2013 Honda Civic Versus its Competitors

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Before Cars.com's $20,000 Compact Sedan Challenge in November 2013, we took a detailed look at how our long-term 2013 Honda Civic stacked up individually against the 2013 Nissan Sentra, 2013 Toyota Corolla (before the 2014 redesign) and 2014 Kia Forte.

Follow Our Long-Term Fleet

For 2013, the Civic gained notable improvements after a half-hearted 2012 redesign. Our yearlong goal with the Civic was to assess those changes against other compact sedans that entered our rotating fleet of manufacturer-provided test cars. Below, see how well the updated Civic performed head-to-head against three of those competitors in the following categories: cabin quality, noise, handling, acceleration, braking, ride, gas mileage, seats and roominess, and multimedia usability.

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2013 Honda Civic Versus 2013 Nissan Sentra

Winner: Sentra

Both the Civic and Nissan Sentra were redesigned for 2013 and had a lot of new goods to show off. Our Civic's $19,755 price with destination and automatic transmission was close to the Sentra's $21,370 asking price, which was unlike the optioned-out Forte EX or pricey Corolla S we also pitted against the Civic. The results were close, but in the end, the Sentra won us over in five categories over the Civic's four; we preferred the Sentra's quiet comfort and higher fuel economy.

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2013 Honda Civic Versus 2013 Toyota Corolla

Winner: Civic

Comparing a redesigned 2013 Civic to the ancient 2013 Toyota Corolla was a lopsided battle since the Corolla looked and felt dated before its 2014 redesign; we tested the 2014 Corolla in our $20,000 Compact Sedan Challenge. Still, the 2013 was the only Corolla on sale at the time of our head-to-head comparison. On top of the Corolla showing its age, it was also saddled with ridiculous options such as $1,999 wheels. The Civic won eight categories to the Toyota's one — ride quality — in a no-brainer decision.

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2013 Honda Civic Versus 2014 Kia Forte

Winner: Forte

Comparing the Civic head-to-head with this particular Forte was controversial. The Forte we drove was a loaded EX trim level with the more powerful engine and enough options to raise the MSRP by $6,000 over a base Forte's price. The Forte dominated seven of the categories to the Civic's two wins of fuel economy and handling. However, we contended that a Forte LX without the higher price tag would have a similar competitive advantage. That proved accurate as a 2014 Forte LX won our $20,000 Compact Sedan Challenge against the 2013 Civic, redesigned 2014 Corolla and four other compact sedans.

$20,000 Compact Sedan Challenge

Comments 

Jeremy

Winner Sentra!? over the Civic.
I bought the 2013 Sentra and though a nice car, it is a horrible ride. One writer wrote it is soul sapping, I do not look foward to my communter ride, believe me. That is theprice of good gas mileage and CVT transmission.

Skankzilla

No need to involve the Mazda3 after these results. It will be too humiliating for Honda.

Jack B. Nimble

Really Jeremy? The only fault you can find with the Sentra is its CVT transmission?
Well, you're the duche for buying it if you don't like the CVT, because I've got some bad news for you: more cars will be adopting the technology (even the new Corolla has it), so get used to it.

Jeremy

Tanks for the name calling.
Let me just say the gas mileage was one reason that I bought it and the car really is a mid size sedan. Actually, I should be more detal in the horrible ride. It is great once it gets up to speed, like on the highway. The acceleration is rather like pulling teeth.
Other than that, like I said, a nice car.

xsolara

Jeremy
Give him a break he is only 12 years old :=)

J

Douche , Thanks and Detail are spelled like this...

The new Civic has CVT also...

Jeremy

So FUNNY, get MAD you alll ideeits

After testing the 3, civic and sentra, we went with the sentra. The civic was hands down the smoothest and refined, the thing spun like a top. The interior, options and space is where it really lost. The interior space is more open in the sentra, dual zone climate, massive trunk, comfy seats/arm rest and nice but simple cluster and dash won it hands down. The only downside is the bland ride and harsh under acceleration engine noise, definitely not a divers car (UNDERSTATEMENT) but a great car to commute in economically and comfortably. A very nice car :-)

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