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The Civic has been one of Honda’s most popular and best-selling vehicles for decades. Boasting affordability and dependability, the Civic carries with it one of the largest fan followings. Owners of the Civic typically enjoy a low cost of ownership, good fuel economy, and a comfortable ride. But is the Honda Civic a safe car? How safe is the newest 2020 model?

Advanced safety tech

According to Honda, the 2020 Civic is safer than ever due to “an effort to provide enhanced protection for its vehicle occupants.” The newest Civic is built on a specially-engineered body structure built to withstand more force and comes standard with advanced airbags, an anti-lock braking system with brake assist, vehicle stability assist, daytime running lights, and a multi-angle rearview camera.

Alongside this, Honda offers its Honda Sensing suite of safety tech standard on all Civics. According to Honda, this includes collision mitigation and pedestrian detection with automatic braking, lane-keeping assist, road departure mitigation, and more.

New owners also get adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow. According to Consumer Reports, however, the Honda Civic does not come available with some safety tech offered by competitors, such as blind-spot warning and rear-cross traffic warning.

How the 2020 Honda Civic performs in safety testing

After testing the new 2020 Civic variants, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) gives all models an excellent overall safety rating of five stars. All Civic sedan (four-door) models receive perfect five-star ratings in every testing category: frontal crash, side crash, and rollover.

Testing on Civic coupe (two-door) models, however, fared slightly differently. While coupe models receive five-star ratings in rollover testing, its overall frontal crash rating falls to four stars based on its performance in front passenger side testing. And although the NHTSA gives the coupe a five-star overall side rating, rear-seat performance in this testing category also fell to a four-star rating.

In testing performed by the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), the 2020 Honda Civic again did well. The newest Civic received the highest rating of “Good” in all Crashworthiness testing categories, as well as all Crash Avoid & Mitigation categories (when equipped with the proper headlights).

The IIHS tested three different variations of headlights on the Civic. Available LED headlights received the best safety rating of “Good,” while the Halogen headlights found on base and lower-trim Civics receive an overall safety rating of “Poor.”

How safe is the 2020 Honda Civic?

The coupe, sedan, and hatchback Civics have all been chosen as Top Safety Picks for 2020 by IIHS. This means that the Honda Civic performed well in safety testing when compared with other models in its segment. But the Civic also didn’t perform the best, just shy of receiving a Top Safety Pick+ award because of its lack of standard LED headlights.

The 2020 Honda Civic is arguably the safest Civic yet, as Honda works to compete with high safety and technology expectations within the segment. But after the Civic’s reputation for safety was tarnished, Honda also needed to earn back its trustworthiness.

That’s because Honda is currently involved in one of the most widespread safety recalls in history. According to Consumer Reports, more than 1.5 million Honda, Acura, and Isuzu vehicles have been recalled because “airbags could cause serious fatal injuries to vehicle occupants.”

Though recalls happen often, this current recall has proved older-model Civics can be particularly unsafe. The faulty airbags in question have resulted in “at least 24 deaths and 300 injuries worldwide” and include 1998-2000 Honda Civic sedans and 1996-2000 Civic coupes.