2013 Honda Civic EX sedan

March 15, 2013

Bottom line: The new Honda Civic EX sedan belongs on the list of anyone looking for an exceptionally reliable, safe, fuel-efficient, high-quality compact family car. For the particularly price-conscious, a base LX model is available starting at $18,165.

Ride acceleration and handling: Good marks on all three. But keep in mind that this is a small front-wheel-drive car. It is best to leave it parked in case of heavy winds, rain or snow.

Head-turning quotient: It is cute, sporty, certainly more appealing inside and out than its 2010 and 2011 predecessors. You can pretend that it is something other than what it is.

Body style/layout: The 2013 Honda Civic sedan is a front-engine, front-wheel-drive compact economy car. It is available in three trim levels — base LX, mid-level EX and top-grade EX-L. The Civic also is available as a coupe, gasoline-electric hybrid, compressed-natural-gas model and gasoline-powered Si performance version.

Engine/transmission: The car comes with a standard 1.8-liter, 16-valve in-line four-cylinder gasoline engine with variable valve timing (140 horsepower, 128 pound-feet of torque) mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

Capacities: There are seats for five people. Cargo capacity is 12.5 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 13.2 gallons of gasoline (regular grade is fine).

Mileage: I easily averaged 37 miles per gallon in highway driving.

Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front, solid rear), four-wheel anti-lock brake protection, emergency braking assistance, electronic brake-force distribution, electronic stability and traction control, and side and head air bags.

Prices: The 2013 Honda Civic sedan starts at $18,165 for the LX model and $20,815 for the tested EX model. Dealer’s invoice price on the Civic EX sedan is $19,346. Price as tested is $21,605, including a $790 destination charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $20,136.

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