What We Miss in Our 2013 Honda Civic LX


Cars.com's editorial staff is just getting our feet wet with the newly purchased 2013 Honda Civic LX that joined our long-term test fleet in late February. The Civic is an undeniable powerhouse of standard features for the money with exclusive technology in base LX models that some compacts don't include even on their highest trim level.

Considering the new gadgets and toys inside the Civic for 2013, we polled our team to ask if a feature that eluded the Civic LX's standard feature sheet was sorely missed.

And to be fair, we asked what their favorite Civic feature was after turning the odometer over 1,400 miles.

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"So far my only gripe with the Civic is the lack of automatic headlights. I didn't realize how much I rely on automatic headlights on my own Subaru Outback until I got into the Civic," writes Cars.com Senior Editor David Thomas.

Some editors have caught themselves leaving the driveway without the headlights on because automatic headlights are a common feature on most of the cars we own and test. Surprisingly, it's not a popular standard feature in the compact class with the Chevrolet Cruze including it standard, but not many others without upgrading trim levels or adding a feature package. 


Cars.com editor Joe Bruzek agrees, "No other compact car combines every standard feature the Civic has along with automatic headlights, but I'd give up the Civic's standard Pandora streaming radio capability in a heartbeat for automatic headlights."

We can also chalk up a sliding sun visor to the little-things-that-count list missing from the Civic. It's a minor inconvenience, but hopping from a car that doesn't have them to a car that does is like making the jump from a standard definition television to high definition — there's no going back. 

"I wish it had a sliding sun visor. I find those super useful on long trips. It seems like an easy/cheap thing to add, and lots of automakers are doing it. Honda should get on board,” says Cars.com News Editor Jennifer Geiger.

Passengers complained about the lack of lights for the vanity mirrors too, but again that isn't a feature routinely found standard in this segment. The wheel covers also drew attention from some who wished it had less tacky 15-inch covers. The base LX is the only model without alloy wheels, and the standard five-spoke wheel covers did little to hide the unsightly steel. 

The positives far outweigh the negatives when it comes to discussing standard equipment on the 2013 Civic though. Value eluded the all-new 2012 Civic when it was introduced, and Honda took huge steps to address that complaint for 2013 by cramming the proverbial 10 pounds of stuff into a 5-pound bag, "stuff" being standard features. A backup camera is one of the features most loved by our staff that's no-cost standard equipment on the base LX model we purchased.

Geiger remarks, "It's small but still useful for parking in tight city spots," while Cars.com Senior Editor Jennifer Newman says, "It's unexpected at this price point and a welcome addition.”
Cars.com editor Kelsey Mays continues the acclaim: "When some competitors don't even offer a camera, it's nice to see Honda include it standard."

A backup camera isn't the only technology added for 2013. A suite of smartphone integrations comes standard, including Bluetooth, Bluetooth streaming audio, USB input for music, Pandora internet radio and text message reading functions. Just because the features are standard on the base model doesn't mean they work poorly.

"By far my favorite standard feature is the base stereo. Sure it has just four speakers but it has perfect iPod integration, USB, Bluetooth streaming, steering wheel controls and that bright display high in the dash," says Thomas. "I've been driving all kinds of luxury cars lately and none had a display that was this vibrant, showed album artwork so large and worked as intuitively."

The flawless execution isn't limited to an iPod. Well, for music an iPod is still your best USB choice in the Civic but one editor's Samsung Galaxy S3 worked with the standard text message reader:

Bruzek writes:"Like the entire smartphone integration, the Civic's text message reader is an up-level feature done very well in a base car. The seamless execution is rare in cars three times the Civic's price and unheard of in sub-$20,000 cars I've tested."

We Bought a 2013 Honda Civic, And It Wasn't Easy
Cars.com's 2013 Honda Civic Photo Gallery
2013 Honda Civic Review


Anonymous Coward

The backlit gauges that are becoming standard on most vehicles also often cause people to incorrectly believe that their headlights are on.


^Worse is the fact that the Civic has standard Daytime Running Lights, so unless people notice the slightly dimmer headlights, they assume everything is automatic. Terrible design, and surprisingly has been a problem since the 2006 model.


Daytime Running Lights are becoming an issue. I see so many new cars driving around at night with no tail lights on because their dash and many times their headlights are illuminated. I much prefer being forced to manually turn my headlights on, it's not that difficult.

I really think that the Honda Civic already lost its magic, if you compare with one of its competitors, the Hyundai Elantra for example, there isn't the Civic can do in terms of design and style. The new si coupe has nothing new, I preferred the old one.


I miss the lack of a standard 60/40 split in the rear on the base LX, which had been included on previous generations. You have to upgrade to an EX to get that, now.


I miss the key-based windows roll down on my new Civic LX. My last two cars were Accords and that feature was quite useful for FL summers.


Automatic headlight is standard on the EX-L while the alloy wheels are standard on EX and above.
For those who are complaining about the dash illumination, maybe you could dim the setting a bit when you have your headlights on. At night, the day time setting will be blinding your eyes if you don't turn on the headlights.
I just find it a habit of mine to turn on the lights manually when it is needed by common sense and absolutely hated automatic headlights...
Driven a car with one and when the sensor is getting shadowed by the car itself, the lights come on and the gauges are darken to the point where my sunglasses makes it impossible to read them.

I have a new Civic, and I love everything about it. It is such a reliable car!


I don't own one but I miss not seeing a cheap economy car. Yes I'm looking at you 2005-2011 Civic that looked so much better and more expensive than this current one.


Have the 2013 LX version and no complaints here. I upgraded the rims/tires to 16" due to the cheap look of the stock hubcaps. Everything about the car is great. MPG, stereo, imid,styling. Was going for Accord but wanted payments a little less. Well worth the purchase!


I have had the car for two months and whiles its well put together its such a bore to drive.


Here are some things I wish my 2013 Civic LX had....

1. A locking glove box
2. Rear folding armrest with cup holder
3. Lumbar control

Overall, it is an excellent car with lots of standard features that even my more expensive cars do not have.


Just bought an LX last week. I am very impressed with all the features they crammed into the base model, and extremely satisfied with my purchase. The only thing I will change are the crappy wheels.


I'm thinking about buying a Civic...what do you think about the gas milage? Is it bad? I have an Elantra and it is very bad.

Sharon Frierson

I am enjoying my 2013 Civic LX except for a couple of issues. My air conditioning is luke warm and the dealer stated air conditioning is only supposed to take the humidity out of the air. It gives me a sickening feeling when its on, therefore we have to open the windows. I hope something more can be done about it.


Been really enjoying my 2013 lx. Don't really care about the wheels. Who really looks at them after owning the car a week. Really like the gas mileage and bluetooth stereo. Much rather stream free internet radio then pay for the crap on XM. Tight steering is a plus and this car is very quiet for its price.


Am trying to install cover seats for my new 2013 Honda Civic but it is very difficult to remove the rear seat (cushion). the 4 / 6 split rear back are easy to fold and do. Does any one has an easy way of explaining this. I did see some you tube videos but they were not clearly explaining and showing where exactly and what exactly you need to remove. Thanks


Love the way my 2013 Civic LX drives, I also love the features but I hate the road noise. The USB audio is nice but it doesn't support every thumb drive and I have yet to find a list of supported drives. It sucks spending money on a large capacity drive only to find it's not supported.


Sharon Frierson, that is false. AC cools the air just like a fridge does. If it's not cooling there is something wrong with the AC...


Sharon Frierson, I had the same weak ac issue on my car. Try changing the ac mode button a few times. It blows on your feet in 2 modes. Then blows both feet and on top. Then full force on top. Mine started blowing cold air after I did that a few times. Had it on full blast as well. There's definitely a problem.


You are able to make the headlights automatic with the in car setup feature. Try using the car before writing reviews.

Steve W

I like my '13 Civic LX sedan, but I got the 5-speed manual and after years of driving stick-shift cars, this is the sloppiest shifting manual I've ever had or driven. I can get the gears fine but it's the clutch. Unless I'm REALLY careful, the clutch comes in with a bang. Not a smooth engagement at all. Looks like I'll need to think about getting rid of the car before the whole drive-line falls out of it...



about the lack of automatic headlights. Please update your article.

On page 119 of the owner's manual for the 2013 Honda Civic sedan:

"When you turn the light switch to AUTO, the headlights and other exterior lights will switch on and off automatically depending on the ambient brightness.
You can change the auto light sensitivity setting."


I was surprized that my new LX did not have variable wiper settings- just one speed. Also, no water temperature gauge.


The blue/green fuel economy indicator on my manual LX stays blue, even when I am coasting and getting 70+ mpg. As soon as I put it into gear, to turns green. It should stay green if I am coasting, right?


2013 Civic EX-L w Navi

Good car. It is a tad boring to drive, indeed; but it's chalk-full of refinements. It's a Civic, not an Audi. Love it for what it is!


Bought a 2013 EX 4 weeks ago and so far I am still reading the manual. Traded in a 2002 Civic - so all the bells and whistles - some of which have been around a while are really new to me. So far my only problem is the brightness of the mileage and outside temp. In bright daylight they are much dimmer than the time. I love how it drives and the AC works great.

Jay Grossman

Honda Civic was no good on the interstate...way too much motion/vibration and the engine gave out as well as me!


2013 Civic Ex. Very quiet. Nice radio. Drives smooth. I like the split dash more than I thought I would.

Unfortunately, the gas mileage isn't much better than my 1999 Civic, which it replaced, and it the most uncomfortable car I've ever sat in, let alone driven. The seat is pure agony. I regret buying this car.

John C

Great car, love the test drive. I now regret the purchase. I have NEVER experience such an uncomfortable ride. It hurts to drive the care, Im now debating to lose $2K and trade the car in for something else. I was a true Honda fan, I have owned Honda vehicles for over 20 years. I'm very disappointed "Honda you should be ashamed".


I bought the 2013 Civic EX-L 4 door and I have NO complaints! Love this car and everything about it and I also love my payment! I'll have this car until the wheels fall off! Lol

R. D.



My 2013 Civic LX has 11,000 miles on it and it idles so smoothly and quietly that I have to look at the tach to tell if it's still running. No problems with the car so far. Other than the stiffer ride, it's just as good as the 2011 and 2007 Accords I leased.

bob wilamina

Have over 13,000 on my 2013 LX...have taken two evtended trips oner 1400 milres each way...now problems at all with seat comfort, I am 62 yeras old. I can not understand the complaints about the sest comfort...maybe the complainers should be riding their Sofas???

Katy Texas

I got the 13 Civic LX and I love it. The 14 is even better with the CVT tranny... but the 13 Civic is a million times better than the Corolla or any GM product. I do agree about the crappy hub caps though, and I plan on replacing them. Even with that added cost my purchase is still under 20K drive out.

new civic owner

the civics come with automatic light shutdown. leave the lights on and press the lock button twice and the lights will shut off. you can change the amount of time they stay on after you lock it as well.


My 2013 Civic runs very well. Great pickup and smooth shifting. Excellent gas mileage too, especially on the highway. I do agree about the uncomfortable seating. I like to keep my seat back upright and the angled headrest (about 30 degrees) forces my chin downward, thereby creating neck and shoulder aches. Solved the problem by installing a chiropractic pillow behind my back and reclining the seat a couple notches, but the comfort is still missing. Lumbar support and better seat cushioning material would have made this car a 10.


I bought a Honda Civic LX and would not buy another one.
I liked my odometer to tell me not only whole miles but the tenth mile, particularly if I had directions that incorporated these numbers.

Also it does NOT pick up well.You have to push the gas to the floor to get the car to move if you are at a stop going up a hill to enter onto a throughway.

As for the flooring-under the mats the flooring is cheap, cheap, cheap. There is NO RUG. Just under rug matting.

I am short and found I still knock my knee on the dash now and then as I get out of the car. I will probably turn it in next year and get another car, not a Honda.

I am disappointed, but I am looking to review more carefully before I get my next car.

CIVIC LX 2013 is my 4th Civic so far, I waited for 4 months before the introduce as their 2012 models were horrible and caused Honda to break the ice first time by bringing re-design Civic. Dont understand the complaints here in this blog as they might be due to some technical issues which can easily be address by your dealer rather than posting here. I liked the ride due to all wheel independent suspension, excellent in-dash display, soft plastic, roomy seats and econo mode. However, seats are not that great in comfy area for lond drive, only complaint to Honda Canada is why you do not treat Canadian customers equally by allowing same features as you do for US? as no backup camer and limited color choice.

Matt Williams

I like my 13 Civic for the most part. The a/c is horrible, I have had in shop 3 or 4 times in the last year. There is a known Honda a/c problems with 08 and up Civics. Right now the car is blowing hot air. Another trip to Honda shop.


I have 21K on my '13 LX and I am still in love. This is my fourth Honda (3rd new one) and I have loved every one. There is so much tech crammed into the "base" model; bluetooth, Pandora, USB, iPod, and so much more. The only real problems I've had are 1)the ventilation never goes completely cold if the A/C is off so that even on a 70 degree day I have to use A/C to cool the incoming air otherwise it's around 85 degrees and 2)the tires got very noisy after 17K miles. Well, Continental is not one of my favorite brands.

I love the way this handles and would love to have 240HP but love 36mpg better.


I'd take a Fit over a Civic now any day of the week.

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