Honda Motor Co. debuted a vastly redesigned 2013 Civic compact at the L.A. Auto Show hoping to win back customers after a botched 2012 next-generation launch.
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Honda, in its current Civic, opted to scale down content in the car, trying to hedge against a sluggish economy. But other automakers doubled down and actually offered more content. Consumer Reports panned the current Civic, calling it a “step back” for Honda.
The new Civic has a better interior and smoother exterior styling that includes an open-mouth lower bumper with a horizontal chrome accent and a sportier, black honeycomb mesh grille. The car looks lower and longer, and [Art St. Cyr, vice president of product planning and motor sports for American Honda Motor Co.] St. Cyr promises it handles better. Complaints about excess cabin noise also have been addressed, he said.
The redesign just 18 months after its latest refresh is highly unusual, but St. Cyr said it is an example of how Honda can and will respond.