Hatchbacks once defined the small car segment, but they fell out of favor when Americans came to equate them with cheap vehicles that folks drove because they had to, not because they wanted to.

Today, they’re making a small comeback. This makes sense, given their undeniable utility and more affordable prices compared to similarly sized crossover SUVs. Bright people who know that all you need is a fantastic set of snow tires to make it through a typical winter get more for their money when they choose a compact driveway — and spend less money on gasoline.

Now, the 2020 Honda Civic Hatchback (built in the uk, of all places) has a few changes. Mild styling upgrades accompany a nod to driving fans in the shape of expanded accessibility to this manual transmission. More versions also have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an 8-way power driver’s seat is standard starting with EX trim, along with the top Sport Touring trim gets new LED headlights. Each 2020 Civic Hatch advantages from new interior trim and extra sound deadening materials.

Find Your Honda Civic Hatchback

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Before we talk about the results of the evaluation of this Honda Civic Hatchback, it’s helpful to know who purchases this streamlined car, and what they enjoy most and least about their automobiles.

Honda Civic 2020 BS6
Honda Civic 2020 BS6

Men are drawn to the Honda Civic. J.D. Power data shows that 62 percent of Civic owners are man (vs. 57 percent to the segment). Civic owners will be the same age as all streamlined car owners (42 years), but they enjoy a greater median annual household income ($77,759 vs. $71,751). Civic owners are also twice as likely to spot as Performance Buyers (16% ( 8 percent ).

According to J.D. Power data, Civic owners are more likely to strongly agree a primary consideration in picking a vehicle is quality of workmanship (49% vs. 43 percent ), and they enjoy a car with powerful acceleration and responsive handling (45% vs. 39%). They are not as likely to strongly agree that a first consideration when choosing a vehicle is fuel market (24% vs. 30 percent ).

Civic owners are less inclined to agree that to them a car is just a way of getting from place to place (50% vs. 55%). In alignment with this sentiment, they are more inclined to agree that they enjoy a vehicle that stands out from the crowd (70% vs. 64%). People who own the Honda Civic are also more inclined to agree that their family and friends think of them as someone who knows a whole lot about autos (59% vs. 55 percent ).

Owners say their favorite things about the Civic Hatchback are (in descending order) the exterior styling, engine/transmission, interior design, driving dynamics, and visibility and protection.

In the sections that follow, our specialist provides her own perceptions about the way the Honda Civic Hatchback measures up in every one of the 10 categories that include the 2019 APEAL Study.

Honda Civic owners love the way their car appears, and mention it as their favourite component of this model. Having a bold front seat, sculptured creasing along the flanks, and a pert hatchback back, my test vehicle got plenty of double takes (although I think family members who’oohed’ and’aahed’ believed I had been rocking a Type R).

And my test vehicle, equipped with sparkling white paint, a surplus of black trimming, and darkened 18-inch aluminum wheels? Storm Trooper all the way, if you enjoy that sort of thing. I really do.

Compared to the exterior, the test vehicle’s cabin was somewhat dull, with a black-on-black color scheme that made the interior feel cave-like. Aside from surface texturing, such as the perforated leather seats, and details like vulnerable stitching, there wasn’t any visual comparison within the dust-, lint-, and pet hair-magnet of a cabin.

Quality of these materials was good, though, and the doors thunk shut like you’re closing a bank vault. There is a clear awareness of refinement and attention to detail here, and also with the added soundproofing for 2020, the Civic Hatch seems, feels and seems a cut above.

Thanks to my shorter legs and longer chest, it’s a bit of a task for me to discover an ideal driving position when rowing a manual transmission. The Civic, with its 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, made it simple.

The seats could use a bit more side bolstering to keep the motorist snug whilst cornering on canyon roads, and that I would rather see a seat height adjuster for the front passenger seat, but otherwise there is little to complain about as far as comfort goes.

What’s more, the test car’s front and rear seats were heated, making it more attractive in cold-weather climates. Two adults will probably be rather pleased at the Civic’s rear seat, where there’s a surprising quantity of leg, foot, and shoulder area.

It is not apparent why Civic owners speed the climate control system so reduced. Most importantly, this is only because a lot of other aspects of the car are obviously appealing.

In any case, aside from a lack of rear air vents, which triggered complaint in both kiddos, the dual-zone automatic climate control system was easy to use thanks to clearly marked control. The all-black interior did, but take awhile to cool down to a few prickly hot days.

Honda Civic Interior Design

Owners rank the Civic’s infotainment system as their favorite element of the car, and it’s easy to understand why, as it can cause some consternation.

Honda Civic Interior
Honda Civic Interior

You obtain a volume knob, but not a corresponding tuning knob. The system shortcut buttons on the left side of their 7-inch touchscreen are overly yummy (remember, the Civic is popular with guys ), and also the display’s graphics are obsolete. I found that the touchscreen slow to reply, along with the voice command feature does not work how modern technology needs to.

Added quirks irk, too, like a traffic information system that doesn’t show you on which side of the road the backup is occurring. That is critically important when driving in Los Angeles. Hooking my smartphone to utilize the Apple CarPlay and Android automobile smartphone projection offered little relief; for some reason it didn’t pull up a number of my apps, such as Google Maps, when I connected.

You will be impressed with the quantity of thoughtful storage which Honda includes from the Civic. The middle console is like some sort of a magical trick, with a tiered tray which slides back to add space for an oversized Hydroflask. The glovebox is quite large, and also the door bins are big too.

The whole purpose of a hatchback, though, is to provide increased flexibility to your cargo, as well as the Civic delivers. Honda says it provides 22.6 cu.-ft. Of space behind the rear seats, but practically speaking, the back looks smaller compared to that, so plan accordingly. Together with all the 60/40-split rear seats folded down, there’s 46.2 cu.-ft. of space.

Visibility and Security

My test car came with all the Honda Sensing suite of active security features, including adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, lane departure warning, lane storing aid, and street departure mitigation.

Honda Sensing doesn’t include a blind spot tracking system. Instead, Honda equips most Civic Hatchbacks using its antiquated LaneWatch system. I am not a lover. It uses a camera mounted to the right-side mirror to reveal what is in the car’s right blind spot, displaying the perspective on the infotainment screen. It does not provide a corresponding camera for the left side of the car. A conventional radar-based blind spot monitoring system could be more useful, and those typically power a back cross-traffic alert, too. Both of these attributes were .

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the 2020 Civic Hatchback a fantastic score for its crash test parameters, but it recommends getting a Top Safety Pick designation due to Poor headlight performance, although the Sport Touring’s new LED peepers could change that in future assessments.

For this review, J.D. Power evaluated a 2020 Honda Civic Hatchback equipped with Sport Touring trim, the newly accessible manual gearbox, and standard equipment. The cost came to $28,980, such as the $930 destination fee.

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Honda Civic Engine Performance

With Sport and Sport Touring trim, the Civic Hatchback’s turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine generates 180 horsepower instead of 174 hp. Just be sure you pump it full of premium fuel; it’s the only real way to get all 180 ponies.

Honda civic 2020 design
Honda civic Engine Performance

Like each turbocharged engine, the Civic does respond somewhat slowly right off the line, however once the engine revs closer where peak torque falls in (under 2,000 rpm with this car), it reveals plenty of energy in terms of acceleration. This engine is powerful refined, also, without the typical sound, vibration, and harshness you receive with a small displacement four.

My test car’s 6-speed manual transmission was a smooth operator, too, but had unexpectedly long throws between gears, which is a little uncharacteristic of Honda. The clutch journey was extended, too, and it engaged in the very top. But, I got used to it rather quickly and I never stalled the Civic.

As mentioned before, among the biggest advantages of having a small car is that they have a tendency to use less fuel. Despite making maximum utilization of the engine, which goes a long way toward making the Civic Hatchback genuinely fun to drive, I averaged 32.7 mpg in a week on the street.

The Honda Civic proves an economy car doesn’t need to be a penalty box. One of its rivals, the Civic has always been one of the livelier ones, with a nimble and tossable character that defines”fun to drive.”

That’s certainly true of the 2020 Civic Sport Touring with the manual gearbox. Besides the power train’s refinement, this car displays impressive structural rigidity and, as a result of its complex strut-front and multi-link back suspension and bigger 18-inch wheels and tires, tackles the twisties with ease and elegance.

Furthermore, expertly weighted and precision-tuned steering brings joy to every drive, along with the faithful, readily modulated 4-wheel-disc brakes guarantee rapid, smooth stops each time.

Working collectively, the mechanical elements make the Civic Hatchback a great daily driver that is as talented on the long, winding way home as it is during obstructed commutes.


From time to time, the simple answer is the ideal answer. Anyone looking for a great compact car should place the 2020 Honda Civic on the listing. It may be a clear choice, and Civics may be ubiquitous, but that’s because the car is really darn good.


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