The Wall Street Journal’s review of the 2013 Honda Civic EX differed from that of other auto reviewers, as it took a look not only at a much-improved vehicle but also one that took a look at Honda’s business prospects as a result of the redesigned compact.
Like most other reviews, the WSJ briefly touched on the 2011 rethink of the Civic, which “debuted to resounding scorn”, according to writer Dan Neil. Indeed, many reviewers savaged the 2011 and 2012 Civic iterations due to the overall cheap feel, low-quality materials and, in Neil’s words, a lack of “general thoughtfulness of design.” But Honda admitted that 2013 would be the right time for a change, and it looks like Honda has made the 2013 Civic, particularly the Civic EX, into a car that could be called a comeback vehicle of sorts. That’s quite impressive considering Consumer Reports’ damning comments regarding the 2012 Civic, where the publication said that it would not recommend the Civic as a car to purchase.
The usual strengths of the 2013 Honda Civic EX were all mentioned by the WSJ – an upgraded cabin, an easy-to-use and complete infotainment system with Pandora, Bluetooth and several other features, and the much-improved design that could make reviewers and consumers alike forget the debacle of 2011 and 2012. This, as Neil pointed out, was part of a welcome and sooner-than-expected change, as automakers generally don’t revamp an entire model’s exterior design if it’s been out in the market for about a year and a half. But the new Civic may, at the end of the day, be a vehicle that would cause American Honda’s profit margins to decrease. Company officials have estimated an increase of $500 per unit in manufacturing costs as a result of the changes; the 2013 Civic is only $160 more expensive than its predecessor.