Honda gives first look at redone '13 Civic
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Editor's note: The new Honda Civic will not offer a hatchback in the U.S. An earlier version incorrectly referred to a hatchback version.
LOS ANGELES -– Just about 18 months after the Civic's 2012 model year redesign hit the market, Honda is launching a mid-cycle change for the compact sedan and coupe.
The 2012 Civic's interior layout and materials were widely panned by critics at the time, although the nameplate has continued to sell well, with U.S. deliveries up 39 percent this year through October to 254,716.
Honda released images of a reskinned Civic today, although the interior of the car will not be publicly displayed until the car's official unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov. 29.
The refreshed 2013 model will go on sale the same day.
Typically, Honda has run the Civic on a five-year cycle, with a freshening after the third model year. But the 2012 version was criticized for its interior plastics and layout that Honda engineers went on a crash-course revision ordered by Honda Motor CEO Takanobu Ito.
The 2013 Civic will “encompass a host of safety, feature, comfort, chassis and interior styling enhancements,” Honda says.
Ito publicly took blame for the 2012 Civic's poor interior, saying he ordered engineers to decontent the car in response to the global recession that hit just as Civic product development was nearly complete. Not only did that result in a six-month delay in bringing the Civic to market, the car looked unfinished and shoddy.
"The ultimate responsibility rests with me," Ito said apologetically in an interview at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.
In a statement, Honda said the 2013 model will "encompass a host of safety, feature, comfort, chassis and interior styling enhancements."
Both the front and rear sheet metal has been modified, with a "more deeply faceted hood" and "a more finished and upscale" trunklid and rear fascia.
Honda declined to comment if any mechanical changes have been made to the Civic.
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