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’13 vs. ‘14 Civic EX
At the moment I own a 13 and 14 Civic, both EX, auto and CVT, both grey, so a compare seems to be in order. Both cars have after-market tint (35/20), Sun-Guard on the ’13 and 3M on the ’14. Sun-Guard guarantees against ‘excessive change of color’, 3M guarantees ‘color stable for life’. Both cars have Michelin Primacy MXV4 16’’ tires. 91H for the ’13 and 89H for the ’14. I replaced the OEM Hankook H426 tires on day two, just check out tirerack.com for test results – to see why! We do agree that we compare apples with apples, right?
Methodology – I’ll describe the new features on the new ’14 and my perceived value, if any, and where merited, compare the feature to the ’13.
Smart key access: as you approach car with key in pocket, you hear a click when 2 feet away and the door unlocks. With key in pocket, lock the car by touching the door handle lock button. With key in pocket, unlock trunk by pressing a button under trunk lid. Trunk will not lock if key is inside trunk. A smart feature!
Push button start: with key in pocket press brake pedal and press start button to start engine, a very convenient feature. In the ’13 you have to twist your neck to find the lock and insert the key behind the steering wheel. Temporary downside on the ’14, you have to read the manual on how to select only the accessory position, or turn off engine while keeping the radio going etc. (hint: put gear in P and press start/stop button).
Front seats: different material in seat and back contact area. Seems a bit softer yet more molded to body in both areas. Recaro style seats.
Display audio system: radio controls incorporated in 7’’ touch screen, but still available on steering wheel, thank you very much!! Touch screen for the radio is quite useless and complicates the selection of stations, mode am/fm, sound selection and volume. Hard to find control points without looking at screen and difficulty to make a ‘touch’ selection, without any reference point (i.e. no rest ledge for hand), and movement of car (rough road) may make you miss your selection. Control buttons on ’13 are much better.
Display audio system operation: the user manual devotes over 100 pages to describe the functions available for use with a compatible ipod or smart-phone. In my opinion all fluffy stuff that detracts drivers. It adds no value to the driving experience. Also too much to remember just to operate the functions.
Lane-watch blind spot display: blind spot, (view over right hand shoulder to rear) is captured by camera in passenger rear-view mirror and displayed on Display audio screen, when engaging the right hand turn signal, or when pressing a button on the turn signal stalk. This sounds good but in practical terms it is only a supplemental aid, may as well turn your head rather than looking at screen and trying to figure out what you see – a solution for a non-problem.
Multi-view rear camera: displays area behind car when reversing, wide angle view covers a double driveway, shows reference lines that bend when turning, a useful device.
Front/rear stabilizer bar: keeps car from ‘rolling’ in sharp turns. Good feature, combined with good tires, allows you to power through corners.
Fuel economy: official figures 6.7 L/100km vs 7.1L/100km on the ’13 or 42mi/gal vs 40mi/gal in the city, highway is the same at 5.0 L/100km or 56 mi/gal. That’s a very good fuel economy and at today’s cost, that’s what it’s all about. Based on my observation, fuel consumption is visibly better with the ’14 by viewing the ‘current’ consumption display.
Trip fuel consumption: displayed on the Display audio screen, by selecting “Info”, shows current trip consumption and last trip consumption. A fun and useful gimmick – may help with fuel consumption by monitoring display. Of no relevance for the ‘wolfs of wall street’ but significant for the ‘hounds of the retirement residence’.
On the road: on start-up the ’14 is a bit louder with faster idle, pulling away from standing start, the ’14 has the edge due to no gear shifts with the CVT, also very quiet and seamless as far as the transmission goes. To maintain speed at prescribed limit, say city driving at 50km/hr or 30 mi/hr, slowly ease on the gas pedal until rpms settle at about 1000-1200. On the ’13 once speed is reached, releasing gas pedal sharply will engage higher gear and settle at 1200-1500. On deceleration, like coasting to red light, ’14 will hunt somewhat to find suitable range and will slow down gradually. The ’13 will shift down and slow down faster.
Drivability: comfortable and quiet for both cars, but for longer trips ’14 seats are more comfortable, less harsh than the ’13. Aggressive cornering with ’14, keeps car body flatter due to stabilizer bars, combined with good tires you can easily loose the car behind you. Steering in both cars has just the right weight/effort and tracking (ability to drive straight without correction) is very good, probably due to the Michelins on both cars. I did about 200km/125miles with the Hankook H426 tires and there were more corrections and more noise/tire thumps, observed on the same 50km/30 mile route. There is ‘loud’ and ‘quiet’ pavement and both cars drive ‘limo’ like on the quiet one. The ’14, with 3 more horsepower does feel a bit more ‘surge-able’ on acceleration, but that’s subjective.
Conclusion: never considered a Civic prior to the ’13 model year, but the quiet (thicker glass/better insulation) and effortless drive and features of the EX trim made the Civic stand out. The ’14 Civic EX is even better. Some of the features like smart key/push start, fuel monitor, comfortable and quiet ride, unbeatable fuel economy, re-sale value and safety performance make this an excellent choice for many drivers, especially downsizers!
Did 92% city driving, with 5x 10 km (5x 6mi) on highway. Just filled up, first tank, trip 610.5km (379.34mi), with 37.91 liters (10.01gal), fuel consumption = 6.2L/100km ( 37.94 mpg).
That’s what I’m talking about!
 

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I have to agree - I found the new 'screen radio' incredibly unnecessary. I think it looks garish. The UI is good, but I don't think it looks as high end as the head unit in the 2013 models. I also found it excessive...much of the same information is displayed (better, in some cases) in the i-MID. The volume was a pain - having to tap and blindly do so while driving. The only thing "positive" I can think of about it is that it gives you a bigger back up screen and the blind spot camera. That's it.

To be honest, I don't think I would buy a 2014 Civic based on that screen alone. That's not a good thing, as I'm a 27 year old, tech savvy male. It was enough to put me off and make me happy to get back in my 2013. It would've fared better as an option.

Beyond that, the added luxury features were welcome and definitely made a bit jealous. Nothing I'd trade up for, though.
 

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Great write up! However, although that Michelin tire (I know, I had them on my 2006 Elantra) is much better tires than the OEM, Hankook, why in the world would you replace BRAND
new tires immediately?? They're not that bad! Just run them till they wear out and THAN replace with the upgraded Michelin. I dont know, but to me, they is just a utter waste of money!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
......... why in the world would you replace BRAND
new tires immediately?? They're not that bad! Just run them till they wear out and THAN replace with the upgraded Michelin. I dont know, but to me, they is just a utter waste of money!
Good question - you state ''they are not that bad" What does that mean? It is an unqualified statement. If you check at tirerack.com you will find that the Michelin tire ranks #3 in their test and the Hankook ranks # 27 look at the details and you will be amazed to see that the Hankook is rated as a poor tire.
I change them right away and sell them as "take offs" (meaning taken from a brand new car) to my tire dealer for $75 each. That means for only $100 I can get much better tires, and enjoy the benefits right away. I don't want to drive the Hankooks at all and wait until they need replacement, which would probably be after 2 years. Its just a different way to look at the economics, safety and comfort of tire management.
 
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