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Josh Rosenberg By Josh Rosenberg
Updated Nov. 20, 2023

2013 Honda Civic Pros And Cons, Reliability, Possible Mechanical Problem Watchlist

2013 Honda Civic SI

Due to extremely high new and used car prices, as well as high interest rate loans, many car shoppers have turned to "older" models to better fit their budgets. And one of their favorites has been the Honda Civic due to its excellent reputation for reliability and dependability.

In fact, a well-maintained 2013 Civic is expected to last in the 20-year range and cover 200,000 - 300,000 miles. But, of course, all car models require regular maintenance and have possible mechanical tendencies and quirks, even a Civic.

So here, we will look at its pros and cons, its general reliability qualities, and specific mechanical issues reported by some owners that should be checked before buying.

But first, two very important tips ...

1. Know How To Get The Lowest Used Car Price:

Get Dealers To Compete For your Business: When you are searching vehicles to possibly purchase, the following is the absolute best way to get the lowest price, and it is extremely easy and stress-free.

Just go to a national car listing site, (I happen to prefer for their massive dealer participation and ease of use, although others will get the job done as well) and find several listed vehicles that you may be interested in.

Then write something like the following in the "Check Availability" box or "Contact Dealer" box or whatever the site you are using uses.

"Hello, I've contacted several dealers about cars I am interested in and am looking for the best value. I am also a serious buyer planning to make a decision soon. Please send me your best out-the-door price. Thank you.

After receiving the offers, follow up by explaining that based on the price, you're leaning in another direction but still really like their car and would certainly consider another offer. When dealers drop out, you'll know you're at the best price.

Using the internet to get dealers to compete for your business is extremely important. More details on this and how to intereact with the dealers can be found here at Best Used Car Buying Techniques.

2. Things To Do When Considering An "Older" Civic

Locate Lower Mileage Vehicles: They are certainly out there to be found with careful and patient shopping. Be willing to drive a distance if you have to.

Vehicle History and Maintenance: Ask for the vehicle history report (CarFax or AutoCheck) as well as documented maintenance and repair records. If not provided by the Dealer or private seller, it's best to move on.

Pre-Purchase Inspection: Have the vehicle independently inspected before making a final decision. This usually will cost in the $150-$200 range but is well worth it given the potentially thousands in savings over the long term.

2013 Honda Civic Overview

2013 was an important year for the Civic. After being matched and even surpassed by strong competitors in previous years, the 2013's upgrades addressed its weaknesses and added improvements that once again placed it among the very best values available.

It benefited with a sportier look while the interior was also upgraded with higher quality materials that give it a more upscale overall look and feel.

The standard feature offerings were also expanded to include some that are usually options on its rivals, such as a rearview camera, Bluetooth, an iPod interface, hands-free text messaging and Pandora functionality.

Beyond its looks and features, there were significant mechanical revisions as well. Both the suspension and steering were recalibrated for improved handling, while additional noise-insulation provided a quieter ride.

2013 Honda Civic Pros

Reliability: Honda is known for its reliability, and the Civic is no exception. It generally has a good track record for dependability.

Resale Value: Hondas tend to hold their value well, and the Civic is popular enough that it retains decent resale value compared to some other cars in its class.

Multiple Model And Powertrain Choices: This Civic has wide consumer appeal due to the availability of both coupe and sedan body styles, a performance-oriented Si model, a super-efficient hybrid version and even a natural-gas-powered model.

The standard engine powering this Civic is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that produces 140 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque, with a choice of either a 5-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic (the HF and EX models come standard with the automatic).

Those looking for more gusto may be better served with the Civic Si's engine, which pumps out 201-horsepower and 170-pound-feet, and is coupled only with a 6-speed manual transmission.

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Powering the Civic Hybrid is a 1.5-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, which combined produce 110-horsepower and 127-pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

The Natural Gas model comes with a version of the same 1.8-liter engine and produces 110 horsepower and 106 pound-feet. It's mated with a 5-speed automatic.

Safety Features: The 2013 model often comes equipped with standard safety features like stability control, antilock brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, and a rearview camera in some trims.

Excellent Fuel Economy: With the automatic transmission, the 1.8-liter engine gets an impressive EPA-estimated 28 mpg city and 39 mpg on the highway. These numbers decrease slightly with the manual to 28 city and 36 highway, while the HF model comes in at 29 and 41, respectively.

Gas mileage for the more powerful Civic Si is an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city and 31 highway.

Fuel economy for the hybrid, not surprisingly, is the best among the models at 44 mpg city and highway, while the hydrogen model gets a gasoline equivalent of 27 city and 38 highway.

Comfortable And Composed Ride: The Civic has always been one of the nicer-driving cars in the segment and the upgrades to the suspension and steering this year make it even better. The overall ride quality is high, being both smooth and comfortable as most bumps are easily absorbed. It's also easy to drive and a confident handler.

It should be noted, however, that while not harsh, the Si's firmer suspension and 17-inch wheels subtract a bit from ride comfort.

But again on the positive side, the additional noise-insulation is an added plus as it addressed the wind noise problem in previous models.

Relatively Spacious Cabin: The sedan's front legroom and headroom is on par with other class leaders, while the rear quarters provide generous legroom, moreso than top competitors such as the Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus.

2013 Honda Civic interior

2013 Honda Civic Cons

Interior Quality: Although improved, some feel the interior materials were still not up to par compared to competitors, giving it a slightly cheap feel.

Uncomfortable Seating: The Civic is an economy car and doesn’t have the same level of cushioning as more expensive vehicles. For some owners, the seats are unsupportive and uncomfortable.

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Infotainment System: The technology in the 2013 model might be outdated for some drivers. The infotainment system and interface might feel behind compared to more modern cars.

Over-Loaded Dash With Navigation: While most of the controls are properly-placed, and the steering wheel's menu buttons and keypads are user-friendly enough for those accustomed to a smartphone, there just can seem to be an overload of inputs and gauges.

Just the steering wheel by itself sports as many as 14 directional commands and buttons, while models equipped with navigation are particularly busy-looking.

Adequate But Uninspiring Brakes: The braking system remains the same as last year's, which was found to be a bit ho-hum in independent performance tests. The Civic EX-L stopped from 60 mph in a somewhat long 131 feet. The Hybrid did a little better at 124 feet, while the Si did best at 120 feet ... all trailing other top rival compacts.

Small trunk In Some Models: While the Civic sedan offers an adequate 12.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity and 11.7 in the coupe, the Hybrid's battery pack limits trunk space to a small 10.7 cubic feet. The Natural Gas model's trunk is smaller still due to its larger fuel tank.

High-Tech Features Lag Rivals: While Honda has added popular tech features such as hands-free text messaging and Pandora Internet radio as standard, more serious techies may be attracted to the superior infotainment offerings of some rivals, although many are available as options only.

Lack Of Versatile 5-door Hatchback Model: Unlike the Ford Focus, Mazda3 and Hyundai Elantra, this Civic lineup does not include a sporty and versatile 5-door hatchback.

Also, it's always a good idea to check out the other top choices before making a final buying decision. Those worthy of consideration would include the Chevy Cruze, the Ford Focus, the Hyundai Elantra, the Mazda3, the all-wheel drive Subaru Impreza and the Volkswagen Jetta.

2013 Honda Civic Reliability

The 2013 Honda Civic is generally considered a reliable car due to several positive qualities:

Engine Reliability: The Civic is known for its durable and long-lasting engines. The 2013 model typically comes with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, which has a reputation for reliability when properly maintained.

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Low Maintenance: Hondas, including the Civic, often have lower maintenance requirements compared to some other vehicles.

Longevity: Many Civic owners report driving their cars for many years without major issues. Proper maintenance can extend the life of the vehicle significantly.

Resilient Transmission: The automatic transmission in the 2013 Civic is generally reliable, experiencing fewer issues compared to most other vehicles in the same class.

However, as with any car, individual experiences may vary based on factors like driving habits, maintenance history, and specific manufacturing variations.

2013 Honda Civic Mechanical Problem Watchlist:

The 2013 Civic, while generally proven to be quite reliable, still had incidents of owners reporting mechanical issues and concerns. Fortunately, they have not been widespread but should still be checked prior to buying.

Transmission Issues: Some owners reported issues with the automatic transmission, primarily related to hesitation or jerky shifts, especially in the earlier part of the model year. Honda addressed some of these concerns through software updates or replacements under warranty.

Engine Problems: Some owners reported the motor shutting off while driving. This was usually caused by faulty sensor issues which fortunately is a fairly inexpensive repair (in the $200 range).

Brake Problems: There were occasional complaints about premature wear of brake components.

Interior Material Quality: While not a mechanical issue per se, some drivers noted that interior materials showed wear relatively quickly or felt less durable.

Exhaust System Rattles: A few owners reported rattling noises from the exhaust system, which could be bothersome.

Suspension Noise: Some drivers experienced noise or rattling from the suspension system, particularly over rough roads or bumps.

Again, it's important to note that while these issues were reported by some owners, they were not widespread problems across all 2013 Civics. Many owners have had trouble-free experiences with this model when properly cared for.

Also, Always Know The Value Of Your Trade-In

Whether you are trading or selling on your own, it's just a good idea ... even whether you are in the market or not at the moment. You can then use this important information for a number of purposes ... to negotiate with a dealer, or to know how to price your car in the retail market, or simply to know the value of one of your assets, which is always a good idea.

Getting trade-in values online tend to vary a lot from site to site. But I've found the one at Edmunds Trade-In Quotes is particularly comprehensive and accurate.

It's free and just takes a couple of minutes. I think what helps its accuracy is the inputs will include either your plate# or VIN# followed by many simple, but specific, yes/no questions. It really focuses in on the detail of the specific vehicle.

Lastly, Suggestions For Getting The Lowest Civic Price

First of all, here's a Lowest Price Used Car Buying Guide that details a very effective method.

Here's another method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.

In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them.

And for those of you who might be interested in a "brand new" Honda Civic if the price was really good, here's info on exactly How To Get The Best Price On A New Car. This works just phenomenally well.

And checkout our Facebook page for more tips, car news and fun.

Other Older Models Of Possible Interest:
Older Used Honda Civic
2012 Honda Civic
2013 Honda Accord
Older Used Honda Accord
2013 Honda CR-V
2013 Honda Odyssey
Older Used Honda Fit
Older Used Honda Odyssey
Older Used Honda CR-V
Older Used Honda Models