rumored re-greenlighting, the 2012 Honda Civic and BMW’s new “i” sub-brand. Questions and feedback wrap it up, and it’s an hour and thirty-three minutes of fun this week. Thanks for listening, we’ll see you next week!

Autoblog Podcast #218: 2012 Honda Civic, BMW “i”, Chevy MyLink, and GMC Granite

  • Chevrolet MyLink
  • 2012 Civic
  • GMC Granite Confirmed again
  • BMW’s new “i” sub-brand

In the Autoblog Garage:


2011 Ram 1500
2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ RS
2011 Dodge Durango Crew AWD
2011 Audi A6

  • Hosts: Dan Roth, Chris Shunk, Chris Paukert

Runtime: 01:33:00


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Autoblog Podcast #218: 2012 Honda Civic, BMW “i”, Chevy MyLink, and GMC Granite originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Feb 2011 17:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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