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The Honda Civic is one of the most iconic cars the Japanese company has put out, and it just got better. After a long hiatus in the US. Honda has made the decision to bring the Civic Hatchback to the U.S., and critics are beyond thrilled.

MotorTrend is especially impressed with the changes to the tenth generation of the Civic Hatchback, and can’t say enough good things about it.

There’s just something about a Honda Civic

MotorTrend made a list of the top hatchbacks currently available, and the 2020 Honda Civic made the top of the list. There has been quite a few changes made to the Civic, so if you’ve driven a previous model, please don’t make any quick judgment calls. 

According to MotorTrend, “The tenth-generation Honda Civic hatch is the best compact hatch option out there, offering a good balance of utility, fuel economy, and fun.” That’s high praise indeed, and well deserved.

The new body style doesn’t scream hatchback when you look at it. It doesn’t have that traditional sedan shape, either. It has a smooth look that begs for a second glance to see what makes this little hatchback so different looking. The new design is surprisingly tough looking, and would fit right in on a dirt racetrack.

The standard engine is a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, that gets 180 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. 

For those who want a little more excitement in their lives and don’t care about saving money at the pump, there is a Honda Civic Type R. It has a 2.0L turbo I-4 engine that gets 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. It’s suitable for anyone who is into racing or hitting dirt roads.

The inside is shockingly spacious. With the rear seats folded, there is up to 46 cubic feet of space. This gives plenty of room for anyone packing up to go on that long-awaited road trip.

The Honda Sensing safety suite comes standard on all models. It also has a nearly perfect safety score from the IIHS, and won the 2020 Top Safety Pick award.

The price is extremely affordable for those on a budget. The Honda Civic Hatchback starts at $22,705 and tops out at $37,950.

There’s always room for improvement

As great as the 2020 Honda Civic Hatchback is MotorTrend did find a few faults. It mostly revolved around the technology, but only for the lower trims.

The cheaper trim levels are saddled with a weak four-speaker audio system. A basic 5.0-inch infotainment screen does little to help, especially due to the lag. By upgrading, drivers get a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities that makes life much more pleasant while on the road.

The other complaints MotorTrend had revolved around the 1.5L turbo I-4 engine paired with the manual. It could use a little more time in the design room.

MotorTrend also thinks that the Type R styling is a little too aggressive looking. Still, there are some drivers who would find that very appealing.

Which vehicles did the Honda Civic beat out?

A black Honda Civic hatchback on display
A Honda Civic hatchback | Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

There were several competitors that the 2020 Honda Civic hatchback beat out. The 2021 Toyota Corolla and the 2020 Subaru Impreza were probably the most well known on the list.

To beat out the Corolla was quite the feat all on its own. It’s one of the most respected cars to ever hit a showroom and is often a critic favorite. 

The lack of new updates probably had something to do with the Corolla’s fall from grace. Even though it’s still fun to drive and has a unique design meant to draw attention, there is still limited cargo space.

The 2020 Subaru Impreza is another big contender in the hatchback arena. The standard AWD is a big draw for many drivers, as well as its great safety ratings, and the comfortable ride it offers.

Where the Impreza failed to impress was its boring looks. No one is going to accuse the Impreza of being too aggressive. The expensive repairs many owners get hit with doesn’t help matters. Even though the Honda Civic has its share of problems, the pros far outweigh the cons. That’s why it outclassed the competition.


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