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The 2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Earns Its No. 1 Compact Hatch Title

The Honda Civic has always been a fan-favorite and popular sedan choice among consumers. And this year’s model, in its hatchback form, has earned some serious bragging rights. The 2021 Honda Civic Hatchback found the winning combination of delivering fuel economy, utility, and fun. If that doesn’t entice a test drive, maybe this latest industry accolade will.

The 2021 Honda Civic Hatchback is the champ

MotorTrend weighed in with evaluations of today’s available hatchbacks. In compact and subcompact forms, these models offer a host of pros and cons that matter most to consumers, but it’s the tenth-gen Honda Civic comes out on top. The critics cite the robust menu of configuration options, sleek designs, and functional utility. Anyone looking for a hatchback that brings solid performance, flexible cargo options, and value needs to see this model. 

Under the hood of this compact hatchback

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One of the unique differentiators for the 2021 Honda Civic Hatchback is under the hood. Most versions come with the 1.5-liter turbocharged I-4. This engine packs a punch with a horsepower range of 174 to 180 hp and 162 to 177 lb-ft of torque. Driving value at the pump, this engine achieves 28 mpg combined.

But there’s an even sportier option for those who need get-up-and-go. The 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 harnesses up to 306 hp, producing 295 lb-ft of torque. Even with the added power, this engine gets 34 mpg. 

The Sport trim of the Honda Civic Hatchback provides a six-speed manual transmission. Most versions come equipped with a continuously variable automatic (CVT) as standard. Having the choice of these configurations makes the Honda Civic stand apart from the rest.

The features and specs that catapulted the Honda Civic to victory

Power and performance aren’t the only high scores the 2021 Honda Civic Hatchback earns. For starters, affordability and value are huge motivating factors, and the price range for this hatch is $23,590 to $38,890. There are a host of features and extras available, too, making it easy for consumers to customize their perfect hatch. Choose from the LX, the Sport, the EX, and the Sport Touring, each level bringing must-have amenities, as Edmunds details. 

Standard equipment includes great driver aids, like lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise. Automatic climate control and auto high beams are also standard. Honda lays out its Honda Sensing suite of tech, included with every Civic. And regardless of the trim you choose, you’ll likely be surprised by how much you can fit in the 46 cubic feet of cargo, with the rear seats folded down.

Other vehicles in this class worth noting

Red Honda Civic Hatchback 2020 on display during the Thailand International Motor Expo 2020
The Honda Civic Hatchback | Vachira Vachira/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Competition is pretty steep in the hatchback class. So when the 2021 Honda Civic Hatchback comes out on top with MotorTrend, it carries weight. Other impressive contenders include the stylish 2021 Mazda3, the capable 2021 Subaru Impreza, and the sporty 2021 Hyundai Veloster. The Volkswagen Golf and Toyota Corolla also make appearances on the list of best compact hatchbacks. 

There are a few honorable mentions in this best-of list for the subcompact hatchback class. The 2021 Chevy Spark is a great low-cost ride, perfect for getting from point A to point B. The Kia Rio may have a small back seat, but it offers a cheap price tag without feeling cheap. Even the 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage gets a head nod, in part because of its incredible warranty.

If you haven’t driven the 2021 Honda Civic Hatchback, don’t buy a hatch without doing so. It lands at the top of this MotorTrend list of best hatchbacks right now and may end up being your No. 1 pick, too.